Polish Documentaries at Hot Docs

Thanks to the efforts of the Krakow Film Foundation, with support from the Polish Film Institute, Poland will feature as a special guest at this year’s edition of the Hot Docs film festival. Ten Polish films screening in the ‘Made In’ section of the festival and one film in the ‘Nightvision’ section, a choice of Polish producers attending the Hot Docs Forum, and one Polish project featured in the pitching session – these are the key elements of the Polish programme at Hot Docs.

A Celebration of Documentary Cinema

The Toronto-based Hot Docs film festival is one of the world’s top festivals in the world of documentary filmmaking, and the biggest such event in North America. The first edition of the festival took place in Toronto in 1993.


Every year, Hot Docs screens almost 200 of the top documentaries of the year. The Hot Docs Forum and film market bring together over 2,000 documentary filmmaking professionals each year. This year’s jubilee 20th edition of the festival will run from April 25 through May 5.

Polish Filmmakers Awarded at Hot Docs

Thanks to cooperation between Hot Docs and the Krakow Film Foundation, and with support from the Polish Film Institute, in recent years Polish films have regularly featured in the festival lineup, and have been very well received by festival audiences. In 2009, Królik po berlińsku (Rabbit a la Berlin) by Bartosz Konopka was voted Best Mid-Length Documentary at Hot Docs. In 2011, the HBO Documentary Films Emerging Artist award went to Michał Marczak for his film Koniec Rosji (At the Edge of Russia). At this year’s edition of Hot Docs, Michał Marczak will be one of the members of the Canadian Feature Documentary Competition jury.

Made in Poland

In 2003, Hot Docs introduced the ‘Made In’ series, which showcases the latest documentary productions from a selected country or region. To date, the festival showcased films from South-Eastern Europe (2012), Italy (2011), South America (2010), South Korea (2009), Mexico (2008), Brazil (2007), Japan (2006), South Africa (2004), and Taiwan (2003). This year the Canadian festival programmers have decided to focus on Poland.


“We are thrilled to be showcasing the filmmaking of Poland this year and welcoming a delegation of Polish filmmakers to the festival,” says Charlotte Cook, Hot Docs director of programming. “Poland’s contribution to documentary has been vast, and it’s a joy to be able to share the incredible new work coming from the country this year with our audience.”

The lineup of the ‘Made in Poland’ section features ten Polish documentaries:

  • Galumphing, directed by Kamila Józefowicz;
  • Wirtualna wojna (Man at War), directed by Jacek Bławut;
  • Uwikłani (Entangled), directed by Lidia Duda;
  • Moja Wola (A Dream in the Making), directed by Bartosz M. Kowalski;
  • Lalkarz (The Man Who Made Angels Fly), directed by Wiktoria Szymańska;
  • Uwolnić motyla (Free the Butterfly), directed by Joanna Frydrych;
  • Zabawki cesarza (Emperor’s Toys), directed by Tomasz Gotfryd, Jarosław Moździerz, Joanna Rusinek, Joanna Wójcik, Grzegorz Wierzchowski;
  • Punkt wyjścia (Exit Point), directed by Jagoda Szelc;
  • Rogalik, directed by Paweł Ziemilski;
  • Rozmowa (The Conversation), directed by Piotr Sułkowski

The lineup of the ‘Nightvision’ section will also feature the acclaimed documentary Fuck For Forest by Michał Marczak.

Hot Docs Forum

The focus on Poland at this year’s Hot Docs will not only be about films. The Hot Docs Forum, a documentary filmmaking industry event held on May 1 and May 2, will be attended by a delegation of Polish producers. The Hot Docs Forum brings together producers, commissioning editors, film buyers, financing institutions, representatives of film funds and other professionals in the field of documentary filmmaking. Producers have an opportunity to present their projects at all stages of production, and look for co-producers or other sources of financing.

The Polish Delegation

The Polish delegation includes representatives of the following production companies: Staroń Films, Wajda Studio, Hanna Polak Films, Metro Films, Endorfina Studio, and Otter Films, as well as the Krakow Film Foundation and TVP. They will have an opportunity to participate in various events organized within the framework of the Hot Docs Forum. Polish delegates will be special guests at the International Co-Production Day; after presenting their projects there, they will meet with potential co-producers. The pitching session will also feature a Polish-Estonian co-production project entitled Rocket Men, produced by the Moma Film Foundation and Digital Sputnik. Other producers will participate in the pitching session as observers.

One-on-One Pitch Meetings

Polish producers will also take part in the Hot Docs Deal Maker programme, a new feature introduced for the first time at this year’s festival. The Hot Docs Deal Maker is a selection of 50 projects in development, production or post-production scheduled for meetings with key decision-makers. There are also plans to organize a panel discussion on the Polish documentary industry, presenting the production, financing, promotion and distribution strategies. Poland is the first country from the region of Central and Eastern Europe to be showcased at the forum.


The event is co-organized by the Polish Film Institute and the Consulate of Poland in Toronto.


Further details about the 20th Hot Docs IDFF available at: www.hotdocs.ca.


Source: www.polishdocs.pl.


Translated by Karolina Kołtun