Polish Films at 2014 IDFA


Several Polish films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute have been selected for screening in competition and out of competition at the 22nd International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), which runs from November 19 through November 30, 2014.

Two Films in Main Competition

Two Polish films have been selected for screening in Main Competition at the 22nd IDFA festival.



Among 15 selected films from around the world is Marzenie Julii (Something Better to Come), a film directed by Hanna Polak and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. This Polish-Danish co-production took well over a decade to produce and has been awarded at the East Doc Platform; it is the story of people living and working at one of Russia’s landfills. Hanna Polak, nominated for an Academy Award® in 2005 for her film Dzieci z Leningradzkiego (The Children of Leningradsky), focuses on one of the inhabitants of this landfill, following the protagonist in her high and low moments. The project was presented at the first edition of Docs to go!. Marzenie Julii (Something Better to Come) has also been selected for screening in the DOC U Competition, which features awards presented by a youth jury.



The second film selected for screening in the festival’s Main Competition is Królowa ciszy (The Queen of Silence), a Polish-German co-production directed by Agnieszka Zwiefka. This project, developed within the DOK.Incubator and Dok.Restart programmes and presented at the third edition of Docs to go!, is the story of ten-year-old Denisa, an illegal immigrant living in Poland. Though she has never been diagnosed with any impairment, the girl does not speak – a fact that makes her an outcast among her peers. Denisa lives in her own world – a world filled with music, dance, and a fascination with Bollywood. Królowa Ciszy (The Queen of Silence) has been co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and Odra-Film. The IDFA screening will mark the film’s world premiere.

Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

Among films selected for screening in the festival’s International Competition for Mid-Length Documentary is Mój przyjaciel wróg (My Friend the Enemy), a film directed by Wanda Kościa and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The film focuses on Polish and Ukrainian neighbours, on the Volyn massacre, and on the Ukrainians who opposed their countrymen and helped save their Polish neighbours. Further details about the film are available here.

IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

Niewidzialne (Invisible), a film directed by Zofia Pręgowska and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, will screen in the IDFA Competition for Student Documentary. This student film, produced at the Warsaw Film School, focuses on ninety-year-old Krystyna. She lives alone in a small flat, surrounded by books and dozens of handwritten notebooks, in which she jots down her poems. This perhaps would not be particularly extraordinary if it wasn’t for the fact that Krystyna is almost completely blind. With help from others, she is able to share her vision of the world – a world that does not cease to amaze her.

Music Documentary Section

In the festival’s Music Doc section, IDFA audiences will have an opportunity to see Sekret orkiestry (The Breath of the Orchestra), a documentary about the legendary Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and its founder Frans Brüggen, directed by Katarzyna Kasica, and Penderecki. Droga przez labirynt (Paths Through the Labyrinth – The Composer Krzysztof Penderecki), a Polish-German co-production about Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, directed by Anna Schmidt and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Films screening in the Music Documentary section will be competing for an audience award.

Best of Fests

IDFA’s Best of Fests section showcases a selection of the best documentaries from international festivals around the world; this year’s lineup features Efekt domina (The Domino Effect), a film directed by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The film has received acclaim at a number of festivals, including Visions du Réel, Budapest, DokuFest, and the Golden Apricot festival. 

Other Festival Sections

The lineup of this year’s IDFA festival also features Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point), a film directed by Michał Szcześniak and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Produced within the framework of the Munk Studio’s ‘First Documentary’ programme, Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point) will screen in IDFA’s Panorama section. The festival’s Paradocs section will feature two documentaries by Marcel Łoziński: Jak żyć (How to Live; 1977) and Egzamin dojrzałości (Matriculation; 1979), as well as RekonGrodek (Rekongrodek), a Polish-German co-production directed by Devin Horan and Margherita Malerba.

Top Festival for Documentary Filmmakers

IDFA is one of the top events in the world of documentary filmmaking, bringing together hundreds of professionals from around the world every year. The Docs for Sale market is an integral of the IDFA festival, presenting no less than 450 titles every year. Another key part of IDFA is its Forum, serving as an umbrella for numerous industry events, including pitching sessions, lectures, and panel discussions.


Further details about the festival are available at www.idfa.nl.


Paulina Bez


Translated by Karolina Kołtun