Polish Films at 67th Cannes IFF


May 14 marked the launch of the 67th Cannes International Film Festival. The festival lineup features a number of events involving Polish cinema, as well as several films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Fragmenty, a graduation film by Agnieszka Woszczyńska, a feature co-production between Argentina, Poland and France entitled Refugiado (Polish title: Pod ochroną), lensed by Wojciech Staroń and Niebieski pokój, an animated film by Tomasz Siwiński, are screened at sections Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight) and Semaine de la Critique (Critics’ Week). All three films have been co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Fragmenty in Directors’ Fortnight

Agnieszka Woszczyńska’s graduation film Fragmenty, produced by the Łódź Film school in co-production with AT Productions and Before My Eyes, will screen in the Directors’ Fortnight short film competition. The film stars Agnieszka Żulewska and Dobromir Dymecki, with supporting performances by Sławomir Orzechowski, Sebastian Stankiewicz, Katarzyna Wajda, and Tomasz Borkowski. The film was lensed by Bartosz Świniarski.

A Film About a Shattering World

According to the creators of Fragmenty, “[the film] is a collection of loosely tied scenes that deal with the break-up of a relationship and the main protagonist trying to hold on to a world that is shattering. Anna and her partner live a comfortable life; they have well-paying jobs, they eat at upscale restaurants, they have passionate sex, and enjoy morning jogs. But their urban lifestyle and the monotony that seems to have no end have Anna rotting on the inside.”

Fragmenty Screening Dates:

  • May 23, 14.00 Theatre Croisette
  • May 24, 16.00 Studio 13

A Film Lensed by Wojciech Staroń and Co-Financed by the Polish Film Institute

One of 19 feature films from around the world selected for screening at this year’s Directors’ Fortnight is Refugiado (Polish title: Pod ochroną), a film directed by Argentine director Diego Lerman, lensed by Wojciech Staroń and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The film’s Polish producer is Małgorzata Staroń of Staron-Film. According to the filmmakers, “Refugiado is an urban road movie and a type of family thriller [that] tells the story of a mother and son fleeing their unpredictable husband and father. The victim of the conflict between his parents is seven-year-old Matias, who tries his best to protect the world he knows. An exceptionally simple and moving film about hidden violence in the family as seen through the eyes of a child.”

“Refugiado” (“Pod ochroną”) Screening Dates:

  • May 18, 12:00 Theatre Croisette
  • May 18, 20:30 Theatre Croisette
  • May 19, 11:30 Cinema les Arcades
  • May 19, 21.30 Studio 13
  • May 21, 16:00 Cinema Alexandre III

A Competition for Avant-Garde Cinema

The Directors’ Fortnight competition was created by the French directors’ guild after the events of May 1968 and screens films by young and promising filmmakers. Since its inception, this section has always focused on bold, avant-garde films. It was in the Directors’ Fortnight that some of the greatest masters of auteur cinema presented their first films, including Werner Herzog, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Ken Loach, Jim Jarmusch, Jerzy Skolimowski, the Dardenne brothers, and Michael Haneke. The Directors’ Fortnight section has several awards: the SACD Prize, the Label Europa Cinemas, the Art Cinema Award, and the Illy Prize for Best Short Film.

Polish Presence in Directors’ Fortnight

Films that screened at past editions of the Directors’ Fortnight include Cztery noce z Anną (Four Nights with Anna) by Jerzy Skolimowski, Code Blue by Urszula Antoniak, Portret z pamięci, a short film by Marcin Bortkiewicz, and The Congress by Ari Folman. This year’s Directors’ Fortnight will feature two screenings of Fragmenty. Screening dates will be announced in early May.

Niebieski pokój in Critics’ Week

Niebieski pokój, a Polish-French animated film directed by Tomasz Siwiński and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, will screen in the Cannes festival’s Semaine de la Critique (Critics’ Week). The film was produced by Sacrebleu Productions and the Łódź-based SE-MA-FOR. Niebieski pokój was made using classic painting animation complemented by digital processing and 3D graphics. According to the creators of Niebieski pokój, “a man wakes up in a blue room. He has no idea how he got there, or how to get out. His only connection to the outside world is the window. Over time, the things he sees through that window become increasingly extraordinary.”


Critics’ Week is a Cannes festival section that also featured first films by such acclaimed directors as Bernardo Bertolucci, Wong Kar Wai, Guillermo del Toro, Kevin Smith, François Ozon, and Gaspar Noé. The section is dedicated to films by first- and second-time directors that were not previously screened at film festivals outside the country of production. Among submitted films, the festival team selects seven feature films to screen in competition. Tomasz Siwiński’s film is one of ten short and medium length films to screen at this year’s Cannes Critics’ Week. In 2010, this festival section featured Turysta, a film by Matej Subieta (produced by SF Odeon and starring Stanisław Brudny and Anna Milewska).

Niebieski pokój Screening Dates:

  • May 17, 14:00 Espace Miramar
  • May 18, 20:00 Espace Miramar
  • May 20, 18:30 Théâtre Allexandre III

Przypadek (Blind Chance) in Cannes Classics

A digitally remastered copy of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Przypadek (Blind Chance; 1981) will screen in the prestigious Cannes Classics section of the 67th Cannes International Film Festival. The film’s digital remastering was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Further details are available here.

Przypadek (Blind Chance) Screening Dates:

  • May 15, 19:30 Grand Théâtre Lumière – Salle Buñuel

Polish-Danish Producers’ Meeting in Cannes

On May 18, the Polish Stand (Grand Hotel, La Croisette 45, 9th floor) at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival will host a meeting for Polish and Danish film producers. The event will feature a number of one-on-one meetings to present projects by Polish and Danish producers looking for co-producers. Showcased projects include feature films, documentaries, and animated films. The Polish-Danish producers’ meeting in Cannes is organized by the Polish Film Institute and the Danish Film Institute.


Further details about the event are available here.

15th Edition of ‘Producers on the Move’

Polish producer Mikołaj Pokromski (Pokromski Studio) is one of the participants in this year’s ‘Producers on the Move’ programe, which takes place during the 67th Cannes IFF. The 15th edition of the ‘Producers on the Move’ programme, organized in Cannes by European Film Promotion, will be attended by 24 young producers from across Europe. Participation in the programme is aimed at networking among young film professionals, a group with an increasing role in European cinema. Polish participants in past editions of ‘Producers on the Move’ include Agnieszka Kurzydło (2013), Marta Plucińska (2012), Łukasz Dzięcioł (2011), and Kamila Polit (2010).


Further details available at: www.efp-online.com.

Polish Short Films at the Short Film Corner

Polish films will also screen at the 11th Short Film Corner in Cannes. The ‘Polish Shorts’ lineup includes twelve titles, including Zabicie ciotki by Mateusz Głowacki, Do serca twego by Ewa Borysewicz, Lewa połowa twarzy by Marcin Bortkiewicz and Lost Senses by Grupa Smacznego. The ‘Films by Munk Studio’ programmes features another six titles (including Chłopcy by Paweł Orwat and Odwiedziny by Matej Bobrik), while the presentation of ‘The 2014 Best Films of the Łódź Film School’ features seven projects, including the animated short Nieprawdopodobnie elastyczny człowiek by Karolina Specht and Dom opieki by Jakub Stolecki.


Further details available at: www.cannescourtmetrage.com/en

Marche du Film

Five Polish films will screen at this year’s Cannes Film Market: Psie Pole (Field of Dogs) by Lech Majewski, Kamienie na szaniec (Stones for the Rampart) by Robert Gliński, Chce się żyć (Life Feels Good) by Maciej Pieprzyca, Jack Strong by Władysław Pasikowski and Karuzela by Robert Wichrowski. All five films were co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.


Further details about the Cannes Film Market available at: www.marchedufilm.com/en

Polish Stand

This year’s Polish stand in Cannes is located on the 9th floor of the Grand Hotel, La Croisette 45. This will be the meeting place for representatives of the Polish Film Institute, producers and partners with international industry reps, festival programmers, world sales agents, distributors, and foreign press. The Polish stand is organized in partnership with Film Commission Poland, Opus Film, Akson Studio, New Europe Film Sales, the Kraków Film Commission, the Wrocław Film Commission, the Łódź Film Commission, the City of Gdańsk, DiFactory, and the EKRAN International Programme.

Further details about the Cannes Film Festival available at: www.festival-cannes.com/en.html


Marta Sikorska


Translated by Karolina Kołtun