Six Polish Films in Karlovy Vary

Kebab i Horoskop, photo by Jacek Drygała


July 4 marked the launch of the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The festival lineup features six films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

East of the West Competition

One of twelve films in the lineup of the East of the West competition section, which presents films by first – and second-time directors from Central and Eastern Europe, is Kebab i Horoskop, the feature debut from director Grzegorz Jaroszuk, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The film stars Bartłomiej Topa and Piotr Żurawski, with supporting performances by Andrzej Zieliński, Justyna Wasilewska and Tomasz Schuchardt. Kebab i Horoskop was produced by MD4, with world sales handled by New Europe Film Sales. The winner in last year’s East of the West competition was Płynące wieżowce (Floating Skyscrapers), a film by Tomasz Wasilewski who this year will be one of the members of the jury.

Kebab i Horoskop

Kebab i Horoskop is an extraordinary story about a group of individualists who work for a carpet store that is going out of business. They search for love and clumsily fight loneliness. When the boss and shop owner decides to save the failing business, the carpet salesmen are confronted with two conmen known as Kebab and Horoskop, posing as marketing specialists.

A Screening of Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei (Wałęsa. Man of Hope)

The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will also feature a screening of Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei (Wałęsa. Man of Hope), the latest film by Andrzej Wajda, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The screening will be attended by Lech Wałęsa and actors Robert Więckiewicz and Agnieszka Grochowska. During 3 festival days (5-7.07) the film will be also available at the Czech VOD platforms: VOYO and AEROVOD.

Ida in Horizons

Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida, a film co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, will screen in the festival’s Horizons section. This section of Karlovy Vary is dedicated to “recent productions from around the world, including award-winning films from major festivals.” To date, Ida has received awards at film festivals in Toronto, London and Warsaw. The film has been released theatrically in Argentina, the United States, Italy, France, Belgium, and Australia.


A young nun learns that she is Jewish; she had been christened as a child in an effort to save her from the Holocaust. Together with her only surviving relative, a communist removed from power, she travels to her hometown. It is a journey in search of identity, love, and forgiveness. Although the story is set in 1961, the film itself is not meant to be accusatory; Pawlikowski’s focus was not history, but rather the human condition.

Polish Short Films in The Fresh Selection – The Promising Six

The programme of this year’s edition of the festival also features a selection of short films by young filmmakers. The lineup of The Fresh Selection – The Promising Six includes two Polish films. Karlovy Vary audiences will have an opportunity to see Zabicie ciotki by Mateusz Głowacki (Radio and Television Department of the University of Silesia in Katowice) and Szwedzka robota by Paweł Ziemilski (Łódź Film School). Both films have been co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Obietnica (The Word) in Another View

Obietnica (The Word), a film directed by Anna Kazejak and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, has been selected by Karlovy Vary programmers to screen in Another View, a festival section dedicated to “films displaying unusual artistic approaches.” Obietnica (The Word) is a psychological drama about the teenage love of high school students Lila and Janek. The film is set in Szczecin and based on real events. The screenplay was written by Anna Kazejak and Magnus von Horn. This project, produced by Opus Film, was presented at the Berlinale Co-Production Market in 2012. The film had its world premiere at the 64th Berlin IFF, screening in the Generation14plus competition.

Works in Progress 2014

‘Works in Progress’ is a series of workshops and film presentations. One of its sections entitled Docu Talents from the East features special meetings for documentary filmmakers. The ‘Works in Progress’ programme is aimed at finding sales agents and distributors for selected films. ‘Works in Progress’ is also a type of pitching session and a chance to present a given film (recently completed or still in post-production) at other international film festivals. Films from the Czech Republic, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Poland are eligible for participation in the ‘Works in Progress’ panel.


Among the 15 titles screened at ‘Works in Progress’ this year, Polish cinema will be represented by two titles: Podróż do Rzymu (Journey to Rome) by Tomasz Mielnik and Czerwony Pająk (Red Spider) by Marcin Koszałka. The Docu Talents from the East section will feature following Polish projects: Love Express. Niezwykły przypadek Waleriana Borowczyka (Love Express. The Strange Case of Walerian Borowczyk) by Kuba Mikurda and Reporter by Magdalena Szymków. Within the framework of the Industry section events will take place a case study of the film Gottland co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.


The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival runs from July 4 through July 12.


Further details are available at:


Marta Sikorska