Świteź" in Competition



Świteź (The Lost Town of Świteź) by Kamil Polak is the only Polish film in the lineup of the Berlinale Shorts competition at the upcoming 61st Berlin International Film Festival, which runs this year from February 10 through 20.

Maike Mia Höhne, curator of Berlinale Shorts, describes Świteź as “a deeply moving film.” The first competition screening at Berlinale on February 16 will mark the film’s world premiere.


Świteź, a film adaptation of the romantic era ballad by Adam Mickiewicz, is a 20-minute long animated film, combining digital 3D with CG animation and classic animation based on traditional painting techniques. Świteź tells the story of a mysterious lake with an enchanted medieval city resting on the lake bed. The story takes place on two time planes: the first being Mickiewicz’s contemporary age, the second being medieval times when, as legend has it, the town of Świteź found itself under water. Świteź is an apocalyptic tale of destruction, miracles, the eternal struggle between good and evil; a story about faith and hope.


Świteź imports elements of oil painting and tempera into 3D and combines means of classic animation technology with CG animation and visual effects. The unique aesthetic result was achieved using state-of-the-art techniques. The dramatic effect and rhythm of storytelling in Świteź is set to a specially-commissioned full choral and orchestral score, composed by Irina Bogdanovich.

The Świteź development process, from idea to finished project, lasted seven years. Originally intended as the director’s graduation film, the project continued to grow. Initial works were carried out at Se-ma-for, with additional Polish and foreign co-producers joining in at later stages of the process. The Warsaw-based CG studio Human Ark, specializing in 3D animation, became the film’s leading producer, and built a qualified team of graphic artists and animators.

The Berlin International Film Festival takes place annually and is one of the most important and prestigious film festivals in the world. Berlinale Shorts is the festival’s short film competition, organized annually since 1955.

This year’s edition of the competition will screen 25 films from 21 countries, which will be judged by an international jury. This year’s jury members include American photographer and director Nan Goldin, Israeli director and head of the Sam Spiegel Film School Renen Schorr, and Tunisian director and producer Ibrahim Letaief. The 25 selected projects will compete for the Golden and Silver Bear awards, as well as the European Film Academy award and DAAD scholarship.

Further details about Berlinale Shorts are available at www.berlinale.de


Press release


Translated by Karolina Kołtun