"Świteź" Wins at Palm Springs



The animated film Świteź (The Lost Town of Świteź) by Kamil Polak received the Grand Prize in the Animated Film Competition at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, which closed on June 27.

The Lost Town of Świteź, a film adaptation of the romantic era ballad by Adam Mickiewicz, is a 20-minute long animated film, combining 3D computer animation technology with classic animation based on traditional painting techniques. The film tells the story of a mysterious lake and the enchanted medieval city that lies on its 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.


The Lost Town of 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 development process of The Lost Town of Świteź, from idea to finished project, lasted seven years. The film was produced by the Warsaw-based CG studio Human Ark.


Over 3,000 films were submitted for this year’s edition of the Palm Springs film festival. 331 films were selected for screening in the festival’s 18 sections. As a winner in its category, The Lost Town of Świteź is eligible for an Academy Award nomination. Other films competing for the award for best animated film included Maska (The Mask) by the Quay brothers, and Dwa kroki za (Two Steps Behind) by Paulina Majda.


Festival audiences could also enjoy the short feature Przyjdź do mnie (Come to Me) by Ewa Banaszkiewicz, and two films directed by Paweł Maślona: Zaćmienie and Tylko dla obłąkanych.

The Palm Springs festival is North America’s largest and most acclaimed animated film festival. The event’s 16 editions featured a total of 80 films that went on to receive Academy Award nominations. In addition to film screenings, the festival is home to a film market, where sales agents from around the world seek out new talented filmmakers. 


The award at Palm Springs is not the first success of The Lost Town of Świteź. The film has previously received the grand prize at Las Palmas, the Jean-Luc Xiberras award for best debut at the Annecy Film Festival, and the Silver Hobby-Horse at the 51st Krakow Film Festival. The Lost Town of Świteź also screened in the Short Film Competition at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.


The film was produced with financial support from the Polish Film Institute.


Further details available on the festival website: www.psfilmfest.org.


Translated by Karolina Kołtun