Ewa Puszczyńska and Radosław Śmigulski on the Variety 500 list

Film producer Ewa Puszczyńska and Director of the Polish Film Institute Radosław Śmigulski were included in the prestigious list of the most influential people in the media industry, published for the fourth time by the American magazine Variety. Most of the world’s leaders in this industry come from the USA, Great Britain, China, France and Italy. All the distinguished people from the media industry can be seen here:

Polish productions in Contenders International

Co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, the films „Never Gonna Snow Again” by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert and „Kill It and Leave This Town” by Mariusz Wilczyński took part in Contenders International along with 20 other films from different countries. The event was organized by Deadline. Contenders is one of the most important and prestigious events that kicks off the awards season in the United States and is an important part of any Oscar campaign. Contenders International, which is held for the first time, was a presentation of selected foreign titles that are competing for the American Academy Awards.

Panel with filmmakers of „Never Gonna Snow Again”

Co-financed by the Polish Film Institute „Never Gonna Snow Again” was presented during Deadline Virtual Screening Series. After that there was a discussion with filmmakers: Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert. Their movie is Poland’s entry for this year’s Oscar in the Best International Feature Film category. Filmmaking duo Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert revealed in conversation with Tom Grater that the main character (in that role – Alec Utgoff) of „Never Gonna Snow Again” was inspired by a masseur friend of theirs. They decided to use this personality in the story of their film. Szumowska and Englert’s background growing up in Poland under Soviet rule, and also in relatively close proximity to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, also influenced the project.

Polish Film Festival in Australia online

More than 30 films in 10 days – that is a programme of the Polish Film Festival-Summer 2021. For the first time it will be available online for free for the audience throughout Australia at Festival takes place between 22 and 31 January 2021. According to organisers opinion, the programme is a unique selection of Polish films from the past decade, which will undoubtedly arouse interest of a diverse group of viewers. It offers movies like „The Legions” (dir. Dariusz Gajewski), „Black Mercedes” (dir. Janusz Majewski), „The Messenger” (dir. Władysław Pasikowski) or „The Servants of War” (dir. Mariusz Gawryś). Many of these films were nominated for international awards.

„25 years of innocence” awarded in Genoa and Tallinn

Co-financed by the Polish Film Institute „25 years of innocence” received two awards at the Festival Nuovo Cinema Europain Genoa.Its director Jan Holoubek got also a First Feature Competition Special Jury Prize at the Black Nights Film Festival in Tallinn. Jan Holoubek’s film has already received two awards at the 45. Polish Film Festival, for directing debut and the main male role (Piotr Trojan). During the 39th Koszalin Festival of Young Film Debuts and Film „25 years of innocence” was awarded for the best director (Jan Holoubek), the best actor (Piotr Trojan), the best screenplay (Andrzej Gołda), the best cinematography (Bartłomiej Kaczmarek) and the Audience Award. Then it won the Director’s Debuts Competition and got a Special Mention in the Polish Films Competition during teh EnergaCAMERIMAGE.

„Kill It and Leave This Town” won the Polish Film Festival

For the first time in the history of the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, the award for the best film – Golden Lions received a full-length animation directed by Mariusz Wilczyński – „Kill It and Leave This Town”. Silver Lions were awarded to the film „Sweat” by Magnus von Horn. Festival, which organiser is Polish Film Institute, was held online. The winners of the Golden and Silver Lions, as well as individual prizes in the Main Competition were awarded by the Jury composed of: Lech Majewski (chairman of the jury), Grażyna Błęcka-Kolska, Marcin Lenarczyk, Ryszard Lenczewski, Dorota Masłowska, Jan P. Matuszyński, Cezary Pazura and Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska. The Grand Prize „Golden Lions” for the best film „Kill it and leave this town” went to director Mariusz Wilczyński and producers: Ewa Puszczyńska and Agnieszka Ścibior.The „Silver Lions” award for the film „Sweat” went to director Magnus von Horn and producer Mariusz Włodarski. The „Golden Claw” award in the „Visions Apart” category for the film „Magnesium” went to director Maciej Bochniak and producers: Leszek Bodzak and Aneta Hickinbotham.

„Prime Time” at the Sundance Film Festival

Jakub Piątek’s debut – „Prime Time” starring Bartosz Bielenia and Magdalena Popławska, is to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Production – co-financed by the Polish Film Institute – will compete against nine feature films in the World Cinema Dramatic competition. Founded by Robert Redford more than forty years ago, the festival that celebrates independent cinema has turned into one of the most important film events worldwide. This is the place where Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky and Jim Jarmusch started their careers, and the films such as „Reservoir Dogs”, „Little Miss Sunshine” and „Whiplash” attracted attention of a wider audience. It was at this festival that Agnieszka Smoczyńska received the Special Jury Award for „The Lure” four years ago, and in 2019, Krystyna Janda was awarded for her role in „Dolce fina giornata” directed by Jacek Borcuch. Next edition will be between January, 28th till February, 3rd 2021. Films will be shown on online platform and on special screenings in partnership with independent cinema communities across the U.S. and beyond to safely host in-person events.

Agnieszka Holland elected new EFA president

Polish director Agnieszka Holland has been elected new president of the European Film Academy. She is the first woman in the history of this international organization with over 3.8 thousand members. Holland will replace the German director Wim Wenders who has held this position since 1996. Agnieszka Holland was elected in a vote in which all EFA members could participate. Previously, she had already held an important position at the Academy – between 2014-2019 she was the chairman of its management board. – The time is challenging and to save the creative power of independent cinema and the involvement of our audience, we need to use all our experience and imagination. I believe there is an important role for EFA here and I am happy to be part of it – said Agnieszka Holland after the announcement of the voting results.

„Charlatan” by Agnieszka Holland is a Czech candidate for the Oscar

Co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, Agnieszka Holland’s „Charlatan” was announced a Czech candidate for the Oscar in the Best International Feature Film category. It will compete for the nomination, among others with the films „Never Gonna Snow Again” (Poland), „Aida” (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and „Oblivion” (Greece). „Charlatan” is a Czech-Polish-Irish co-production whose world premiere took place at this year’s Berlinale. In turn, the picture „Never Gonna Snow Again” is the Polish candidate for an Oscar, and „Aida” is a co-production of eight countries: Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Norway, the Polish producer of which is Ewa Puszczyńska. The film „Oblivion” by Christos Nikou is a Greek-Polish co-production, shot by Bartosz Świniarski.

„Kill it and leave this town” awarded in Vienna

The animated feature film „Kill it and leave this town” by Mariusz Wilczyński won the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics FIPRESCI at 58th Viennale. This picture, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, opened the 20th International Film Festival New Horizons in Wroclaw, is in selection of Main Competition at the 45th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia and will compete for a nomination for the American Academy Awards in the Best Animated Feature category. The film’s world premiere took place at the Encounters competition at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival. The film received a jury award in the main competition of the 44th Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the main prize at the 44th International Animation Festival in Ottawa (OIAF). It also won the 11th Festival Cine Al Este de Lima in Peru.

„Sweat” won the Chicago International Film Festival

Co-financed by the Polish Film Institute „Sweat” won the main award in the International Feature Film Competition (Gold Hugo) at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival. The picture directed by Magnus von Horn also received Silver Hugo for the Best Art Direction (for Jagna Dobesz). The Best Screenplay Award went to Polish-Greek coproduction „Apples” directed by Christos Nikou. The picture by Katarzyna Warzecha „We Have One Heart” won the Documentary Short Film Competition.  „Sweat” appears in the official selection of the 73rd Cannes festival and received a special TIFF Industry Selects label in Toronto. Film, written and directed by Magnus von Horn, has opened 20th International Film Festival New Horizons in Wroclaw and goes to the Main Competition of the 45th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.

„Wall of shadows” won the Bergen Film Festival

Co-financed by the Polish Film Institute the latest film by Eliza Kubarska and Monika Braid – „Wall of shadows” awarded for the best documentary at the International Film Festival in Bergen. It had its world premiere at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto, but it was screened for the first time in Poland during the 17th edition of the Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival. It is a universal story about a clash of two cultures. The action takes place at the foot of the Himalayas, reaching almost 8,000 meters Kumbhakarna, also known as Jannu. For Western climbers it is one of the most difficult mountains in the world and a dream place to „conquer”, but for Nepalese Sherpas – one of the last holy mountains. According to local beliefs, its summit is inhabited by gods and people are not allowed to enter their area. However, the illiterate Nada decides to take part in the expedition. For 20 years he has been risking his life as a porter at high altitudes, hanging ropes on eight-thousanders. Now he wants to earn money for school for his youngest son – teenage Dawa – and thus save him from the dangerous work of a Himalayan porter. However, participating in an expedition to the sacred mountain is a taboo break.

Polish animation awarded in Cannes

Animation co-financed by the Polish Film Institute „My fat arse and I” directed by Yelyzaveta Pysmak won the second prize in the Cannes section – Cinéfondation 2020. Earlier this picture by student from the Film School in Łódź, received the Audience Award at the 36th Warsaw Film Festival. First prize of the 23rd Cannes Cinéfondation goes to „Catdog” directed by Ashmita Guha Neogi from India and joint third prize go to „Contraindications” directed by Lucia Chicos from Romania and „I want to return return return” directed by Elsa Rosengren from Germany. The winners will receive a €15,000 grant for the First Prize, €11,250 for the Second and €7,500 for the Third. The prizes have been awarded on the stage of the Grand Théâtre Lumière as part of „Cannes 2020 Special” by the members of jury comprised of Damien Bonnard, Rachid Bouchareb, Claire Burger, Charles Gillibert, Dea Kulumbegashvili and Céline Sallette.

13 projects at the US in Progress in Wroclaw

Nine American projects in post-production and four Polish projects in the development stage have been selected to participate in the US in Progress forum. The tenth edition of the co-production forum will be held online from November 11th to 13th 2020, as a part of the 11th edition of the American Film Festival in Wroclaw. US in Progress is organized with the support of The Polish Film Institute. The event aims to facilitate professional networking among European and Polish film professionals and independent filmmakers from the United States. Leading Polish sound and image studios provide in-kind awards of post-production service packages for the American projects: Coloroffon, Fixafilm, Orka, Maciej Zielinski and Soundflower Studio.

The nationwide social campaign „Cinema means emotions” has been launched

On September 4, the social campaign „Cinema means emotions” was launched in Poland. As part of the project, which aims to encourage people to return to cinemas, viewers can see emotional spots featuring film stars: Joanna Kulig and Marcin Dorociński, in which actors remind about the unique role of cinema in our lives. The campaign, under the patronage of the Polish Film Institute, is a joint initiative of the cinema chains: Cinema City, Helios, Multikino, as well as studio and local cinemas from all over Poland. Support was also provided by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Polish Producers’ Guild and the National Chamber of Audiovisual Producers. The entire Polish industry united in the campaign „Cinema means emotions”, which began on September 4 in cinemas, television and the Internet to remind us of the important role that cinema plays in our lives. This is a unique initiative: for the first time in history, all Polish cinemas unite in a joint action. The cinema operators  involved in the campaign include: Cinema City, Helios, Multikino and cinemas associated with the Network of Studio and Local Cinemas all over Poland. The project is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The campaign is also supported by the Polish Producers Guild and the Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce.

Polish films start their pre-Oscar promotion with the support of the Polish Film Institute

The Polish Film Institute will provide promotional support to three Polish productions which will compete for the Academy Awards. In addition to „Never gonna snow again” by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, two other films will compete for the nomination: „Mr Jones” by Agnieszka Holland and „Kill It and Leave This Town” by Mariusz Wilczyński. All films are co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The image by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert „Never gonna snow again” is a Polish candidate for an Oscar in the Best International Feature category. On the other hand, Agnieszka Holland’s film „Mr Jones”, awarded with the Golden Lions at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, was submitted in the competition in the Best Film category. The third production is the film „Kill It and Leave This Town” awarded at the festival in Annecy, directed by Mariusz Wilczyński, who will fight for  a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category. Shortlist of candidates will be announced on February 9, 2021.

„Never gonna snow again” picked as Polish Oscar entry

Co-financed by the Polish Film Institutepicture „Never gonna snow again” directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englerthas been picked as Poland’s candidate for the best international feature film at the American Academy Awards. This decision by the Polish Oscar’s Commission presided by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek was announced on August 10th at a press conference in Warsaw. The film is set to premiere at this year’s Main Competition of the Venice Film Festival. It has also been officially selected to Telluride Film Festival, one of the most important film festivals in the USA.

Polish representatives at the Toronto Festival

The film „Quo vadis, Aida?”, produced by Ewa Puszczyńska  and the Indian film „The Disciple” with cinematography by Michał Sobociński, were among the 50 productions in the official program of the 45th Toronto International Film Festival. The event will be held on September 10-19 in a changed formula. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, traditional screenings (only during the first five days of the event) with a limited number of viewers will be held alongside drive-in screenings, digital screenings, virtual red carpets and remote conferences.

New film by Piotr Domalewski at the festival in San Sebastian

„I never cry”, the newest and second feature-length film by Piotr Domalewski, will take part in this year’s 68th San Sebastian International Film Festival. It will be shown in the Kutxabank-New Directors Award section. The film received a grant from the Polish Film Institute. The Spanish festival will be held on September 18-26. „I never cry” is included in section which presents debuts and second feature-length films by distinguished  artists. Its premiere is scheduled for September 25. Previously, it was shown as part of the Marche du Film in Cannes, as well as in the Works in Progress program in Karlovy Vary.

Changes to the 45th PFF: new date, new competition

The next Polish Film Festival in Gdynia will take place in December 2020 and will present the latest Polish films in three competition sections – decided the Organizing Committee of the Polish Film Festival. The 45th Polish  Film Festival will be held in Gdynia on December 8-12, 2020. This was the decision of the Organizing Committee at the meeting held on August 5, 2020, adopting the new regulations of the Polish  Film Festival.