15th KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival in London
KINOTEKA is back! Taking place from 17 March to 5 April at venues across London, the 15th KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival is presented by the Polish Cultural Institute in London in partnership with Pola Arts Foundation, and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, sponsored by Lebara, Polaron and The Polish Bakery. The 15th KINOTEKA’s Offical Drinks Partner will be Dry Martini by Javier de las Muelas at Meliá and we are happy to have the Meliá White House as the Official Hotel Partner. Showcasing the best of Polish cinema and culture, the festival programme offers a diverse mix of award-winning and crowdpleasing films and documentaries, live performances, workshops, Q&As and special guests at the Barbican, BFI Southbank, Close-Up Cinema, ICA, London Film Academy, Regent Street Cinema and expanding to new screening partners Calvert 22 Foundation, POSK Jazz Café, Whitechapel Gallery and UCL.
As previously mentioned, this year’s KINOTEKA main retrospective programme is dedicated to the memory of Andrzej Wajda, the giant of post-war Polish cinema and unarguably the most influential and celebrated Polish filmmaker ever, who passed away last October. Described by Martin Scorsese, who has acknowledged his influence as “a master filmmaker”, Wajda was awarded an honorary Oscar® for five decades of directorial achievements in 2000, then continued to work for almost another two decades. Barbican, Close-Up Cinema and Calvert 22 Foundation present such classics including The Promised Land (1975) (26 March, Close-Up Cinema), Man of Iron (1981) (25 March, Close-Up Cinema), The Maids of Wilko (1979) (31 March, Calvert 22 Foundation), A Generation (1955) (2 April, Barbican) and Ashes and Diamonds (1958) (4 April, Barbican).
The festival opens with the UK premiere of the late Andrzej Wajda’s last film Afterimage (17 March, Regent Street Cinema), an insightful depiction of Władysław Strzemiński, the famous Polish avantgarde painter. As much a celebration of the brilliant work of one man, Wajda’s final film is a commentary on the inherent suffering of any true artist. Followed by a Q&A with Wajda’s long term creative collaborators; the Oscar-nominated Paweł Edelman (The Pianist), one of the most versatile Polish cinematographers working today, who has found success both in Poland and Hollywood, and producer Michał Kwieciński (Katyń), the founder and owner of Akson Studio, the hugely prosperous production company that has worked with the likes of Wajda, Jerzy Skolimowski and Márta Mészáros to name a few.
The Regent Street Cinema hosts KINOTEKA’s New Polish Cinema strand, showcasing the best of contemporary Polish cinema and representing a cross section of cinematic styles and genres. Jan P. Matuszyński’s acclaimed family drama The Last Family (2016) (18 March, RSC) takes the famous artistic Beksiński family as its inspiration and imagines what the dynamic between the members might have been over twenty-eight tumultuous years, through various trials and tribulations, love and death.
Blindness (2016) (19 March, RSC) by Ryszard Bugajski chronicles the dark true story of a Stalinist criminal Julia Brystiger whose predilection for torture earned her the eerie moniker ‘Bloody Luna’. Brystiger ended up renouncing communism, found salvation in religion and begged forgiveness for her sins. Bartosz M. Kowalski’s teen drama Playground (2016) (19 March, RSC) starts off as a sweet tale of a schoolgirl crush, only to morph into something wholly unexpected.
Prolific theatre and film actor, rising star Maciej Stuhr, who will be the festival’s special guest, can be seen in the light-hearted romantic comedy Planet Single (2016) (18 March, RSC), Poland’s answer to Love Actually and The Proposal, where he plays a charismatic TV personality who seemingly can get any woman he wants, as well as starring in acclaimed director Janusz Majewski’s swinging depiction of the 1950s Polish jazz scene, Eccentrics, The Sunny Side of the Street (26 March, RSC).
KINOTEKA favourite, director Michał Rosa returns to the festival with his latest film, Holocaust drama Happiness of the World (19 March, RSC). Labelled as Wes Anderson-esque for its meticulously crafted scenes and Silesia guesthouse setting full of weird and wonderful residents who each seem to live in their own fantastical realities, Happiness of the World is supported by UK Jewish Film. It is hoped that Michał Rosa will attend the festival and answer questions in a post-screening Q&A.
Cinematographer, screenwriter, documentary filmmaker and director, to name a few titles, Marcin Koszałka has twenty-seven awards to his name and one of the most well rounded careers in Polish cinema. His hands-on approach along with his meticulous attention to detail have made him a highly sought after collaborator. Koszałka has worked with Borys Lankosz on The Reverse (2009), Jacek Bromski on Entanglement (2011) and most recently with Michał Rosa on Happiness Of The World (2016). Koszałka is said to have a bit of an obsession about death and its ever-looming presence over life; highlighted in Declaration Of Immortality (2010) and User-Friendly Death (2007), perfect viewing for anyone who has the common morbid curiosity to learn about what actually happens in a crematorium.
Both films are showing at the ICA as part of KINOTEKA’s ‘Focus on Marcin Koszałka’ (22 March), screening four important documentaries from the boundary-pushing filmmaker, as well as the UK premiere of his acclaimed directorial feature film debut, The Red Spider (21 March, ICA). Loosely based on the serial killer (so-called Vampire of Kraków) who tormented Poland in the 1960s, Koszałka’s film is more of a thriller than biopic, exploring the evil tendencies of people and how they come to be the worst versions of themselves. If you haven’t discovered Marcin Koszałka’s talents already, get ready to dive into his macabre world.
Hubert Woroniecki has been working in the fashion industry since 1989 as a photo producer and modelling agent. In 1992 he was the head of the women’s department for Glamour models, Paris. A colourful feast for the eye, Woroniecki’s documentary, Casablancas: The Man Who Loved Women (2016) (18 March, RSC) gives an insider’s perspective on the world of modelling and the life of John Casablancas, the founder of Elite Model Management and the man who introduced supermodels to the world. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Hubert Woroniecki.
Wanda Jakubowska (1907-1998) made 14 feature films in a career spanning 50 years, yet apart from the international acclaim greeting The Last Stage (1948), the landmark Holocaust drama shot on the site of the actual Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where Jakubowska herself had been an inmate, she is barely known outside her native Poland, or even nowadays in it. The reasons are complex, but generally to do with her unwavering allegiance to Soviet communism. Lauded in the 1950s, her films fell out of fashion in the 1960s and were vilified as propaganda in the 1980s and 1990s as Poland emerged from the communist era.
It is clear however that Jakubowska was an extremely talented director and the new KINOTEKA strand ‘Undiscovered Masters of Polish Cinema’ offers audiences an opportunity to discover this unsung pioneer of Polish film who was one of the first and most historically important Polish female directors, and started her career in the 1930s. Her work has had a huge influence, especially the authenticity of The Last Stage on the Holocaust films that followed, including Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. The ICA screens The Last Stage (1 April) as well as a rare screening of her psychological drama Encounters In The Dark (1960) (2 April).
As previously announced, the Whitechapel Gallery (18 March) screens a selection of Polish films including seminal works from 1970s avant-garde artists such as Wojciech Bruszewski, Paweł Kwiek, Ryszard Waśko, as well as Arton Review, a project by the Arton Foundation in Warsaw in which Polish artists of the younger generation create film works inspired by the classics of Polish experimental filmmaking and video art. The KINOTEKA programme features works commissioned by Arton to date, such as Telepathy by Łukasz Jastrubczak, The Line by Agnieszka Lasota, ID by Karol Radziszewski, and is
accompanied by a discussion on these unique intergenerational artistic collaborations with Waśko, Kwiek, Lasota and Radziszewski.
Other one off KINOTEKA events is a screening of Janusz Zaorski’s Generations (2016) (20 March) at UCL. A full-length ‘docudrama’ made for the anniversary of Feature Film Studios (WFF), Generations uses fragments from 50 titles to tell the story of contemporary Poland and Polish Cinema. The fragments of films start with Andrzej Wajda’s A Generation (1955) and span works from Chęciński, Has, Kutz, Polański, Holland, Kieślowski, Marczewski and Zanussi to form a story about Poles from the times of the Nazi occupation, through to the period of Stalinist terror, the unfulfilled expectations of the Gierek Era, Martial Law and the elections of June 4th 1989. The Regent Street Cinema also screens Kościuszko at the Battle of Racławice (1938), Joseph Lejtes’ film, depicting one of the first battles of the Kościuszko Uprising against Russia.
In addition, there’s also a Kids Friendly screening of Tomasz Szafrański’s family adventure movie Adventurer’s Club (2015) at POSK Jazz Café (2 April). As part of the Wajda tribute season, KINOTEKA has partnered with cinema-supper club KinoVino and Calvert 22 Foundation to bring audiences a special screening of Andrzej Wajda’s stylish 1920s period drama, The Maids of Wilko (31 March). A successful young man returns home to a family of five women who were each in love with him. The film will be followed by a thematically linked dinner for ticket holders, created by renowned Polish food writer and cook, Zuza Zak.
KINOTEKA and The London Film Academy Studio return for an intensive 3-day programme (29-31 March) aimed at directors, writers and creative producers with proven experience (credits on shorts or first low-budget features), who are adapting source material for the screen / working on an adaption project. The ten selected filmmakers will participate in Q&As, practical lectures, workshops and masterclasses with industry professionals. Previous speakers have included Agnieszka Holland (In Darkness), Ivana MacKinnon (Slumdog Millionaire), Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida), Ben Blaine (Nina Forever) and Will Tennant (Imaginarium Studios, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). This year’s KINOTEKA Studio professionals will include Borys Lankosz, Polish documentary and feature filmmaker.
Oscar-nominated animator, director and master of digital SFX Tomasz Bagiński received the BAFTA for Best Short Animation in 2006 for Fallen Art. His skills in blending live action with animation have made him sought after in advertising, TV and gaming. Bagiński was destined to be a forerunner of Polish new media ever since he made his first film The Hunt at the maths department of Warsaw University where his father worked. Enrolling at the film school in Łódź only to find that he was ahead of their curve, and enrolling again in an architecture course while teaching himself computer animation in his spare time, Bagiński’s film The Cathedral (2002) was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Animated Film. KINOTEKA is delighted to invite Tomasz Bagiński to discuss his acclaimed cross-platform work at BFI Southbank (30 March).
KINOTEKA will celebrate Polish Animation with an extra special Closing Night Gala event at the Barbican on 5 April. The art-rock sextet British Sea Power will perform a specially commissioned live score alongside a selection of the best Polish animation-shorts chosen by the band, celebrating Polish Animation Classics. This unique evening will feature Yan Scott Wilkinson on vocals/guitar, Neil Hamilton Wilkinson on vocals/bass/guitar, Martin Noble on guitar/keyboards, Matthew Wood on drums, Abi Fry on viola/keyboards and Phil Sumner on keyboards/cornet/guitar.
Known for their weird and wonderful lyrics and their magnetic live performances, British Sea Power will be touring the UK this April to promote their sixth and latest studio album, Let The Dancers Inherit The Party. The acclaimed group have previously been responsible for a series of acclaimed film scores including Robert J Flaherty’s classic Man of Aran and Penny Woolcock’s From The Sea To The Land Beyond.
Win a weekend for two persons in Poznan
We would like to invite you to join us in celebrating the power of Polish cinema and have a chance to win* a getaway weekend for two in Poznań, to get a taste of Poland that you have seen in the films - enchanting and intense (direct economy flights from London, accommodation in Hotel Mercure Poznań Centrum and local public transport tickets included).
The rules are simple: buy online at least one ticket to a 15. Kinoteka screening in Regent Street Cinema and use the promo code #WEGOTOPOLAND to take part in a prize draw. One screening – one chance to win, two screenings double your chances! For a full list of 15.Kinoteka screenings in Regent Street Cinema go to T&C below.PS. Do not forget to share your memorable moments from Poznań on your social media using #wegotopoland #Poznan #Kinoteka2017. The prize is funded by Poznan Tourism Organization (www.poznan.travel) and Polish National Tourist Office (www.poland.travel).
*Terms and conditions apply. For T&C and a full list of eligible screenings, please read below.
15th Kinoteka competition Terms and Conditions:
1. The promoter is: Polish Cultural Institute based at 10 Bouverie Street, EC4Y 8AX London
2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over who are able to enter Poland with a valid travel document or a valid visa, except employees of Polish Cultural Institute, their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
3. A purchase is necessary to enter this competition.
4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
5. Details of how to enter can be found via http://kinoteka.org.uk/offers/weekend-getaway-in-poznan
6. Multiple entries from the same person will qualify only if they have purchased tickets for different 15. Kinoteka screenings in Regent Street Cinema.
7. Closing date for entry will be 26 March 2017. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
9. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:
A minimum of 1 ticket must be purchased online to one of the following screenings at Regent Street Cinema: Afterimage, Fri 17 March 2017, 7pm; The Last Family, Sat, 18 March 2017, 3pm; Casablancas: The Man Who Loved Women, Sat, 18 March 2017, 5:30pm; Planet Single, 18 March 2017, 8pm; Playground, Sun 19 March 2017, 3pm; Blindness Sun 19 March 2017 5pm; Happiness of the World Sun 19 March 2017, 7:30pm; Kościuszko at the Battle of Raclawice 26 March 2017 3:30pm; The Lure 26 March 2017 5:30pm; Eccentrics: The Sunny Side of the Street 26 March 2017 7:30pm. Tickets must be purchased directly through the Regent Street Cinema website. The promo code #WEGOTOPOLAND must be entered at checkout when prompted.
10. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
11. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
12. The prize is as follows:
-economy direct flights to Poznań for two persons from a selected by the Promotor London airport
-accommodation in Hotel Mercure Poznan Centrum for 2 persons for 2 consecutive nights
-2 tickets for local public transport (trams and buses) for the whole stay
-offer valid until 17 December 2017.
The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
13. Winners will be chosen:
from all eligible entries received and verified by Promoter by 27 March 2017.
14. The winner will be notified by email within 2 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 3 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
15. The promoter will notify the winner when and from where the prize can be collected / will be delivered.
16. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
17. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
18. Any photographic documentation from the trip to Poznan shared by a winner on personal social media should include the following description: #WEGOTOPOLAND #POZNAN #Kinoteka2017
19. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
20. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
21. The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing the following address: London.firstname.lastname@example.org
22. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
23. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other social network. You are providing your information to the Polish Cultural Institute and not to any other party.
24. Polish Cultural Institute shall have the right, at its sole discretion and at any time, to change or modify these terms and conditions, such change shall be effective immediately upon posting to this webpage.
25. Polish Cultural Institute also reserves the right to cancel the competition if circumstances arise outside of its control.