In Birmingham Polish and British cinema-goers will have a unique opportunity to watch award-winning Polish movie productions (both full length and short) from recent years as well as to see exhibitions of best Polish movie posters.
We are delighted with the fact that during the show of “Little Rose” by Jan Kidawa-Blonski the auditorium was full, says the festival’s chairman Mateusz Jarza, the director of Polish Art Europe, the non-profit organisation which promotes Polish culture and art in the UK, commenting the previous course of the festival events. We believe that both Polish and British viewers will come to see next shows, he adds.
Festival events in Birmingham will be inaugurated by a screening of Black (2009) directed by Dominik Matwiejczyk (19th August) – a laureate of a Special Jury Award during independent cinema competition on Polish Movies Festival in Gdynia. Czarny (Black) is a 30-year-old man from a big city who visits his home village after many years of absence. The main character wants to find a desired peace and quiet in a place where his mother suffered from a nervous breakdown while his father committed a suicide after he had set fire to a church. Worth mentioning is the acting of leading Polish actors of the young generation, including Mateusz Damiecki – who was awarded during the Festival of Independent Films – as well as Maria Niklinska, an actress nominated to this award.
Another film screened during the festival is Horizontal 8 directed by Grzegorz Lipiec (25th August). The main character of this futuristic picture – the action takes place in the undefined future – wakes up with an amnesia in a hotel room. He finds a pistol and a great amount of money there. Then he throws a “rain of money” out of the terrace. It all happens in a small town in which people panic as they expect a terrorist bomb attack. In this astonishing plot there are casual themes regarding lives of such people as: an antiterrorist, a grave digger, a priest, an orphanage headmaster and a man from India – their fates intertwine thanks to a Polish 100 Euro banknote with an image of John Paul II.
The audience will undoubtedly be attracted by a project Decalogue 89+Vol.1 and Vol.2 made on the 20th anniversary of the première of the “Dekalog” [The Decalogue] cycle by Krzysztof
Kieslowski. Decalogue 89+ is a cycle of ten stories, ten films made by ten directors and no spectator can pass by them indifferently. The project has been created thanks to efforts of thousands of young people who sent their short stories for a literary competition as well as several dozen of film artists competing for an opportunity to make their own film. It is a reaction of ambitious people to a worldwide known cycle of Krzysztof Kieslowski. As in case of the original, Dekalog 89+ consists of short stories made by brilliant directors and with the great acting of: Globisz, Golebiewski, Bonaszewski, Biedrzynska. Two parts of the project will be shown in Birmingham on 3rd and 9th September.
The programme of Polish film industry festival in the capital of West Midlands will also include an interesting Film Mountain (Filmowa Góra) project, during which the audience will have a unique opportunity to see carefully selected student etudes as well as the gems of Polish animation and experimental documentary.
The hit of the festival programme will be a cycle of thematic and monographic exhibitions of Polish film posters. The festival guests will have an exceptional opportunity to see posters created for Hungarian and American films. During monographic exhibitions they will also have a chance to admire works of Jakub Erol. The admission will be free and the visitors will have a chance to take part in numerous discussion panels.
All festival events in Birmingham will take place in Midland Art Centre.
Our aim was to prepare a diverse programme which could be attractive for a great number of viewers, including both connoisseurs and ordinary cinema-goers, says Alicja Kaczmarek, the director of Polish Expats Association, an organisation which has been responsible for organising the events in Birmingham. Our dream is that the festival could give Polish film artists an opportunity to visit the UK more often, she adds.
After almost two months Play Poland Film Festival will also be held in other parts of the UK – in Belfast from 15th September, in Oxford in October and November. The last stop is Liverpool – from September to December.
The festival is supported by numerous prestigious institutions and culture patrons, among others: the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh, Richard Demarco – one of the most prominent Scottish critics of the contemporary art, professor Zbigniew Pelczynski from Pembroke College University of Oxford, Steve Woods – a film artist and a lecturer at IDAT National Film School in Dun Laoghaire, Aidan Hickey – a member of Cartoon European Association of Animation Film and Huston School of Film in Galway.
More information about the programme of the event, places of film screenings and availability of the tickets can be found on a website: www.playpoland.org.uk and festival’s fan page on Facebook.
Among the media partners of the festival are: Dziennik Polski, Emigrant, Emito.net, Filmweb.pl, Glasgow24.pl, Goniec Polski, Ipla, KobietaWUK.Info, Londynek.net, Panorama, Polemi.co.uk, Polish Express, Szkocja.fm oraz TVP Kultura.