The Polish Cultural Institute in London is proud to confirm the full programme for the special 20th Anniversary Kinoteka Polish Film Festival 2022. Taking place from 9th March to 3rd April 2022, the Festival will not only screen in some of London’s premier and most popular venues, including the ICA and BFI Southbank, but this year, a select number of titles will play at Edinburgh’s prestigious Filmhouse cinema.
As always, Kinoteka will bring an eclectic mix of films across all genres from drama, comedy, social issues and documentary through to classics and will showcase the very best that Polish cinema has to offer. In addition to screenings, there will also be special events such as Q&As and even a short crash course in Polish Film studies, so there is literally something for everybody to enjoy. Watch the official Festival trailer here:
A highlight of the 20th Anniversary celebrations will see the Festival join forces with the BFI to bring 10 of Poland’s best known, classic films to the public, to mark the important contribution that Polish films have made to World Cinema over the years. These newly digitized films will be made available to view via BFI Player from 11th March right through to 7th April. It will give UK audiences the unique chance to watch some rarely seen but major works in the comfort of their own home by some of Poland’s most renowned and award-winning directors. These films come from two of Poland’s most important film studios – KADR and Zebra Film Studio – and include award-winning ‘IDENTIFICATION MARKS: NONE’, Jerzy Skolimowski’s first film which brought him to the world’s attention; Andrzej Wajda’s Oscar-nominated ‘THE YOUNG LADIES OF WILKO’; Andrzej Żuławski’s cult science fiction masterpiece ‘ON THE SILVER GLOBE’ and Agnieszka Holland’s politically explicit and forever powerful ‘FEVER’. It’s an opportunity not to be missed to see all these films either for the very first time or to view and savour them once again.
CLOSING NIGHT GALA
The Closing Night film, taking place at the BFI Southbank, will be director Ernst Lubitsch’s acclaimed 1924 black and white silent ‘FORBIDDEN PARADISE’, with a lovingly restored digital master by MoMA and The Film Foundation, funded by the George Lucas Family Foundation. The film stars Lubitsch’s muse, the legendary Polish actress Pola Negri and is the first time the newly restored version of the film will screen in the UK. It will be accompanied by live music with a score specially composed by Marcin Pukaluk. Negri shines as Catherine the Czarina who has the ability to make men go weak at the knees in this humorous historical romp.
NEW POLISH CINEMA
Despite the global pandemic, the film industry is alive and well in Poland thanks to the dedication and determination of the new filmmakers whose work is set to become the classic films for the next generation of filmgoers. The Opening Night film, Agnieszka Woszczyńska’s magnificent ‘SILENT LAND’ is a testament to this and it is already making a stir on the festival circuit, receiving plaudits from the critics and public alike. Also spearheading this strand of New Polish Cinema is Poland’s entry for this year’s Oscars ‘LEAVE NO TRACES’, Jan P. Matuszyński’s award-winning and shocking story of police brutality in communist Poland set in 1983. Other films in this strand include’25 YEARS OF INNOCENCE’, a huge box office hit in Poland, ‘THE IN-LAWS’, a black comedy with great critical acclaim and ‘SONATA’, the inspirational, true story of a deaf pianist which won the Audience Award and Best Debut Actor at the Gdynia Polish Film Festival. ‘1970’ is a compelling documentary looking at political unrest during that time when a series of strikes and riots took place against the communist government in Poland. The film draws upon archival photography, recently-discovered telephone conversations and stop-motion animation to give a new understanding of what actually happened and why. This screening will be followed by the Q&A with director Tomasz Wolski.
SPECIAL VIRTUAL REALITY EVENT
Audiences are in for a treat with the Virtual Reality experience ‘NIGHTSSS’’, which is being showcased in partnership with the ICA. This immersive, sensory-kinetic, virtual experience premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021 and will plunge the viewers deep into a twilight world as they’re invited to explore their natural surroundings in what will be an unforgettable experience.
SPECIAL SCREENINGS AT JW3
JW3 is to screen two outstanding and incredibly powerful films during the Festival. Ryszard Brylski’s ‘THE DEATH OF ZYGIELBOJM’ tells the true and little known story of the tragic fate of Szmul Zygielbojm, an exiled Jewish political activist who committed suicide in London in 1943 to draw attention to the plight of Jews in Europe. Seen through the eyes of a child called Tomek, Konrad Aksinowicz’s moving and raw ‘BACK TO THOSE DAYS’ looks at his life with an alcoholic father, who eventually destroys his family life and childhood.
THE DEATH OF ZYGIELBOJM
CRASH COURSE IN POLISH CINEMA
This unique course is a collaboration between the Polish Cultural Institute in London and the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Open Learning, The course will look at selected Polish directors, film movements and other areas associated with cinema and film distribution to give an overview of the Polish film industry from the past and today. The first two videos from the course on the Polish School of Posters and Genre Cinema and Beyond will be soon available to access online.