‘KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival takes place in London each spring. Organised by the Polish Cultural Institute in London, the festival celebrates the best of Polish cinema and culture. Each year audiences can enjoy a selection of film and documentary screenings, both classic and contemporary, as well as talks and Q&As with the filmmakers. A selection of interactive forums and classes is always on offer, as well as live music and art exhibitions. Welcome to 16th edition of Kinoteka Polish Film Festival !
Opening Night Gala: Focus on Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze
Commemorating the life and work of the late Polish director Krzysztof Krauze who passed away in 2014, and the collaborative partnership between Krzysztof with his wife and co-director Joanna Kos-Krauze, KINOTEKA opens at BFI Southbank on 7 March with the Opening Night Gala screening of the Krauzes’ last film together, Birds Are Singing in Kigali. The film, a study of what life is really like for two women who escape the genocide in Rwanda will be followed by a Q&A with director Joanna Kos-Krauze.
BFI Southbank continues its focus on the husband and wife team with screenings of the pairs’ acclaimed earlier works My Nikifor (2004) and Papusza (2013) (8 March, BFI Southbank), two biopics of Polish citizens who struggled throughout their whole lives and made lasting art in spite of the hardships, or perhaps even as a result. Plus onstage Q&As with Joanna Kos-Krauze that promise to offer an insight into The Krauzes’ unique creative relationship.
New Polish Cinema is a Woman
New Polish Cinema finds a home at ICA, JW3 and Regent Street Cinema, and this year Kinoteka audiences can enjoy a whopping ten new Polish films, half of which are directed by women! Wild Roses (15 March, JW3) by Anna Jadowska is a drama about a mother’s loneliness and her struggle to come to terms with the life she’s living, while Kasia Adamik’s Amok (10 March, Regent Street Cinema) follows the true story of a man who committed murder and then incriminated himself by writing a novel about it. On the other side of the spectrum there’s The Man With The Magic Box (9 March, Regent Street Cinema), Bodo Kox’s unique entry into the sci-fi cannon which manages to marry elements of Memento, Blade Runner and The Time Traveler’s Wife. The New Polish Cinema strand also includes The Art of Loving (11 March, Regent Street Cinema), the biopic of Polish sexologist Michalina Wislocka, who wrote the bestselling The Art of Love notes as the first published guide to sexual health in communist countries.
#PL100 – 100 Years of Polish Independence
2018 is a historic and significant year for Poland as it celebrates 100 Years since the country regained its independence. As part of this unique celebration, KINOTEKA brings you a hand-selected collection of films that were made less than 20 years after the emancipation of the country. This curated programme includes dramas, comedies and rare Polish silent films. Love Manoeuvres (1935) (11 March, Regent Street Cinema) follows two people who do what they can to get out of their arranged marriage, double-billed with Is Lucyna A Girl? (1934) about a young woman who defies social norms to become an engineer. Ognisko Polskie in Exhibition Road plays host to a special screening of Bestia AKA The Polish Dancer (1917) Polish cinema’s rare silent classic starring Pola Negri. The film will be followed by an immersive 1920s style ballroom party, featuring special cocktails, DJs and dancing to an exclusively tailored playlist courtesy of DiscMuseum.
Celebrating Jewish-Polish Cinema
Jewish-Polish history has always been a considered part of KINOTEKA’s programme. This year, in partnership with the National Center for Jewish Film, KINOTEKA screens 1937 Yiddish film, The Jester, newly restored and subtitled by the NCJF (25 March, JW3). This special presentation which tells the story of a wanderer who settles in a small village as a shoemaker, will transport the audience to the world of interwar Southern Poland and a complicated love triangle. This year’s programme also includes screenings of The Reconcilation (10 March, Regent Street Cinema), Maciej Sobieszczanski’s post-war drama set against the backdrop of the recently liberated Nazi concentration camps that were turned into labour camps by the Communist party and used to imprison and eliminate traitors plus a rare screening of The Warsaw Ghetto (2009) (22 March JW3). The film, a dramatized biopic of Irena Sendlerowa, stars (Golden Globe nominated) Anna Paquin as the social worker who was part of the Polish Underground and responsible for smuggling thousands of children out of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Masterclasses with two of Poland’s most revered creatives
The ICA hosts two masterclasses with two of Poland’s most prolific and inventive creatives. The first is a screening one of Krzysztof Zanussi’s earliest films, The Structure of Crystal (1969) (17 March, ICA) followed by a in conversation event with the multi-award winning director who last came to Kinoteka in 2015 to premiere his most recent film Foreign Body (2014) as well as present his classic Camouflage (1977). Audiences fascinated by Polish film poster design are in for an eye-opening visual treat with Commissioned: The Art of the Polish Film Poster (24 March, ICA) a documentary which provides an in depth look at the posters of Andrzej Klimowski, one of the most acclaimed Polish poster artists. The screening is part of a day long focus on the art of the cinema poster including a one-off workshop with Klimowski himself, aimed at new and emerging filmmakers looking to create poster artwork for their latest project. The designer created the festival poster for the 6th KINOTEKA edition back in 2008 returns exactly 10 years later with the 16th KINOTEKA Film Festival poster.
Supper Club Cinema
All foodies will have a chance to enjoy the delectable banquet served up as part of Supper Club: film screening of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s classic Double Life of Veronique. KINOTEKA joins forces with KinoVino and Sezonowik for a themed dinner created by Flavia Boranska a rising star of Polish cuisine, hosted by Calvert 22 (23 March).
Theatre – Bruno Schulz’s The Comet at The Coronet, Print Rooms
The Coronet Print Rooms hosts the UK premiere of The Comet, (20-24 March) from acclaimed Polish directors Teresa and Andrzej Welminski. Based on ‘The Comet and Other Stories’ by Polish surrealist author Bruno Schulz, this new production brings Schulz’s mythical, absurdist tale to life with extraordinary humour and stagecraft. The Brothers Quay’s animated short adaptation of Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles (1986) will screen with select performances.
Closing Night Gala – Live score screening at the Barbican Centre
KINOTEKA again draws to a close with a special Closing Night Gala screening of digitally restored Polish classic The Call of the Sea (1927) at the Barbican Centre (29 March). Directed by Henryk Szaro the film is an epic love story combining maritime cinema and romance, stars of the silent era as well as officers and gunmen of the Polish Navy and Air Force. Marking Piano Day 2018 the film is accompanied by a specially commissioned live score performance by five-piece ensemble led by pianist and composer Taz Modi (Submotion Orchestra, Matthew Halsall), award-winning Matthew Bourne on piano and synthesizers, Duncan Bellamy from Mercury-nominated Portico Quartet on drums and live sampling, and Chris Hargreaves and Simon Beddoe from Submotion Orchestra on bass and trumpet.’ (Kinoteka)
The KINOTEKA 16th Film Festival 2018 will run from 07-29 March at selected venues across the capital.