Country Focus: Poland
Krakow, the documentary capital
by Dorota Hartwich
- Four competitions, ten non-competitive sections and a total of 250 films (documentaries, animated titles and short films): these are the vital statistics of the 55th edition of the Krakow Film Festival (31 May - 7 June), the oldest film gathering in Poland.
Three international competitions are on the menu for documentaries, short films and docs dedicated to music (DocFilmMusic). Meanwhile, the national competition brings together 41 Polish films (including fiction, animation and documentary titles). According to Krzysztof Gierat, the festival director, “This programme demonstrates that Polish directors travel the world, and it is there that they find their heroes and subjects,” such as, for instance, Casa Blanca by Aleksandra Maciuszek, a documentary shot in Cuba and revolving around a sick mother and her 30-year-old son who suffers from Down syndrome.
Also standing out among the movies selected for the national competition is the short Signum by Witold Giersz, one of the historical figures of Polish animated film who, incidentally, won an award at the very first edition of the Krakow Film Festival in 1961. Also of note is Daughter by Tomasz Wolski, a filmmaker who has won prizes for his documentaries (The Palace, The Lucky Ones) at myriad festivals and who is taking his first steps into the world of fiction.
As part of the Krakow Film Market organised in parallel with the festival, professionals will have the chance to discover over 300 films accepted from among the 1,500 titles submitted to the selectors. The event partners, East Silver, DOK Leipzig, the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival, Swiss Films, Visions du Reel and the Lithuanian Film Center (with this country featuring as the special guest at this edition of the Krakow Film Festival), have prepared selections of titles that will not fail to pique the interest of the many professionals in attendance at the gathering.