53rd Krakow Film Festival

Opening on the 26 May, the 53rd Krakow Film Festival includes the screenings of documentaries, short films and animations from all over the world. With an outstanding programme of events, the festival will run until 2 of June. This year, in addition to the previously established sections, there will be DocFilmMusic, a competition open to music documentaries. With ten qualifying films, the director of the best film will win a Grand Prix award – The Golden Heynal. The usual categories are the international documentary competition, the international competition of short films and the national competition.

In total the programme features over 250 films, 110 of them are competition films of which 64 are documentaries, 19 feature films and 27 animations. The films entered for competition will be judged by four sets of juries led by Petr Zelenka (music competition), Siergiej Dworcewoj (documentry competition), Andrzej Jakimowski (short film competition) and Adam Sikora (Polish competition).

The opening of the Festival, the organizers have prepared a portrayal of legendary American actor Harry Dean Stanton, who has featured in over 250 films, including works by David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Ridley Scott. Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction is a biographical documentary that is a collage of the actor’s rich filmography, statements of his friends and colleagues and the songs of Stanton himself.

Another highlight is Dutch animator Paul Driessen, who makes his films in Canada and whose unique style is easily recognized by continuously flickering lines and the smooth movements of his characters. He will be awarded the Dragon of Dragons Award, a life achievement award given to documentary and animation filmmakers. During the Festival, a retrospective of films by Driessen will be shown.

Along with the competition screenings there will be theme screenings, including a new section entitled Stories from The World, and the return of sections such as Somewhere in Europe, Festivals Awards Winners, Panorama of Polish Film, as well as screenings of students’ work. The youngest audience are invited for the Kids & Youth Fest section. There is also a special look at the work from Switzerland – the programme presenting the newest documentaries from that country. The screenings of the films will be accompanied by a film industry conference attended by filmmakers, producers and representatives of Swiss film institutions.

Taking things outside, Kino Pod Wawelem will be set up at the bottom of Wawel Hill, a feature that attracts fans of open-air evening screenings (every evening at 10 pm). On the big screen, the films of the Sounds of Music section will be shown, chosen this year by journalist Piotr Metz. Other highlights in the programme include The Beatles in a submarine, The Rolling Stones in a circus and much more.

Also showcasing music, the film festival features concerts. Two of the main concerts of this year’s edition are the band Tymon & The Transistors, known from their zestful and energetic concerts and a singer no less explosive on stage – Maria Peszek. There will also be four art exhibitions: Bogdan Dziworski (Malopolski Ogrod Sztuki); Tadeusz Rolke (Pauza in-Garden); an exhibition dedicated to Rolke’s output within the scope of Photography Month in Krakow’s Museum of Modern Art, (MOCAK); and in the National Museum in Krakow there will be an exhibition entitled Antonisz: Technique is a Kind of Art for Me (Antonisz: technika jest dla mnie rodzajem sztuki), within which two special screenings will be held of Julian Antoniszczak’s films.

Besides the activities for the general public, te organizers will invite film professionals to Industry Zone, which includes the Krakow Film Market, networking meetings, lectures by experts and discussions on the financing, production and promotion of documentaries and shorts. Included in this year’s programme will be a seminar on effective methods for promoting animated films; a presentation of Polish films in postproduction; workshops and consultations for filmmakers about accounting; and a meeting with Marion Döring, head of the European Film Academy.

53rd Krakow Film Festival, across the city of Krakow, 26 May – 2 June, www.krakowfilmfestival.pl.

Images courtesy of the Krakow Film Festival.
1. Another night on earth dir. David Munoz.
2. Harry Dean Stanton Partly Fiction.