Films from Gdynia

Films from Gdynia

The programme of the 43rd Polish Film Festival includes films particularly related to the host city of the most important meeting of the people of the Polish cinematography.

In the out-of-competition section, „Films from Gdynia”, the following films will be presented: a documentary tribute to the city edited from amateur shots, made by the Gdynia Films School, the most recent film by one of its graduates as well as two documentaries in the production of which the Emigration Museum in Gdynia and the Gdynia Film Fund were involved.

“The section <Films from Gdynia> is a Festival tribute to the city which has been constantly working for the development of the film industry, especially in the field of education. The film Gdynia is not only the annual Festival but also constant, systematic activity of the Gdynia Film School, Gdynia Film Centre and Gdynia Film Fund. Other municipal institutions also use the film medium to make their projects. The idea for a joint making of a documentary was also a great way to engage the inhabitants in co-operation on a film being a sentimental journey in time, a unique tribute to Gdynia and its inhabitants,” Leszek Kopeć, the PFF Director, says.

The nostalgic documentary “Gdynia. My City” was made out of extracts of archive amateur film records of the dwellers of Gdynia. As part of an open gathering of film materials, announced in 2016 when celebrating the 90th anniversary of the city, over 140 hours of material were collected. These were mainly mute black-and-white and colour films recorded on tapes, VHS cassettes and other drives. The oldest shots used in the film come from the 50’s of the last century. The most recent ones concern the events of 1989. Scenes of everyday life of Gdynia inhabitants – family meetings, walks, car rides, playing with dogs – dominate, with the city as a background. An official premiere of the film “Gdynia. My City”, with participation of its co-makers, was held in Gdynia Film Centre on 10th February 2018, on the 92nd birthday of Gdynia.

The short film “Dots” was directed by the graduate of Gdynia Film School, Eryk Lenartowicz, and made by Television and Radio School in Sydney as his diploma. The life of a small-town policeman, Andrzej, is boring and monotonous. He lives in the middle of nowhere, his wife cheats on him, and his police partner can’t stop making up conspiracy theories. The only thing that Andrzej wants is to buy a Mercedes. One day, a mysterious character shows up, and suddenly, the dwellers of the town start dying. Will Andrzej manage to solve the mystery of their death, or will he deny reality to the benefit of his dream car?

„Stany przeszłe”, directed by Olga Blumczyńska, was produced by Emigration Museum in Gdynia. A Polish emigrant, Martynka, after 15 years of living on Manhattan, has decided to look for a new home on Greenpoint. It is a district which used to remind her of Polish folk and the type of emmigrant she did not want to identify herself with before. Now, however, she finds that missing family brings her here. She gets in touch with people who came to New York 20-30 years ago, not ready for what was awaiting them over the ocean. Her neighbor Henryk becomes her friend and helps her out in difficult moments. Helena, an elderly lady living in a pensioners house, inspires her to create an artistic project. The protagonist gets to know their determination, stories about loneliness, fear but also about finding one’s place in a foreign land. The film depicts transformations taking place now on Greenpoint, once a typically Polish district, now an international melting pot.

Gdynia Film Fund is the co-producer of the documentary „Sailing in the dark” directed by Ewa Podgórska. Ryszard is the blind manager of a shanty band comprising visually impaired musicians. He organizes a sea trip for them – the musicians will cross the sea by sailing ship to play their first gig abroad in Stockholm. The trip proves a logistic and fitness challenge for the visually impaired crew while the extreme conditions make them re-assess relations within the group. Idealistic Ryszard is confronted not only with his own limitations but also with the ship’s breakdown, crew mutiny, unexpected change of route and, most importantly, his own beliefs in what their band is.

The 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia will be held from 17th to 22nd September 2018.