The 44th PFF is about to start!
It’s already on Monday, 16th of September, that the 44th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia begins. Competition and out-of-competition screenings, accompanying events, debates and meetings are going to take place at the Musical Theatre in Gdynia, Gdynia Film Centre, Helios cinema, City Theatre Gdynia, Mercure Gdynia Centre Hotel, Consulate of Culture, Museum of the Polish Navy and Pomeranian Science and Technology Park. You may find a detailed programme of the screenings on the Festival website. It is now possible to purchase tickets for the screenings.
19 films were selected for the Main Competition of the 44th PFF. As many as 13 of them are going to have their Polish premiere at the Festival. Four of the Main Competition directors are going to present their full-length feature debuts. The Short Film Competition includes a selection of 27 films made by film schools, Munk Studio and independent producers. The films will be evaluated by two juries as stipulated in the rules and regulations of the Festival. Additional juries will also be assessing the films, including the Young Jury, Polish Federation of Film Clubs Jury and other bodies that grant out-of-competition awards. The Platinum Lions award for career achievement will go to director Krzysztof Zanussi.
The programme of the 44th PFF comprises numerous out-of-competition sections. After a few years we see the return of Polish Film Panorama which presents a choice of films submitted to but not selected for the Main Competition. The oldest accompanying section, Polonica, is going to showcase international co-productions made with a significant participation of Polish artists.
The films presented in the Pure Classics. In Memoriam cycle are going to evoke memories of the outstanding figures of Polish cinema who passed away this year: Zofia Czerwińska, Kazimierz Kutz, Ryszard Bugajski, Andrzej Trzos-Rastawiecki, Jerzy Wójcik, Wiesław Zdort and Witold Sobociński. The Festival is going to mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II by screening Stanisław Różewicz’s Westerplatte Resists, Andrzej Wajda’s Speed and Leonard Buczkowski’s The Eagle.
As part of the Pre-War Cinema Treasures section, co-organised with the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, the viewers will watch e.g. Konstanty Meglicki’s Halka from 1929 with live music performed by composer Jerzy Rogiewicz and a music band. At the Festival, during jubilee film screenings, two institutions which are celebrating their 70th anniversaries are going to sum up their body of work: the Documentary and Feature Film Production Company and Educational Film Studio.
The Films from Gdynia section is going to present two documentaries and one short feature by filmmakers related to the city hosting the Festival. Thanks to our collaboration with the Krakow Film Festival, the viewers in Gdynia are going to see a selection of films awarded in Krakow this year. In the Krakow Film Festival Catching Waves section there are five titles, the best documentaries and an animation.
Every year, the Festival section that attracts the most viewers is Gdynia for Children, prepared by the Polish Filmmakers Association. The programme dedicated to kindergarteners and pupils of the first grades of primary school includes 30 animated fairy-tales and 11 feature-films.
Festival guests, inhabitants of Trójmiasto and tourists may also enjoy cinema outdoors. In the evenings, on Grunwaldzki Square, they will watch a choice of talked-about feature films from the last few years of the Festival and the best Polish short films. The co-organiser of outdoor screenings during the 44th PFF is Telewizja Kino Polska. Outdoor screenings are free of charge.
The programme of the 44th PFF includes not only films. It is the fourth time that the organisers invite you to a series of industry meetings called Gdynia Industry addressed to artists, producers and professionals of the film industry and to the students of film schools. Designed mostly by the Polish Film Institute, the agenda includes e.g. the question of developing streaming platforms and their influence on cinema, or the phenomenon of cinema clubs. There will also be the subject of the position of women in the film industry, of directing films for children, special effects, post-production and the potential of VR cinema. The programme also features such events as the Polish Filmmakers Association Forum, a press conference of the Directors’ Guild of Poland and Face to Face, a debate with Radosław Śmigulski, the General Director of the Polish Film Institute.
The Festival invites you to the promotion of books dedicated to Polish film and its makers. The festival space is going to be filled with film-related exhibitions and installations. The Gallery of the Gdynia Film Centre will present a retrospective exhibition Film by Grzegor Królikiewicz prepared by the Film Museum in Łódź. Gdynia City Museum is going to open an exhibition entitled “Warszawa” Cinema and other places that have become supermarkets. An animation entitled Gymnasia is going to have its premiere at the Festival. It is going to become part of an extraordinary presentation prepared by Adam Mickiewicz Institute. During a visit to a special pavillion next to the Musical Theatre, the viewers are going to be faced with elements of theatre, virtual cinema and exhibition all in one.
As every year, the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute invites teenage members of the audience to take part in a programme of film education for young viewers. The events planned include a series of debates called Criticise! and lectures based on the repertoire of the Festival, film-documentary workshops called School Film Archive Studio, a Film City Game and classes which are a preparation for the School Contest on Knowledge of Film and Mass Communication.
On a festival Friday, 20th September, in the centre of Gdynia, there is going to be an unusual music event. From 5 p.m., across different locations of the city, Polish and foreign big-bands are going to perform motifs from the compositions by Krzysztof Komeda. One hour later, on the Red Stairs next to the Gdynia Film Centre Magda Kumorek and Anna Dereszowska are going to sing accompanied by the Rebel Babel Ensemble. Finally, at 8 p.m. there will be Komeda Big Bang, that is a joint performance of orchestras playing together and comprised of a total of about 100 musicians, conducted by Łukasz L.U.C. Rostkowski.
The events of the Festival week will be recorded by the crews of the Festival Newsreel made up of students of the Gdynia Film School, the Radio and Television Faculty of the University of Silesia in Katowice and Wajda School.
The organizers of the Festival are:
Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Polish Film Institute,
Polish Filmmakers Association, Mayor of Gdynia, Marshal of the
Co-organizers: Polish Television, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, National Center for Culture.
The Main Sponsor of the 44th Polish Film Festival is PKO Bank Polski.
The Strategic Partner is BMG Goworowski Authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer.
Main Partners: PKP Intercity, Dr Irena Eris, Nespresso, Gdynia Culture Center.
Polish Media Patrons:
Polish Television, Radiowa Jedynka, Trójka – Program Trzeci Polskiego
Radia, Rzeczpospolita, Kino periodical, Filmweb, Onet, ELLE, Gala, Super
Local Media Patrons: Telewizja Gdańsk, Radio Gdańsk, Dziennik Bałtycki, Rzeczpospolita. Życie Regionów, Trojmiasto.pl.