Kinoteka Polish Film Festival Announce Their 21st Line Up

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The Kinoteka Polish Film Festival will be returning next month with another line up celebrating Polish cinema old and new. The 21st Line up has been announced presenting an exciting line-up that spans over 60 years of Polish cinema.

The line up will unearth emotion to consequences of no morality. Thought provoking new cinema to a slice of the classics that put Poland on the cinematic map. With its diverse programme of compelling and challenging cinema, Kinoteka continues to explore the innovative filmic output Poland has to offer through screening events, special presentations, guest-led intros, Q&As, workshops and more.

Kinoteka 2023 begins on 9th March with an Opening Gala screening of the brilliant debut from Damian Kocur, Bread and Salt (Chleb i sól, 2022, UK Premiere). Packing a deep emotional punch, the film takes us on the journey of two brothers (played by real-life siblings Tymoteusz Bies and Jacek Bies), in a small Polish town during one hot summer. Inspired by real events and cast with non-professional actors, Bread and Salt has won multiple festival awards. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Damian Kocur.

The Closing Gala will take place on 27 April, and is a screening of Feliks Falk’s classic Top Dog (Wodzirej, 1977) at Cine Lumiere alongside an immersive dinner themed to the film. Causing much debate in Poland on its original release, Top Dog follows the story of small-town entertainer Danielak, who will stop at nothing to achieve his aim of hosting the town’s 500th anniversary celebrations. Danielak is a man with an overt lack of morals.

Comprising some of the finest and most thought-provoking cinema of the past year, the New Polish Cinema strand highlights the voices of both established filmmakers and debut directors presenting a powerful snapshot of the country’s contemporary film scene. Making their way to the UK for the first time, many of the titles have already received recognition starting with director and co-writer Anna Maliszewska’s Dad (Tata, 2022, UK Premiere), a free-spirited road movie which follows a father, Michal (Eryk Lubos) who heads out on the road with his daughter after the sudden death of the Ukrainian neighbour who looked after the girl during his frequent long works trips. Directed and co-written by award-winning filmmaker Anna Kazejak, Fucking Bornholm (2022, UK Premiere) is a biting drama which exposes the frayed edges of family dynamics through a neglected wife and mother as she experiences the psychological torment of a family vacation on an idyllic island. Best Debut Director at Gdynia, Shreds (Strzępy, 2022) sees established documentary filmmaker Beata Dzianowska turn her keen observational eye to the story of a family patriarch struggling with the onset of Alzheimer’s and the family faced with the impossible decisions which result. Woman on the Roof (Kobieta na dachu, 2022, UK Premiere) from writer-director Anna Jadowska, also focuses its attention on an elderly protagonist, as Dorota Pomykała’s portrayal of a desperate and detached woman who attempts to rob a bank.

Other Highlights from the festival include Outsiders and Exiles: The Films of Jerzy Skolimowski, a month-long retrospective at BFI Southbank and a rare opportunity to see the work of one of the world’s most remarkable filmmakers. Skolimowski’s latest sensation EO (2022), has garnered critical acclaim across the world since its premiere at Cannes, culminating with the film’s recent Academy Award nomination. The work of Agnieszka Holland is also present at this year’s Family Screening of The Secret Garden (Tajemniczy ogród, 1993), the director’s adaptation of the classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Cinema Classics strand, Kinoteka will screen Polish auteur Andrzej Wajda’s early masterpiece Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament, 1958). Delving further into Poland’s cinematic past, Kinoteka presents a special Music in Film screening of Andrzej Żuławski’s controversial masterpiece The Devil (Diabeł, 1972), which was banned by the Communist government between 1972 and 1988.

For full information of the full line-up and to book tickets please head over to Kinoteka Film Festival Website. Kinoteka Polish Film Festival 2023 takes place from 9th March until 27th April across venues in London