2024 The Kinoteka Polish Film Festival Line up Revealed

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The Pesants closing Kinoteka 2024
2024 a big year for UK based film festivals celebrating 20th Anniversaries. This month Glasgow Film Festival celebrates 20 years, next month it’s The Kinoteka Polish Film Festival.  Once again returning with the usual expansive array of the best Polish cinema has to offer.

Kinoteka will bring an eclectic mix of films across all genres from drama, comedy, social issues and documentary through to classics. The 22nd edition of the festival, running between 6th March and 28th March in venues across London.

The festival will open screening of the critically acclaimed and deeply moving Green Border (Zielona granica, 2023) from director Agnieszka Holland (In Darkness, The Secret Garden). This vitally important film shines a light on issues of migration that have been the subject of great political debate across Europe. After moving to the north east of Poland, psychologist Julia (Maja Ostaszewska) becomes a participant of the dramatic events unfolding at the Polish-Belarusian border. Conscious of the risk and the legal consequences, she joins an activist group helping refugees hiding out in the forests, which were declared the site of a national emergency. Simultaneously, a Syrian family fleeing civil war, accompanied by an Afghani teacher, try to reach the borders of the EU, unaware that they have become pawns in a fraudulent scheme of the Belarusian authorities. In Poland, their path crosses with that of Julia and a young border guard, Jan. The events unfolding around force them all to revisit a fundamental question: what is humanity?

Kinoeta  will close this years festival with the Polish box office hit The Peasants (Chłopi, 2023) accompanied by live music from composer Łukasz Rostkowski aka L.U.C. Using an advanced oil painting animation technique, The Peasants is a visually thrilling rendering of Władysław Reymont’s Nobel Prize-winning tale. Crops, relationships and dowries preoccupy the wagging tongues of the villagers of Lipke. Jagna (Kamila Urzędowska) is wedded off to a rich widower, but her love for his son threatens to tear all their lives apart.

Scarborn playing at Kinoteka 2024

Other highlights include the multi-award winning Doppelganger (Doppelgänger. Sobowtór, 2023) from Jan Holoubek (Netflix’s The Mire, 25 Years of Innocence) is a stylish psychological thriller rooted in actual events of Cold War Poland starring Jakub Gierszał (Najlepszy), as a tale of espionage unfolds simultaneously on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Adrian Apanel’s Horror Story (2023) is a smart take on the often absurd rites of passage between adolescence and adulthood that expertly combines black comedy and horror tropes. Jakub Zając (Dawid i Elfy) plays a man who arrives in Warsaw ready to start his adult life in the world of finance but soon finds himself reeling from the brink of one disaster to another. The award winning Scarborn (Kos, 2023) is an action-packed historical tale which is based on real events, it follows the story of General Tadeusz “Kos” Kościuszko (Jacek Braciak) who returns to Poland in 1794 and plans to start an uprising against the Russian occupying forces but on his tail is a Russian cavalry captain (Robert Więckiewicz) who is determined to foil his plans.

Danger Zone (2023) is an unsettling documentary examining a dark side of tourism, where people choose to visit war zones on organised tours at great expense. Taking an observational approach, the film juxtaposes the experiences of these so-called ‘war zone tourists’ and a tour operator with the everyday lives of those who live and fight in countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria. This is a film with a deep moral question about privilege at its core. Classic Krzysztof Kieślowski’s breakthrough masterpiece Camera Buff (Amator, 1979), starring Jerzy Stuhr who plays a factory worker whose passion to capture the world on 8mm film, gradually takes over his life, with implications on his freedom.

For full information of the full line-up and to book tickets please head over to Kinoteka Film Festival Website. The 2024 Kinoteka Polish Film Festival takes place 6th March – 28th March across venues in London.

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