29.09.2021 - 10.10.2021 Cinema, Events, News

Days of Polish Cinema, 16th Edition

29 September – 10 October 2021

The Days of Polish Cinema, a project by the Polish Institute in Kyiv, will run it’s 16th festival this year.

Traditionally, the program presents the most interesting achievements of Polish cinema in recent years.

This year, due to epidemiological restrictions, the festival will be held in a hybrid format in cooperation with Takflix.com online cinema platform. The forum will feature seven Polish films of various genres that have already gained audience and film critics recognition and won awards at prestigious international festivals.

All films are shown in Polish with Ukrainian subtitles. *The number of views is limited.

Online program October 1-10 | polskino.takflix.com


DIRECTOR: Iwona Siekierzynska
GENRE: Tragicomedy

The Bureau of Personal Belongings, a theatre that has been created by actors with disability, wins a chance to participate in a theatre festival with their new production. Great joy, great chance, great expectations. Krzysiek, the head of the theatre, and the actors are working on a new Greek Zorba performance, and thought it would be great to show it to the broader audience on a real stage.  However, it turns out that the director of the theatre has certain conditions for the cooperation to happen.

He received a grant to promote Shakespeare and support the work of people with disabilities, and if they want to perform in a professional theatre, they must obey. Krzysiek has some doubts but accepts the challenge. He starts rehearsals with professional actors and a “local star” Victoria. The moment she appears in the theatre, Krzysiek’s actors are delighted and mesmerized. Still, at one of the rehearsals, the director states that Krzysiek’s sister Mary will not be able to play the main role. The director is relentless: a toothless, limp Mary is a no choice for a premiere. The role should go to a younger, beautiful actress with better diction. Krzysiek decides to change the cast for the play to happen, but will he be ever satisfied with the result?

The film has received numerous individual awards at the 45th Festival of Polish Feature Films in Gdynia, as well as at the Koszalin Youth and Film Debut Film Festival.

Iwona Siekierzynska

Theatre and film director, screenwriter. Graduated from the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Gdansk and the Faculty of Directing of the State Higher School of Cinema and Television in Łódz. In 1996, she was nominated for a Student Oscar for the short film The Prince, curated by Krzysztof Kieślowski. In 2000 she received a Cinefondation scholarship that is awarded by the Cannes Film Festival. As a co-author of the screenplay about the life and work of Katarzyna Kobro won the main prize in the Script Pro competition.

“A benevolent story that warms the heart, about the beauty of creation and the difficulty in understanding another’s difference. In addition, it is completely devoid of sentimentality and emotional terror.

— Michał Piepiórka,, blizejekranu.pl

Kill It and Leave This Town

DIRECTOR: Mariusz Wilczyński
GENRE: Psychological animation / horror

Fleeing from despair after losing those dearest to him, the hero hides in a safe land of memories, where time stands still and all those dear to him are alive.

Over the years, he builds a city in his imagination. Literary heroes and childhood cartoons idols settle there uninvited:  always young and wearing short. But when our hero realizes that they are getting old as well and that eternal youth does not exist, he decides to return to real life. And the amazing characters that live in his imagination bring him back to the real world.

The film has won a number of prestigious awards, in particular, the Golden Lions at the 45th Polish Feature Films Festival in Gdynia, received the Eagle award in Poland and the Grand Prix of film festivals in Ottawa, Lima, Tarnow, Koszalin, and Liberec.

Mariusz Wilczyński

A self-taught artist who has been creating animated films for more than twenty years. His films have been shown at the MoMA in New York, the National Museum of Brazil, the Tokyo International Forum and the National Museum in Warsaw, at the National Gallery in London and at the Berlinale Film Festival. He also organises improvised live animation performances together with symphony orchestras from Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo, Geneva, Lviv and Warsaw. In 2007, the New York Times called him “one of the most important contemporary creators of artistic animation.” Currently teaches animation at the Łódz Film School.

“A gaunt beauty amid the smoky smudge of memory. This raw, intense animation from Polish director Mariusz Wilczyński is a fiercely miserable fable  that mixes realism with a kind of dreamlike sleep-talking”.

— Peter Bradshaw, kinoblog.video.blog

I Never Cry

DIRECTOR:  Piotr Domalewski
GENRE: Tragicomedy

A bittersweet coming-of-age drama  that explores the perplexity of family bonds,  illustrating the gloomy landscape of today’s Europe.

Olka must travel to Ireland to bring her father’s body back to Poland after he died working at a construction site.  But never mind her dad, Olka wants to know if he saved money for the car he had promised.  Dealing with foreign bureaucracy in her own street-smart way, Olka learns that her biggest dream wasn’t a car, but getting to know her dad.

The film has won a number of prestigious awards, including awards at the 45th Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia and film festivals in Arras, Braunschweig, Dublin, Cottbus, Moscow, Chicago, Goa, the Polish Eagles Film Prize, and others.

Piotr Domalewski

Film director, screenwriter, actor, the winner of the prestigious program 30 Minutes from Munk Studio, that supports outstanding young directors. His short films have won awards at various festivals across Europe. His debut in the feature film, Silent Night (2017), won the Grand Prix in Gdynia, as well as awards for the best film, best director, best screenplay, and the award as the Discovery of the Year from the Polish Film Awards.

“An endearingly spiky girl’s odyssey from Poland to Ireland, and back again. Her coming-of-age feels full circle: the film might begin with a physical burst of frustration, but it ends with an emotional rupture that proves especially moving.”

— Phuong Le, The Guardian

Offline Program

Opening of the festival | Stanislav Lem’s film night. Dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the writer

September 29, 19:30
Kyiv, Zhovten cinema, 26 Kostiantynivska St, tickets at the box office
September 30, 18:30Odesa, The Green Theatre, Taras Shevchenko Park, free admission
October 1,
Vinnytsya, Rodyna cinema, 47 Mykoly Ovodova Str., tickets at the box office
October 3,
Kharkiv, Kharkiv Literary Museum, 6 Bahalia Str, free admission
October 5,
Lutsk, Multiplex cinema, Promin mall, 2 Prezydenta Hrushevskoho Str, by invitation

Stanislaw Lem: Science and Fiction

DIRECTOR: Adam Ustynowicz
GENRE: Documentary

Filmed in 1990 for the BBC, it is a portrait of the 70-year-old Polish prosaic Stanislaw Lem, who was considered the greatest science fiction writer in the world.

His first interview for British audience covers a wide range of topics: he talks about the happy years of his childhood and the dramatic war fate, the beginnings of his writing career and some unusual theories about the future of humanity.

Stanislav Lem fascinates his interlocutors with his erudition, wit and unsurpassed sense of humour, which turns this encounter into an intriguing intellectual adventure and a journey through the world of his imagination.

The premiere was watched by 1.3 million viewers. The film was shown in France, USA, Canada, Israel, Croatia, Mexico, Hungary, Australia, Russia and Iran. The documentary won the Best Portrait of an Artist award at the 1994 Montreal International Documentary Film Festival. It is included in the collection of art films at the Louvre Museum, France.

Adam Ustynowicz

Director, producer. Graduated from the Mechanical Faculty of Energy and Aviation and Postgraduate Studies of the Warsaw University of Technology (1978, 1980), the State Higher School of Cinema, Television and Theatre in Łódz (1986). He gained directing experience as an assistant to Bernardo Bertolucci on The Last Emperor film in China in 1986. Since 1990 he became one of the first independent film producers. Since 1994 he has been constantly cooperating with Program 1 of Polish Television. He has directed more than 200 programs as an external producer or director, mainly for TVP Educational Television. Has also staged two performances at the TVP Television Theatre.

“We see a philosopher and a narrator who loves to have fun, loves toys and in whose life a chance plays a big role.”.

Daily Telegraph


DIRECTOR: Krzysztof Jankowski
GENRE: Comedy / science fiction

2055. The well-known astronaut Ijon Tichy is to deliver a speech in the Pan-Slavic Parliament against the introduction of the Extraterrestrial Human Regulations. Government officials are trying to prevent his speech…

Ijon is imprisoned in a hotel room and becomes, against his will, a tester of a state-of-art secret weapon.  In his search for a way out, Ijon argues with himself and his incarnations, which leads to increasingly absurd events…

Krzysztof Jankowski

Screenwriter, director, producer of independent films. Graduated from the Law Faculty of the Warsaw University and the Directing faculty of the Academy of Cinema and Television in Warsaw. Director of commercials. His films include “Tor” (2006), “Ego” (2008), “Odwyk” (2011), “Kemping” (2014), which received awards at several festivals, including the Festival of Optimistic Multimedia Films “Happy-End” and the All-Polish Amateur Film Competition in Konin.

“Thus, Wojciech Solarz (the performer of the main role) received a difficult but extremely interesting task. He plays himself, does dialogues with himself and gets into conflicts – and he does it really well.”

— Anna Radetska, pelnakulturka.blog

Never Gonna Snow Again

DIRECTORS: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert

GENRE: Tragicomedy

September 30, 19:00Kyiv, Zhovten cinema, 26 Kostiantynivska Str, tickets at the box office
October 8,
Odesa, Planeta Kino cinema (City Center shopping centre, 2 Nebesnoi Sotni avenue), tickets at the box office
October 8,

Kharkiv, Planeta Kino cinema (Frantsuzkyi Bulvar shopping centre, 44B Akademika Pavlova Str), tickets at the box office

Zhenia, a Russian-speaking immigrant from Ukraine enters the lives of the rich residents of a bland, walled off community as a masseur.  Despite their wealth, the residents emit an inner sadness, a longing.  The mysterious newcomer’s hands heal, his eyes seem to penetrate their souls. To them, his accent sounds like a song from the past, a memory of their seemingly safer childhood. Zhenia is able to change their lives.

The film has been nominated for a number of prestigious awards, including the Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival, the Polish Eagles Film Award, the Best Film of the Minsk International Film Festival, and others. It is also the Polish admission for Oscar as a Best Foreign Film.

Malgorzata Szumowska

Director and screenwriter of feature and documentary films. Before enrolling to the Director’s Faculty, she studied art history at the Jagiellonian University. In 2014-2017 was a member of the Board of the Polish Film Institute. Winner of the Silver Bear of the Berlin International Film Festival, European Film Award, Golden and Silver Lions of the Festival of Polish Feature Films in Gdynia, the Polish Eagles award, and many others.

Michal Englert

He graduated from the Łódz Film School, where he met Malgorzata Szumowska. Their documentary short film Silence (1997) won the award for Best Cinematography at the Mexico IFF. Since then, they have made more than ten documentaries and feature films together, becoming a well-known artistic tandem.

“Utgoff (go plays the lead) is irresistibly compelling, instilling in his character a silent yet singular presence worthy of the “superhero” status that he ultimately acquires.”

— Beatrice Loayza, New York Times

25 Years of Innocence.  The Case of Tomek Komenda

DIRECTOR:  Jan Holoubek
GENRE: Drama / thriller

October 1, 19:00Kyiv , Zhovten cinema, 26 Kostiantynivska Str, tickets at the box office
October 9, 19:00Odesa, Planeta Kino cinema (City Center shopping centre, 2 Nebesnoi Sotni avenue), tickets at the box office
October 9, 19:00 Kharkiv, Planeta Kino cinema (Frantsuzkyi Bulvar shopping centre, 44B Akademika Pavlova Str), tickets at the box office

A touching sensational drama about a wrongly accused and sentenced man. Based on the real-life case of Tomasz Komenda, accused of an exceptionally brutal murder of a teenage girl and left to rot in prison for years despite his claims of innocence. The authors of the film are trying to find answers to questions that still concern everyone today. How could this happen? Why did an innocent man have to wait 18 years  in a cell for justice?

23-year-old Wroclaw resident Komenda is dragged from his home by police,  who accuse him of taking part in the rape and killing of teenager Marysia in the early hours of New Year’s Day. Even though Komenda was nowhere near where the crime occurred, law enforcement tortures him into confessing,  which results in a 25-year sentence for the innocent man. Finally, after 18 years in prison, a police officer decided to uncover the truth behind the detainee’s mysterious case.

The film was highly praised at film festivals in Poland and abroad, in particular, it won the directorial debut award at the 45th Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia and 15 nominations for the Polish Eagles Film Award. It has also received awards at the Camerimage festival, a special award and five statuettes at the Koszalin Youth and Film Film Debut Festival.

Jan Holoubek

In 2001 he graduated from the Cinematography Faculty of the State Higher School of Cinema and Television in Łódz. Since 2004, he works independently as a production operator in features, TV shows and advertising. He worked on set of films by Juliusz Machulski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Jerzy Sztur and Krystyna Janda. In 2007, he made his debut as the director of the documentary Sun and Shadow, which won awards at many festivals. In 2018, he directed the high-profile sensational crime series The Mire, co-written with Kasper Bajon.

“Holoubek’s film, while also finding some strength in people who say yes when everyone else continues to say no, and with a smiling Komenda himself showing up for a tiny cameo,  basically proves the statement on the cruelty of justice right –  It’s all chaos, it’s all random. And it’s horrifying.”

— Marta Bałaga, Cineuropa

Media partners: Espresso TV channel, Radio Culture, Ukrainian Week, Day

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