The consistently excellent output of Polish cinema is once again celebrated by the IFI and Kinopolis, Dublin’s Polish Film Festival. The festival serves as a snapshot of the national industry over the past year, with selected titles coming from first-time filmmakers such as Paweł Maślona (Panic Attack) and masters such as Krzysztof Zanussi (Ether). The admirably egalitarian nature of the community ensures that women are well represented behind the camera, whether as first-time directors, such as Olga Chajdas (Nina), or as an internationally acclaimed director with a significant body of work, such as Małgorzata Szumowska (Mug). In addition, eight of the nine titles in this year’s Animation Programme come from women working in a field for which Poland is rightly famed. We are delighted to welcome to Dublin Olgierd Łukaszewicz, renowned star of films such as Sexmission (1984), for a public interview following our Opening Film, A Cat With A Dog, and to offer audiences the chance to enjoy one of the year’s best Polish comedies with our Closing Film, Julius. Finally, with the industry suffering a number of notable losses in recent years, from the tragic death of Marcin Wrona to the passing of Andrzej Wajda, this year’s festival acknowledges a more recent blow with the death of Piotr Szulkin, a director noted for his intriguing work in science-fiction. We hope you will find much to enjoy in this year’s programme.
Notes by Kevin Coyne, IFI Cinema Programmer