9TH KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival

'Essential Killing', dir. Jerzy Skolimowski

'Made in Poland', dir. Przemysław Wojcieszek

"Christening', dir. Marcin Wrona

'Dark House', dir. Wojciech Smarzowski

'Hydro-Riddle', dir. Andrzej Kondratiuk

"Activities with Dobromierz', KwieKulik

'Strong Man', dir. Henryk Szaro

24 March - 13 April,
Various Venues
London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Exeter and Glasgow
For full listing please visit: www.kinoteka.org.uk



KINOTEKA will take place between 24 March – 13 April 2011, returning for its 9th annual edition. The full KINOTEKA 9 line-up brings together the leading lights of Polish Cinema, with an impressive and diverse selection of internationally acclaimed titles from debut filmmakers, well respected auteurs, cult directors, rediscovered classics, unknown gems, and award-winning shorts as well as innovative visual art and design, a host of special guest appearances and fresh sounds from up and coming musicians. Presented by the Polish Cultural Institute in association with and Polish Film Institute and festival sponsor DFDS Seaways,  the 9th KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival spans 8 arts venues across the capital: Curzon Renoir, Riverside Studios, Barbican, Prince Charles Cinema, Roxy screen and bar, London Film Academy, West London Synagogue and Tate Modern as well as venues in Belfast, Edinburgh, Exeter and Glasgow.

KINOTEKA opens at the Curzon Renoir with Essential Killing, the stunning new film by veteran auteur Jerzy Skolimowski. A main competition title at last year’s Venice Film Festival, the film is an allegorical tale about a man (Vincent Gallo) who is captured in Afghanistan by US forces and subject to interrogation and rendition. In the course of his journey through an unnamed European country, he escapes and is pursued across an uninhabitable snow-covered landscape. What follows is a game of survival, pitting one man against the elements in a heroic battle to stay alive. The festival are delighted that Jerzy Skolimowski will present his new film in person at Kinoteka’s opening gala ahead of the film’s cinema release on 1 April by Artificial Eye.

KINOTEKA is screening a selection of New Polish Cinema at the Riverside Studios and Prince Chrles Cinema. The programme brings together the best award-winning features and shorts from the last 12 months with special guest appearances from writer/directors Przemysław Wojcieszek (Made in Poland), Marcin Wrona (The Christening) and Paweł Sala (Mother Teresa of Cats). Highlights include, Made in Poland, a gritty angry statement on youthful radicalism adapted from Wojcieszek’s own, highly successful stage play; Marcin Wrona’s impressive crime drama, The Christening; an exceptionally tense edge-of-your-seat thriller about two men attempting to escape the dark secrets of their shared past. Dark psychological drama, Mother Teresa of Cats, inspired by a shocking true life case of two brothers convicted of their mother’s brutal murder, award-winning shorts director Marek Lechki’s highly anticipated debut Erratum, and Locarno’s Golden Leopard recipient, Nothing Personal, starring Stephen Rea, in the tale of two self professed loners testing the limits of solitude and companionship, as well as screenings of The Dark House, a chilling police procedural combining the complex depth of Wallander with the sharp characterisation and satiric depth of Fargo and Between Two Fires, an emotional drama focusing on one mother’s struggle to protect her child at all costs. The New Polish Cinema programme ties in with the publication of Polish Cinema Now! - a new book of essays commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and edited by Mateusz Werner, focusing on the last 20 years of contemporary Polish Cinema since the fall of the “iron curtain” in 1989 .

KINOTEKA are also showcasing new Polish shorts at the Roxy Bar and Screen from emerging talent and a programme of documentary and fiction productions from the Andrzej Wajda Film School in celebration of the prestigious Warsaw-based film school’s 10th anniversary screening at the Riverside Studio and London Film Academy. The selected films, already acknowledged internationally, constitute a fresh voice in Polish cinema, whilst at the same time being grounded in the artistic traditions demonstrated by the works from the school’s illustrious tutors including Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieszka Holland and Wojciech Marczewski.

The Festival are thrilled to take this opportunity to introduce UK audiences to the cult comedic talents of Polish filmmaking duo Janusz and Andrzej Kondratiuk, inviting them onstage at the Riverside Studios for  a special directorspective of their most known films, many being screened for the first time in the UK. Kondratiuk is a name that has remained unrecognised abroad, but that has contributed immensely to Polish cinema history. Their films – as hilarious as the cinema of the Marx Brothers, as grotesque and fresh as the Coen Brothers early films and as immersed in the Polish tradition of the Quay Brothers – are a must see for comedy fans. Their comedies are brilliant satires on human flaws and imperfections, gleefully deconstructing the ‘normality’ of their characters and situations, tapping into the Polish tradition of surreal, absurdist humour.

Kinoteka brings to the Barbican and Riverside Studios an exhibition of film and theatre posters by award-winning artist Franciszek Starowieyski (1930-2009) which runs throughout the Festival. One of Poland’s most prominent and eccentric artists, Starowieyski created more than 300 poster designs for movies, theatre and opera productions as well as illustrative work. His original, often Surrealist designs and posters can be found in major museums and art collections across the globe, including MOMA, where he was the first Polish artist to be given a solo exhibition.

Accomplished performance artist and photographer Zofia Kulik is celebrated at Tate Modern. Part of the Soc Art movement of the 70s, working with Przemyslaw Kwiek, creating joint works under the name KwieKulik. The Tate Modern will be screening their seminal Activities With Dobromierz, showcasing the creative duo’s pioneering ‘art of activities’, followed by an in depth career talk between Kulik and Łukasz Ronduda, Curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Kulik has exhibited internationally as a solo artist, including shows in NY and the Venice Biennial.

KINOTEKA draws to a close with a unique gala screening of Henryk Szaro’s rediscovered silent classic, The Strong Man (1929) at the Barbican accompanied by a fresh, new, live soundtrack from Pink Freud, one of Poland’s most interesting and promising groups, mixing traditional Polish jazz, rock and experimental electronica. Szaro is considered to be one of the most important figures in the Polish film industry of the silent film era. A theatre director and screenwriter known primarily for his literary adaptations, Szaro directed many of his works in Yiddish, tragically he died, aged 42 in the Warsaw Ghetto. The Strong Man was a pre-war blockbuster and acclaimed by contemporary film critics.

Based on the controversial novel by Polish author Stanislaw Przybyszewski, the film tells the story of a mediocre journalist (played by one of Poland’s leading stars of the time, Gregori Chmara) who dreams of fame and glory, and who will stop at no lengths, not even murder, to achieve success. The Stong Man is rooted in German Expressionism and Soviet Russian cinema of the period, and can be ranked alongside world class classics, such as Dziga Vertov’s The Man With A Movie Camera (1929) or  Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) for its innovative design, dynamism and remarkably modern themes; the morality of fame and success, the problem of intellectual property, and the motif of drug abuse and antisocial criminal activity. Described as the greatest Polish film of the silent era, the film was presumed lost forever, like many other titles that disappeared during World War II, until a copy was found at the Royal Film Archive in Brussels in 1997 and fully restored.

Screening in connection with The Stong Man, and organized in partnership with Spiro Ark, KINOTEKA will also show restored versions of two rare Polish-Yiddish films including Szaro’s The Vow (1937) at the West London Synagogue.


For full listing and more information please visit www.kinoteka.org.uk



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