As I write this article the Oscar© Committee has decided that Zimna Wojna (Cold War), who won Paweł Pawlikowski (the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film Ida) the Best Director Award at Cannes Film Festival this year, will be Poland's candidate for an Oscar. More and more foreigners turn their eyes towards Poland in search of new cinematic exeriences and inspirations. Find out what are the hottest film fests in Poland over the calendar year!

New Horizons International Film Festival

Where and when? Wrocław in August.

New Horizons festival is not a place where you will find Hollywood blockbusters – it is filled with works of bright stars of the art house cinema, alternative forms and different cinematic approaches. Do you like to experiment? If you have a taste in something out of the ordinary New Horizons are probably designed to quench your thirst. The city, where the festival takes place is also something to pay close attention to.

Wrocław (Lower Silesia) is a picturesque city winning over hearts and minds of tourists and it is called the “Polish Venice”. Not only will you be a part of one of the most important film festivals in the country, but you will indulge in architecture, food and other forms of artistic expression, as Wrocław is well equipped after it was the European Capital of Art in 2017. For more information visit their website here

Polish Film Festival in Gdynia

Where and when? Gdynia in September.

Chances are you might actually know some Polish and be willing to see some of the best Polish movies of the past year and if that is your heart’s desire then grab your lover, grab your friends and go to Gdynia, because it is one of the grandest celebrations of Polish cinema. It is also one of the oldest European film festivals as its beginnings reach 1974.

Among the competition sections the event also offers “Pure classics” section of digitally reconstructed films as well as “Pre-war Cinema Treasures”, “Polonica” (foreign productions made in collaboration with Poland) and children’ section. The competition consists of: Main Competition, Vision Apart Competition and Short Film Competition.

Polish cinema is a beautiful reflection of the country’s history and cinematic heritage plus it takes place by the sea, therefore I highly recommend a visit. To find out more about the history and influences behind the Festival check out this link

Transatlantic Film Festival

Where and when? Łódź in July.

As a student of Łódź Film School it comes as no surprise to me why this is such an important and thematically abundant festival. More than just an exposition it is an invitation to a dialogue between the artists and spectators. You don’t enjoy passive participation? Do you feel the need to express your opinions and discuss the meaning and condition of culture and civlilzation? Then this festival is definitely for you.

Initiated by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, an Oscar-winning composer, Transatlantic asks questions about the meaning of art and expression. Moreover, the festival gives a unique opportunity for young composers to attend either Film Music Competition or Transatlantic Instant Composition Contest. More information, mission and history available here

Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography

Where and when? Bydgoszcz in November.

This festival, probably more than any other, focuses on the importance of cinematographers, but also celebrates the role of image in creating a visual experience. The awards are given out based solely on mastery of the visual and technical skills. It could be said, where other festivals focus on the response of the spectator, Camerimage focuses on all the hard work and artistry invested in developing a motion picture. The festival nurtures the young creator and broadens their creative horizons but also allows the whole community to interact.

To date, previous editions attracted most renowned actors, producers and cinematographers from around the globe. If you are looking to broaden your awareness of how different technical and visual approaches contribute to masterpiece creation this one is for you! Fancy finding out more? Look here

Film and Art Festival Two Riversides

Where and when? Kazimierz Dolny and Janowiec by the Vistula river, end of July and beginning of August.

Let’s start with the metaphor – the festival takes place in two towns on both sides of the river, which represents the connection and a dialogue between the creator and the viewer. The festival incorporates different forms of art like music, literature, theatre and visual arts.

During the festival viewers move within organised Festival Village, where they can watch movies and enjoy different sorts of activities incorporated into the general agenda of the event. Moreover, the festival is unique in its form, where cafes are transformed into a place of informal meetings with the creators and cinematographers. This festival is pretty informal and it reminds me a little of the Toronto Film Festival. Want to know more? Here is a link for you.

Warsaw International Film Fesitval

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