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58th Krakow Film Festival has started

58KFF Opening Ceremony photo Agnieszka Fiejka 

58th edition of Krakow Film Festival, one of the oldest and the most recognizable events dedicated to documentary, animated and short films has started tonight. Sergei Loznitsa, Talal Derki, and Etgar Keret are among the guests.


During the 8 festival days, the audience has a chance to see about 250 films from the whole world, presented in 4 competitions and 12 non-competing sections. The screenings are complemented with Q&As, workshops, exhibitions, concerts and KFF Industry events for the professionals, including presentations of the new Polish documentary and animated projects.


The festival has opened with the world premiere of a music documentary “Concerto for Two” by Tomasz Drozdowicz – the colourful story of an outstanding conductor, pianist and composer Jerzy Maksymiuk, as well as an intimate description of a special relationship he has with his wife Ewa. The film takes part in the international music documentary films competition DocFilmMusic and in the national competition.


This edition’s special guest is Estonian cinema. In the “Focus on Estonia” section the latest productions from this Baltic country will be presented: documentaries, shorts, a special programme for kids and teenagers and a selection of student films. The film professionals from Estonia and Poland will meet at the industry conference to discover the opportunities for collaboration. The section will be inaugurated with a daring documentary “Rodeo. Taming a Wild Country” showing the process of breaking free from the Soviet regime.


This year’s Dragon of Dragons award for lifetime achievement will go to Sergei Loznitsa („Donbass”, „A Gentle Creature”, „Blockade”), an outstanding documentary filmmaker, a multiple Krakow Film Festival winner. The programme includes the retrospective of Loznitsa’s films and his master class devoted to using of archival footage and one’s own life experiences in filmmaking.


Another highlight of the festival is a visit of Etgar Keret, one of the most famous and popular Israeli writers, a master of short fiction, screenwriter and lecturer. The documentary “Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story” will be shown as a part of “World Stories” section, and director Stephane Kaas, writer Rutger Lemm, and the protagonist are expected at the festival and will take part in meeting with an audience.


One of the more distinctive and very popular section of the festival is Docs+Science, a cycle dedicated to science films accompanied by the meetings with the experts and organized for the fifth time, in cooperation with the Foundation for AGH. One of the films presented in a section is a documentary “Jane” focusing on the story of an exceptional researcher Jane Goodall, who spent most of her life among chimpanzees. The film is directed by Brett Morgen, known for “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” awarded in Krakow in 2015.   


As a matter of fact, this edition seems to be marked with returns. Syrian filmmaker Talal Derki, a Silver Horn 2014 laureate for “Return to Homs”, comes with “Of Fathers and Sons”, a close up on a life of jihadists, awarded already at Sundance. Till Schauder, the last year’s winner of the DocFilmMusic competition brings to Krakow “The Reggae Boyz” about Jamaican football team. Kaleo La Belle, the winner of the KFF documentary competition in 2010 in “Fell in Love with a Girl” tells the story of his own attempts to create a perfectly functioning patchwork family. Last but not least, Zosya Rodkevich, the Golden Horn 2016 winner for “My Friend Boris Nemtsov”, comes back with “White Mama”, a documentary about a woman who, having six black-skinned children born out of her relationship with an Ethiopian man, decides to adopt a white boy with mental health problems.


Among Polish filmmakers attending 58.KFF there will be: Marta Prus, the author of the widely known documentary “Over the Limit”, that secured her a place on the prestigious Variety magazine list; Marta Pajek, last year’s winner for her animation “Impossible Figures and Other Stories II”, whose latest film “III” was selected to the competition in Cannes and Grzegorz Zariczny, the director of awarded at Sundance “The Whistle”, who comes back to the festival with “The Last Lesson” about high school graduates from the Krakow.


Traditionally in the programme there are the screenings of music films in the open air cinema at the foot of Wawel Castle (Sound of Music), films awarded in the befriended festivals (Festival Award Winners), showcase of the latest Polish productions (Polish Panorama), cinema for the young (Kids&Youth), last year’s most widely discussed documentaries from different parts of the world (World Stories) and films made in European countries (Somewhere in Europe).


58th Krakow Film Festival will last until Sunday, 3rd June, the award ceremony will take place on Saturday, 2nd June.




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Chatelin Bruno

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