The 58th edition of the Krakow Film Festival took place last year. During that event we presented over 220 films in four competitions and twelve other sections. The winner of the special Dragon of Dragons award was Sergei Loznitsa.
As a part of the celebration of the Krakow Film Foundation’s 15th birthday a film screening “KFF Catching Waves” was hosted by the 43th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. The audience saw five films – the winners of the 58th Krakow Film Festival.
A very nice birthday gift for us was making the Krakow Film Festival the first and only feature documentary Oscar qualifying festival in Poland. Until now the films with a chance to be nominated to the Academy Awards were the ones from the short film category, winners of the Golden Dragon and three Silver Dragons awards.
Let’s not forget that the Krakow Film Festival is also among the festivals that recommend shorts and feature documentary films for European Film Awards.
The KFF Industry, which is organised together with the Krakow Film Festival, once again hosted KFF Market, Docs to Start and Docs to Go! pitch sessions, DOC LAB POLAND finishing its second session and Animated in Poland, as well as a number of events dedicated to international film industry.
Last year the Krakow Film Foundation organised two national stands. The first one, dedicated to short film, was presented during a film market at Clermont-Ferrand Festival in France. At the national Polish Shorts stand the accredited professionals and guests from all over the world could find out more about the latest Polish short productions, learn about the festival market and make connections with Polish producers, sale agents and festival representatives. The second stand – Polish Docs – was a part of the Sunny Side of the Doc Market in La Rochelle, the biggest documentary film market in Europe. As each year the Polish stand promoted the latest Polish documentary productions, while the accredited producers had a chance to look for the founding for their projects and make new international connections. Both stands were organised for the twelfth time.
In March 2018 the Krakow Film Foundation co-organised the special screenings of Polish short films at Tampere Film Festival in Finland. In the “Poland in Focus” programme the audience saw eighteen Polish short productions – fiction, documentary and animated ones.
In August, thanks to KFF, “Meet the Poles!” programme presenting Polish documentary films was hosted by MAKEDOX Creative Documentary Film Festival in Macedonia. Twelve new and previously awarded documentaries were shown during the event, which also consisted of the special workshops run by Wojciech Staroń. The screenings preceded the “Masters from Krakow” programme which consisted of ten films – the winners of the Krakow Film Festival, which are considered Polish documentary classics. In September the audience of the Open City Documentary Festival in London watched retrospective dedicated to Bogdan Dziworski, a master of Polish creational documentary, which was co-organised by KFF, whereas in November a selection of the latest Polish documentaries was presented during the Escales Documentaires Festival in La Rochelle
At the beginning of December Poland was a special guest of the Leuven International Short Film Festival. During three screenings the festival audience saw Polish short productions which were awarded around the world, as well as short films by Roman Polański. KFF was an official partner of the event.
As every year KFF prepared Polish Docs film programmes for the Doc Shop documentary markets at Hot Docs Festival in Canada, Docs for Sale during IDFA in the Netherlands, Doc Market during Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece, Doc Outlook during Visions du Reel in Switzerland, East Silver in Czech Republic and DOK Market during DOK Leipzig in Germany. As a part of DOK Leipzig, KFF and Doc Lab Poland organised Polish Docs – Meeting with Decision Makers, a meeting with the most important representatives of the documentary film industry, while during IDFA, Polish Docs together with DOC LAB POLAND and HBO Europe once again hosted Guests Meet Guests dedicated to a few hundred international guests of the festival.
The employees of the Krakow Film Foundation were invited to numerous film industry events and festivals as jury members, panellists and experts. In 2018 Krzysztof Gierat was a jury member at Teheran International Short Film Festival in Iran, Message to Man IFF in Petersburg in Russia and Budapest International Film Festival in Hungary. He also held a presentation at Slemani International Film Festival in Iraq and Listapad Minsk International Film Festival in Belarus. Katarzyna Wilk was a member of the international jury at Finale Plzen in the Czech Republic and an expert during the second edition of the Accelerator for young talents from the audiovisual sector organized by KIPA and the European seminar for young talents Emerge! organized by Creative Europe Desk Poland. Marta Świątek was a jury member during Sedicicorto Festival in Italy and took part in panel discussions dedicated to short films.
Last year Krakow Film Foundation published two issues of the Focus on Poland magazine dedicated to Polish documentary, short and animated films, which were distributed at the biggest films festival including Berlinale, Cannes, IDFA, Annecy or DOK Leipzig.
KFF also published online two film compilations: Polish Shorts Online and Polish Docs Online, which include the selection of the best Polish films of 2018. They was addressed to the international film industry.
In 2018 almost 60 Polish films were added to the KFF Sales & Promotion catalogue. Thanks to KFF those films are being shown and awarded at festivals all over the world. The films from the KFF Sales & Promotion catalogue were presented last year at various festivals including Hot Docs, Annecy, Clermont-Ferrand, Sundance, Slamdance and IDFA. International success of Polish films is our strongest motivation to work even harder to promote Polish cinema for the next 15 years and beyond!
Our work to promote Polish cinema around the world is supported by: the Polish Film Institute, Krakow Festival Office and Krakow Film Commission, as well as our partners from abroad – IDFA, Hot Docs, DOK Leipzig, Clermont-Ferrand ISFF, EDN, Sundance Institute, Institute of Documentary Films, Thessaloniki IDFF, Visions du Reel, Makedox, Tampere FF and Sunny Side of the Doc. The Krakow Film Festival could take place thanks to the financial support from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Polish Film Institute, Polish Filmmakers Association, the City of Krakow and the Marshal’s Office of the Malopolska Region. Thank you all and we look forward to successful cooperation for years to come!