Among the documentary, short and animated films from all over the world, there will be a strong representation of Polish titles, which will participate in all four festival competitions, but will also be included in the programmes of the non-competing sections.

Polish films in international competitions

57th Krakow Film Festival opens on May 28 with the film “THE BEKSIŃSKIS. A Sound and Picture Album” (dir. Marcin Borchardt). This feature-length documentary film, made from sound, film and photo archival materials, coming from Zdzisław Beksiński’s private archive, will be at the same time one of three Polish films which will compete for the Golden Horn award in the international documentary film competition. From among 18 films from all over the world, there are also: the latest film by Piotr Stasik – “Opera about Poland” and “Desert Coffee” (dir. Mikael Lypinski), made in the desert settlement in the south of California.  

Among 10 films in the exclusive international music documentary film competition DocFilmMusic, there is “Festival” (dir. Tomasz Wolski, Anna Gawlita), a collective portrait of musicians shown behind the scenes during their preparations for a music festival. The sounds of the compositions by Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven are interwoven with emotional dialogues of the musicians.

In the international short film competition, Poland is represented by film-makers of films in all categories: documentary, feature and animated film. Among the short documentary films, the film “Dust” by Jakub Radej will be presented. This is a story about what happens to the body and the property of a single person after death, shown in a raw and austere form. The film asks questions about the sense of existence, the importance of an individual, the value of material goods.  

Another film telling about passing of time is the short feature film, qualified for the international competition – “Me and My Father” by Aleksander Pietrzak. In this and in the second Polish feature film in the competition, “My name is Julita” (dir. Filip Dzierżawski), the protagonists attempt to rebuild their relationships with the parent. The two stories, though they are completely different, are united by the motif of the essence of ties and intimacy between the closest family members.

Two Polish animated films will also compete for the Golden Dragon statuette in the international short film competition: “Strange Case” by Zbigniew Czapla and “Oh Mother!” by Paulina Ziółkowska. The first one is a surrealistic journey, a kind of internal monologue, filled with personal reflections and memories. The animated film by Paulina Ziółkowska is an extremely visually attractive story about a peculiar relationship between mother and son.

The Polish competition at the 57th Krakow Film Festival

“Time for forty-year-olds! Not so long ago, they debuted in Krakow, and now they dominate in the competitions. But there is also a place for the youngest and the seniors of Polish cinema.  A mosaic of genres and subjects expands to include generations and topography of places. Not only Lodz, Katowice and Wajda Film Schools appear, but also other places where film-makers are educated, as well as independent producers. And, at last, women, maybe not as numerous as it used to be, but we are not concerned about a forced parity…” Krzysztof Gierat, the Director of Krakow Film Festival, comments on the results of the selection.

In the Polish competition, the largest representation consists of documentary films. The trend of Polish film-makers’s interest in stories from other parts of the world continues. This can be seen clearly in the film “Desert Coffee,” but also in the documentary films “Miss Holocaust” (dir. Michalina Musielak, Irena Siedlar), “Arabic Secret” (dir. Julia Groszek), “Zhalanash” (dir. Marcin Stauter) and “Dos Islas” (dir. Adriana F. Castellanos).

Two of the competition films tell the stories of the authors of memoirs from the times of the Nazi occupation. “My enemy, my love” (dir. Krzysztof Lang)  presents a controversial fate of a teenager flirting with German officers, whereas “Sierakowiak’s Diary” is a motion picture based on one of the earliest publications of the witness accounts from the ghetto in Łódź.

The documentary film “Land of the Homeless” (dir. Marcin Janos Krawczyk) is a story of an extraordinary project, that is, the construction of a seagoing yacht, in which the homeless are involved. Striving to fulfil their dream –  round the world voyage – they work hard and fight against stereotypes and their own weaknesses. Hard labour is also the element of the grey everyday life of the protagonists of the film “Gruba” (dir. Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz), the workers in the mine “Rydułtowy.”

In the Polish competition, there is no lack of documentary films with a humorous tinge. These include, among others, “The Ugliest Car in the world” (dir. Grzegorz Szczepaniak) and “Euphoria” (dir. Natalia Pietsch). In other films, there are strong musical motifs, such as in “Bandmasters” (dir. Tomasz Knittel), or in the documentary film “Always Ready to Travel” by Anna Wiśniewska.

Dagmara Romanowska, film critic and the selector of Krakow Film Festival, sums up the feature films in the competition: “Tragedy and humour, family and social problems, the challenges of adolescence and of the end of life. The latest Polish short feature films take up various subjects. As it is the case every year, it is a kaleidoscope of artistic search, of the questions which bother not only the young film-makers. It is not the first time that the selection is dominated by the films from Munk Studio, offering intriguing script ideas and professional film-making.”

Robert Sowa, the curator of the animated film competition at Krakow Film Festival, emphasises the diversity of subjects and animation techniques: “This year, KFF inaugurates the celebrations of 70 years of Polish animated film, the quintessence of which is the collection of Polish animated films in the Polish competition. We have animated films both by the recognised and respected as well as young and beginning film-makers. This year’s animated film competition is a great summary of the variety in the history of Polish animation.”


The list of Polish films in the competitions at the 57th Krakow Film Festival


International documentary film competition

BEKSIŃSCY. Album wideofoniczny / THE BEKSIŃSKIS. A Sound and Picture Album, dir. Marcin Borchardt, 2017, 80’

Desert Coffee, dir. Mikael Lypinski, 2017, 53’

Opera o Polsce / Opera about Poland, dir. Piotr Stasik, 2017, 50’

International competition DocFilmMusic

Festiwal / Festival, dir. Tomasz Wolski, Anna Gawlita, 2017, 85’

International short film competition

Proch / Dust, dir. Jakub Radej, 2017, 25’

Ja i mój tata / Me and My Father, dir. Aleksander Pietrzak, 2017, 30’

Nazywam się Julita / My name is Julita, dir. Filip Dzierżawski, 2017, 30’

Dziwny przypadek / Strange Case, dir. Zbigniew Czapla, 2017, 14’

O Matko! / Oh Mother!, dir. Paulina Ziółkowska, 2017, 12’



Documentary films

Arabski sekret / Arabic Secret, dir. Julia Groszek, 2017, 52’

BEKSIŃSCY. Album wideofoniczny / THE BEKSIŃSKIS. A Sound and Picture Album, dir. Marcin Borchardt, 2017, 80’

Desert Coffee, dir. Mikael Lypinski, 2017, 53’

Dos Islas, dir. Adriana F. Castellanos, 2016, 40’ (Poland, Spain)

Dziennik Sierakowiaka / Sierakowiak’s Diary, 2016, dir. Michał Bukojemski, 57’

Euforia / Euphoria, dir. Natalia Pietsch, 2017, 17’

Festiwal / Festival, dir. Tomasz Wolski, Anna Gawlita, 2017, 85’

Film dla Stasia / Film for Stas, dir. Monika Meleń, 2017,  53’

Gruba, dir. Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz, 2017, 59’

KapelMistrze / Bandmasters, dir. Tomasz Knittel, 2016, 2017, 42’

Kolekcja / Collection, dir. Marcin Polar, 2017, 19’

Długa droga / Long Way, dir. Weronika Mliczewska, 2016, 58’ (Poland, India)

Miss Holocaust / Miss Holocaust, dir. Michalina Musielak, Irena Siedlar, 2017, 22’ (Poland. Germany)

Mój wróg, moja miłość / My Enemy, My Love, dir. Krzysztof Lang, 2016, 45’

Najbrzydszy samochód świata / The Ugliest Car, dir. Grzegorz Szczepaniak, 2017, 47’

Obcy na mojej kanapie / Stranger on my couch, dir. Grzegorz Brzozowski, 2017, 55’

Opera o Polsce / Opera about Poland, dir. Piotr Stasik, 2017, 50’

Proch / Dust, dir. Jakub Radej, 2017, 25’

Żalanasz / Zhalanash, dir. Marcin Sauter, 2017, 42’

Zawsze gotowy do podróży / Always Ready to Travel, dir. Anna Wiśniewska, 2017, 53’

Ziemia bezdomnych / Land of the Homeless, dir. Marcin Janos Krawczyk, 2017, 55’

Feature films

Bogdan i Róża / Bogdan and Rose, dir. Milena Dutkowska, 2017, 15’

Deer Boy / Deer Boy, dir. Katarzyna Gondek, 2017, 15’ (Poland, Belgium, Croatia)

Ja i mój tata / Me and My Father, dir. Aleksander Pietrzak, 2017, 30’

Koniec widzenia / Time to go, dir. Grzegorz Mołda, 2017, 15’

Nazywam się Julita / My name is Julita, dir. Filip Dzierżawski, 2017, 30’

Nic nowego pod słońcem / Nothing New Under the Sun, dir. Damian Kocur, 2017, 24’

Sen o Warszawie / Dreaming of Warsaw, dir. Mateusz Czuchnowski, 2017, 17’

Spitsbergen / Spitsbergen, dir. Michał Szcześniak, 2017, 23’

Totalna harmonia / Total Harmony, dir. Roman Jarosz, 2017, 30’

Animated films

Dziwny przypadek / Strange Case, dir. Zbigniew Czapla, 2017, 14’

Horyzont zdarzeń / The Event Horizon, dir. Michał Orzechowski, 2017, 12’

Kosmos / Cosmos, dir. Daria Kopiec, 2016, 2’

Łuska / Fish Scale, dir. Alicja Kot, 2016, 5’

O Matko! / Oh Mother!, dir. Paulina Ziółkowska, 2017, 12’

Pandemic, dir. Krzysztof Kiwerski, 2017, 8’

Ucieczka / The Escape, dir. Jarosław Konopka, 2017, 15’

Wcielenie / Incarnation, dir. Barbara Rupik, 2017, 5’



The films in the Polish competition will be evaluated by the jury consisting of: Dariusz Jabłoński – the head of the jury, Wojciech Kasperski, Marta Pajek, Dorota Segda and Krzysztof Spór.

Polish films within the frames of the 57th Krakow Film Festival will also be shown in the non-competing sections Polish panorama and Festival award winners. The screenings of the best films by two of this year’s Dragon of Dragons winners, Witold Giersz and Daniel Szczechura, will also be held.

57th Krakow Film Festival is held from May 28 to June 4.