Among the documentaries, shorts, and animated films from all over the world, there will be – as always – a strong line-up of Polish productions in the Krakow Film Festival program. They will take part in all four festival competitions and will also be presented during special segments. As many as 12 Polish titles will be competing for prizes in international film competitions!

Polish panorama

One of the most important segments of the festival is the Polish Documentary Panorama. Among others, the program includes a portrait of an outstanding Polish biologist and environmentalist Simona Kossak. We will follow her trail from Krakow to her sanctuary in the Białowieża Forest (Simona), we will learn the fate of extraordinary outsider artists – performer and sculptor Roman Stańczak (Flight) and legendary Polish jazz musicians (Michał Urbaniak and Zbigniew Namysłowski) through the eyes of director Janusz Majewski (Jazz Outsider). We will visit the oldest pawnshop in Europe (The Pawnshop) run by a couple of eccentric businessmen in Bytom, and take a look at the largest piano factory in Poland (The Soul of a Piano), established in 1889, with music by Jan A. P. Kaczmarek.


The international short film competition will have Marta Pajek returning to the festival with the long-awaited last (and chronologically first) part of her award-winning triptych Impossible Figures and Other Stories. As a series first, it now has dialogue with the main character voiced by the outstanding stage actress Anna Polony.  One of the favourite writers in Poland, Etgar Keret, will appear in Kraków as a director. In A Brief History of Us, he uses his distinctive style to tackle the subject of a long-term relationship and its consequences. The third animated film in the competition is Sławek Zalewski’s Fortress – based on a short story by Slawomir Mrożek, with Jerzy Stuhr as the narrator.

In the fiction film category, Poland will be represented by two films: Victoria (dir. Karolina Porcari) with Katarzyna Figura in the role of 50-year-old Amelia, whose life is transformed when she experiences her first orgasm using a vibrator, and Mandatory Presence (dir. Adam Ziajski) – a surprising and original story about a character locked in a claustrophobic room, where he spends weeks searching for more and more absurd activities interwoven with post-apocalyptic visions of the world ending. 

The only Polish short documentary among the films from all over the world is Moody (dir. Karolina Karwan and Tomasz Ratter) – a story about the turbulent relationship between a mother and her son who are stuck in a tropical “paradise” and left entirely on their own. The film is also a mystical journey in which music and dance become a way of communication.

Two Polish productions will compete for the Golden Heynal in the DocFilmMusic music documentary competition: the beautifully filmed 30 Years of Excuses by Armand Urbaniak and Robert Kaczmarek’s documentary Zbigniew Seifert. Interrupted Journey with its rich archival footage. Both films, although completely different in form, present two extraordinary musical personalities – jazz and blues virtuosos. Their protagonists share a passion for music and both race against time to fulfil their musical dreams as much as possible in the face of terminal cancer. For audiophiles, it’s a fascinating journey into the world of their idols’ creativity. Others will discover unknown facts from the history of Polish music. 

The prestigious list of 14 best documentaries qualified for the international documentary competition features only one Polish film: Bogna Kowalczyk’s Boylesque about the oldest Polish drag queen – the phenomenal and uncompromising Lulla la Polaca. Behind this stage persona is Andrzej – a man who has always fought for the right to individual expression, in spite of the prevailing climate in the country. 

National Competition of the Krakow Film Festival

Documentary films

Documentary makers will take us on a real and metaphorical journey. In the bittersweet film God and Lunaparks’ Warriors, the son – an ardent Catholic and a father – an ardent atheist set off on their last journey to various holy places. The title character of Zasada and Polish motorsport legend takes part in the Safari Rally in Kenya at the age of ninety-one. A trip to a small Ukrainian village and a meeting with a relative become part of therapy for the otherwise lonely heroine of My Place Ozerna

The protagonists of the following films are going soul searching: The Voice – 14 men enter the novitiate of the Jesuit Order for two years and use this time to decide whether they’re fit for religious life; When I’ll Be… – transgender Adam is at the beginning of a journey that will bring him closer to becoming who he has always felt he has been; Identity – three radically different protagonists at distant political poles try to define their identity in contemporary Poland; Tell Me My Story – abandoned at birth, Magda tries to form a relationship with her biological parents; The Rocking Horses – mentally disabled Ewa escapes her harsh reality by creating dolls and toys; 7 Words About Passing Away – reflects on how man’s attitude to death changes with age.

In the film Boulevard, we get to know Warsaw’s Krakowskie Przedmieście street from the perspective of passers-by and people who make their living in animal costumes. The camera takes an in-depth look at this national animal enclosure. Our Tenement is an observation of a group living in a certain tenement house in Łódź created as a result of a unique – and Poland’s first – social revitalisation process. Edge of Light documents the determination of a charismatic athlete who gathers around him a group of young people determined to laboriously restore the memory of the Jewish inhabitants of Podhale.

The films The Pack and One Does Not Do It To a Cat use animals to tell deep and touching stories about people.

Fiction films

This year, in the short film competition we will see filmmakers who have so far received awards for their documentaries at the festival: Tomasz Wolski, a multiple award winner at the KFF, will present the film The Fence about two men who run a hotel and stables for horses, while hiding the relationship between them from the community. Winner of the Silver Dragon for her documentary Close Ties (2016), Zofia Kowalewska’s returns with Cat, which tells the story of an unusual family triangle: a daughter, a father and… a cat. Starring the talented Julia Kuzka (known to KFF audiences from Alice and the Frog and Last Days of Summer, for which she received a special mention for acting).

Jakub Radej, awarded for his documentary Dust (2017), this time reaches for the topic of social media and violence. In the film Followers. Live Shooting, high school students await the arrival of Olga Tokarczuk, but what they don’t expect is that this day will go down in school history for a very different reason. Michał Toczek (awarded the PFA Award for best film editing at the 59th KFF for his documentary Strawberry Boys) in A Dead Marriage tells the story of a couple who meet on a film set, where they both play… corpses. Michal Edelman, whose documentary The Last Knights of the Right Side was presented at the 60th KFF, explores the limits of art and reality in the fiction film Performance.

In the comedy In The Circle (dir. Jan Naszewski), a workshop for women intended to help them achieve a state of relaxation unexpectedly becomes a difficult exercise in patience. A not-quite-dead father (Jacek Poniedziałek) and his disaster of a daughter (Agnieszka Matan) will take us on a crazy trip to an unusual ceremony called the Unburial (dir. Artur Wyrzykowski). In the film Only Until Dawn (dir. Eliza Godlewska and Alan Ruczyński), fifty-year-old Roma (Ewa Konstancja Bułhak) finds herself in the most difficult moment of her life – she has left her husband and has nowhere to stay.

Animated films

Julia Orlik, who has received numerous awards domestically and abroad for I’m Here (60th KFF), tackles the theme of creative crisis in a funny and touching autobiographical animation This Will Not Be a Festival Film. The programme also features the animated documentary Once There Was a Sea… (dir. Joanna Kożuch) about the disappearance of the Aral Sea, awarded at this year’s festival in Clermont-Ferrand. Music of Sonny is another animated documentary form. Its creators (Anna Sałacińska and Klementyna Margolis) listen to the stories of workers of a CD factory.
Moreover, the program includes a film about a man who looks only into the past by Kijek/Adamek duo (Slow Light), a hip-hop story about crazy 30 years from Marcin Kot’s life directed by Zofia Strzelecka (The Cat), a surreal story about a dachshund trapped in a wedding cake (Dessert Dachshund by Betina Bożek), Blooming Brain (dir. Edyta Adamczak) taking up the topic of multiple sclerosis.


International Documentary Competition

Boylesque, dir. Bogna Kowalczyk, Poland, 70′, 2022

International Short Film Competition

A Brief History of Us, dir. Etgar Keret, 6’, Poland 2021

Impossible Figures and Other Stories I, dir. Marta Pajek, 16’, Poland, Canada 2022

Moody, dir. Karolina Karwa, Tomasz Ratter, 30, Poland 2022

Mandatory Presence, dir. Adam Ziajski, 25′ Poland 2021

Fortress, dir. Sławek Zalewski, 13’, Poland 2021Victoria, dir. Karolina Porcari, 28’, Poland 2022

International Music Documentary Competition DocFilmMusic

30 Years of Exuses , dir. Armand Urbaniak, 74’, Poland 2022

Zbigniew Seifert. Interrupted Journey, dir. Robert Kaczmarek, 80’, Poland 2021


Documentary films:

30 Years of Excuses , dir. Armand Urbaniak, 74’, Poland 2022

7 Words About Passing Away, dir. Łukasz Iwanicz, 9’, Poland 2022

God and Lunaparks’ Warriors, dir. Bartłomiej Żmuda, 77’, Poland 2022

Boylesque, dir. Bogna Kowalczyk, Poland, 70′, 2022  

Boulevard, dir. Artur Wierzbicki, 63’, Poland 2022

Our Tenement, dir. Piotr Szczepański, 69, Poland 2022

The Voice, dir. Dominika Montean-Pańków, 73’, Poland 2022

When I’ll Be…, dir. Tymoteusz Kałużewski, 21’, Poland 2022

The Rocking Horses, dir. Marcin Lesisz, 30’, Poland 2022

My Place Ozerna, dir. Karina Będkowska, 58’, Poland 2022

Moody, dir. Karolina Karwan, Tomasz Ratter, 30’, Poland 2022

Tell Me My Story, dir. Maciej Miller, 22’, Poland 2022

The Pack, dir. Tadeusz Chudy, 52, Poland 2022

One Does Not Do It To a Cat, dir. Jan Gębski, 10’, 2022

Identity, dir. Konrad Królikowski, 59’, Poland 2022

Edge of Light, dir. Wojciech Szumowski, 73’, Poland 2021

Zasada, reż. Michał Bolland, 70’, Poland 2022

Zbigniew Seifert. Interrupted Journey, dir. Robert Kaczmarek, 80’, Poland 2021

Animated films:

A Brief History of Us, dir. Etgar Keret, 6’, Poland 2021

Once There Was a Sea…, dir. Joanna Kozuch, 17’, Slovakia, Poland 2021

Dessert Dachshund, dir. Betina Bożek, 7’, Poland 2022

Impossible Figures and Other Stories I, dir. Marta Pajek, 16’, Poland, Canada 2022

The Cat, dir. Zofia Strzelecka, 6’, Poland 2022

Blooming Brain, dir. Edyta Adamczak, 10’, Poland 2022

Music of Sonny, dir. Anna Sałacińska, Klementyna Margolis, 8’, Poland 2022

Slow Light, dir. Kijek/Adamski, 11’, Poland, Portugal 2021

This Will Not Be a Festival Film, dir. Julia Orlik, Poland 2022

Fortress, dir. Sławek Zalewski, 13’, Poland 2021

Short fiction films: 

Followers. Live Shooting, dir. Jakub Radej, 28’, Poland 2022

Cat, dir. Zofia Kowalewska, 21’, Poland 2022

A Dead Marriage, dir. Michał Toczek, 19’, Poland 2022

Mandatory Presence, dir. Adam Ziajski, 25′ Poland 2021

Unburial, dir. Artur Wyrzykowski, 22’, Poland 2022

Performance, dir. Michał Edelman, 17’, Poland 2022

The Fence, dir. Tomasz Wolski, 26’, Poland 2022

Only Until Dawn, dir. Eliza Godlewska, Alan Ruczyński, 27’, Poland 2022

Victoria, dir. Karolina Porcari, 28’, Poland 2022

In The Circle, dir. Jan Naszewski, 23’, Poland 2022


The Soul of a Piano, dir. Judyta Fibiger, 60’, Poland 2022

Jazz Outsider, dir. Janusz Majewski, 55’, Poland 2022

Flight, dir. Anna Zakrzewska, Łukasz Ronduda, Poland 2022

Mr. Inkblot in Love & War, dir. Władysław Jurków, 56′ Poland 2022

Simona, dir. Natalia Koryncka-Gruz, 97’, Poland 2021

Krakow Film Festival is included on the prestigious list of film events qualifying for the Academy Awards in the short film competition (fiction film, animated film, documentary film) and feature-length documentary film competition, as well as recommending films for the European Film Awards in the same categories. The festival also qualifies for BAFTA awards in the short documentary and fiction film category.

The Kraków Film Festival is organised with the financial support of the European Union as part of the “Creative Europe” program, the City of Kraków, the Polish Film Institute, the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sports, and the Lesser Poland Province. The co-organiser is the Polish Filmmakers Association, and the main organiser is the Krakow Film Foundation. 

A full program of this year’s Festival and tickets will be available in May 2022 at www.krakowfilmfestival.pl

Krakow Film Festival will be held in Kraków cinemas from 29 May to 5 June, and online throughout Poland on 3–12 June 2022.

You can find out more information about festival here.