August 2018

Rafal Sokolowski’s vibrant Canadian thriller 22 Chaser is slated to open this year’s 10th Toronto Polish Film Festival.

Sokolowski is no stranger to the fest, in 2012 his film Seventh Day won Best Short Film at Ekran.  

poster 22 chaser22 Chaser was produced at the Canadian Film Centre. The film tells the story of tow truck driver Ben (Brian J. Smith), a new father, struggling to provide for his family.  

Having recently moved from a small town to the big city, he’s one of Toronto’s last ethical tow truck drivers. However, that changes when he trades his personal values for financial success and stability for his family as he switches from towing illegally parked cars to chasing road accidents in his rig.

About the Director: Born in Kielce, Poland, Sokolowski is an award-winning film and theatre director. He’s a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, holds an MFA from York University, and is an apprentice of the National Theatre Academy of Krakow in Directing. His work has been exhibited worldwide and is supported by the National Film Board of Canada, the Canada and Ontario Arts Councils and Bravo!FACT. He is the artistic director of Blind Dog Films, which specializes in developing and producing narrative fiction. 22 Chaser is his feature debut.

Director Rafal Sokolowski

Director Rafal Sokolowski

The Opening Night screening takes place on November 6th at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

From November 7th through 11th the festival will be back at its usual venue on Roncesvalles, the Revue Cinema and unlike last year we will be screening films November 16th, 17th & 18th at Ciné-Starz in Mississauga.

The full Schedule & ticket sales details for the Toronto Polish Film Festival are still to be announced.


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Oscar winning director Paweł Pawlikowski returns to the Toronto International Film Festival this year with his latest award winning film Cold War (Zimna wojna).


The Hollywood Reporter called the film, “A companion piece of sorts to the acclaimed ‘Ida,’ this is yet another exploration of Soviet-era angst in Poland” 

Tomasz Kot & Joanna Kulig in Zimna Wojna

Actors Tomasz Kot & Joanna Kulig in Zimna Wojna







The love story stars lead actors Tomasz Kot & Joanna Kulig.  As well as, Agata Kulesza who is internationally best known as Wanda in Pawlikowski’s Oscar Award Winning Ida. With all the buzz that’s been surrounding this film, could we see another Academy Award in Poland’s future? Let’s hope so!

Actors Tomasz Kot & Agata Kulesz in Zimna Wojna

Actors Tomasz Kot & Agata Kulesza in Zimna Wojna








Time Magazine wrote, “Cold War—shot, like Pawlikowski’s austere 2013 art-house hit Ida, in lustrous black and white—is set in a bleak era in recent Polish history and is dedicated to the memory of Pawlikowski’s parents. Yet it deftly walks the line between appropriately somber and great, sophisticated fun.”

Actor Boris Szyc, Director Pawel Pawlikowski, Actor Joanna Kulig, Actor Tomasz Kot at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival

Actor Boris Szyc, Director Paweł Pawlikowski, Actor Joanna Kulig, Actor Tomasz Kot at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival (photo: Sebastian Nogier / PAP) 








The film competed for the Palm D’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival went on to win Pawlikowski Best Director.


Director Paweł Pawlikowski in Cannes (Getty Images)









TIFF runs this year from September 6th through September 16th.

Ekran, Toronto’s 10th Polish Film Festival runs November 5-11 in Toronto & November 16-18 in Mississauga. 



Polish rock icon Kora & avant garde jazz trumpeter/composer Tomasz Stańko both passed away over the weekend.


First came the devastating news on Saturday July 28, 2018, when  Kora (born Olga Ostrowska; formerly Jackowska) died after her 5 year fight with ovarian cancer. Born June 8, 1951 in Krakow, she was 67 years old.


Iconic Queen of Polish Rock, Kora

Kora is best known as the lead singer of the iconic Polish rock band Maanam (1976-2008).  


To an International audience her sound and style can be compared to Blondie, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Nina Hagen.


“The passing away of Kora for many people of my generation, including myself, means a symbolic end of an era, President Andrzej Duda wrote on Twitter following the death of the singer, composer and leader of the band ‘Maanam’.” (Source: The First News.)


Ekran’s Master or Ceremonies, singer Anna Cyzon, posted a photo of Kora on her Instagram with the caption:

“Rip Legend. To have had the chance to meet you and for you to have defended my art is more than I could ask for in this life. May your soul be at peace and your heaven full of song.” – Anna Cyzon


Kora with Maanam

Kora with Maanam

Cyzon was a contestant and Kora was a judge on the Polish singing competition show Must be the Music. 









Tomasz Stańko passed away in Warsaw on Sunday, July 29, 2018.  He too lost a battle with cancer. Born in July 11,1942 in Rzeszow.  The world renowned trumpet player saw his first jazz concert in 1958, Communist Poland, when Dave Brubeck visited on a State Department-sponsored tour.  Just as Stańko recalled in a 2006 profile for The New York Times, “The message was freedom.” And it proved irresistible. Stańko  got his professional start in Krakow soon after. (Source: NPR).



Tomasz Stańko, Stockholm (Szwecja), 1991, fot. Woody Ochnio / Forum

Tomasz Stańko, Stockholm (Szwecja), 1991, fot. Woody Ochnio / Forum



Stańko became a well known name in Polish jazz when he joined forces with well known artists such as Pianist Adam Mackowicz and Krzysztof Komeda.  







Bled Jazz Festival, 1964, Yugoslavia (present day Slovenia). In the picture: Tomasz Stanko , Krzysztof Komeda , Andrzej Dąbrowski & Zofia Komeda photo: Andrzej Dąbrowski /FOTONOVA / East News

Bled Jazz Festival, 1964, Yugoslavia (present day Slovenia). In the picture: Tomasz Stanko , Krzysztof Komeda , Andrzej Dąbrowski & Zofia Komeda photo: Andrzej Dąbrowski /FOTONOVA / East News

Stańko  went on to compose for film and theatre as well. His notable sideman appearances include bassist Gary Peacock’s Voice from the Past: Paradigm (1982) and a fierce 1985 offering from Cecil Taylor‘s Orchestra of Two Continents, Winged Serpent (Sliding Quadrants). He even made some deeply intriguing synthesizer-heavy fusion (Chameleon, Freedom in August, C.o.c.x., and Freelectronic in Montreux). In 2010, he published his autobiography, Desperado (in Polish). (Source: NPR).





Derek Richardson, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle said, “Tomasz Stanko is not the first jazz musician to negotiate a rapprochement between gorgeous melodies and free improvisation. But he is one of the most eloquent proponents of extemporaneous lyricism working today.” (Source: