For 6 days representatives for Ekran flew from Toronto to Poland to attend the 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. This event is the biggest, oldest and most influential Polish Film Festival to date.
There was a lot to see and do from September 17th to 22nd— watching films, attending press conferences and industry panels, going to meetings with filmmakers, actors and other Polish Film Festival organizations from all over the world!
A very interesting panel we attended was the “Kobiety filmu 50:50 w 2020” (Women of the film 50:50 in 2020) conference. This conference was opened by award winning director Małgorzata Szumowska and a video address by the incomparable filmmaker Agnieszka Holland.
The Cast & Crew of “Cold War”
Representatives from Ekran: Social Media Producer Jasia Kiersnowski, Executive Director Marta Pozniakowski & Board Memeber/Filmmaker Liliana Komorowska
Award Winning Director Małgorzata Szumowska after a screening of her latest film “Mug”
Polish cinema is full and strong of renowned female filmmakers. This week Ekran was honoured to meet Małgorzata Szumowska, Agnieszka Smoczyńska-Konopka, Zofia Kowalewska, Kasia Adamik, Olga Chajdas, Jagoda Szelc, Kinga Dębska, Liliana Komorowska, Katia Priwieziencew and Maria Sadowska (just to name a few). The conference mentioned not only leading women directors but all women who work in all aspects of production from producers, to set designers, to camera operators and actresses. The main debate surrounded the fact that female film directors in Poland only make 13% of the money granted by the Polish Film Institute for feature films. To us, this statistic sounds unbelievable but it was backed up by panel members: RIS ZAPPE-HELLER, the deputy director at the Austrian Film Institute. PETER CARPENTIER, a FERA board member (Federation of European Audiovisual Directors). MADELEINE EKMAN, an expert evaluating projects at the Swedish Film Institute. EWA GRACZYK – a professor at the University of Gdansk, as well as a literary expert and a social activist. And finally, DR. MONIKA TALARCZYK from Lodz Film School who presented the results from research that’s been commissioned for several years now by Krytyka Polityczna. The statistics show that women in cinematography have fewer opportunities for professional development, are less frequently employed, earn less money than men and are faced with less favourable treatment when funding is distributed.
Ekran’s Marta Pozniakowski with winner of the Visions Apart “Golden Claw” award for her film “Nina” dir. Olga Chajdas
Cast & Crew of “The Butler”
As representatives of the 10th Toronto Polish Film Festival, we were so honoured to be a part of this conference, which was a moment of history in the making for Polish filmmakers.
Primarily movies were on the top of our list. Here’s some of the award highlights from the award gala held on the last night of the festival:
The Grand Prix or “Golden Lion” for the best picture went to Cold War by director Paweł Pawlikowski.
2nd place or the “Silver Lion” went to director Filip Banjon’s period epic The Butler.
A special award was given to director Wojciech Smarzowski for Clergy because of the films courage to explore a topic of particular importance to the public.
The Platinum Award, the prize for lifetime achievement, went to filmmaker / actor Jerzy Skolimowski.
“The Butler” dir. Filip Banjon with his “Silver Lion” award.
Clergy Actor Arkadiusz Jakubik
A special moment for Ekran during the award ceremony was finding out that our friend in Toronto, Costume Designer Monika Onoszko, WON Best Costume Designer for her work in Jan Jakub Kolski’s The Pardon. It was a proud moment. We can’t wait to catch up with Monika in Toronto to hear all about it!
Other award winning highlights were the winners of the “Visions Apart” competition, a separate category from the main competition which highlights more experimental work. The “Golden Claw” awarded for this competition went to Nina, directed by Olga Chajdas and the jury selected a Special Jury Award to Monument, directed by Jagoda Szelc.
The 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia was an exciting, emotional and inspiring week for Polish film. As well, it’s a sneak peak for what’s to come at the 10th Toronto Polish Film Festival this year– please stay tuned to our website and our Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for film announcements and schedule updates!
See you next year in Gdynia & see you all at the 10th Toronto Polish Film Festival Nov 5-11 (Toronto) Nov 16-18 (Mississauga).
Award Gala Platinum Award Presentation for director/actor Jerzy Skolimowski
Winner of Best Costume Design for her work in the film “The Pardon”, Monika Onoszko
Monument dir. Jagoda Szelc
*All the photos, except the one of Monika Onoszko are care of Jasia Kiersnowski.