October 2018

Come get SCARED on Halloween with The Royal Cinema & Ekran at a special screening of Andrzej Żuławski’s 1981 psycho-horror film, Possession.

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WHEN: October 31st at The Royal Cinema (608 College Street, Toronto, ON) at 8PM.

All ticket holders for this event will be given a raffle ticket at the door which automatically enters them into a draw for 2 pairs of tickets to Toronto’s 10th Polish Film Festival.

 

 

 

Prize #1: 2 tickets to Mug (accompanied by the opening short On the Road) – Nov 9th at 830pm

 

Prize #2: 2 tickets to Pardon (accompanied by the opening short Deerboy) – Nov 11th at 4pm

 

For TICKETS to the one-night-only Halloween screening Żuławski’s Possession click HERE.

Isabel Adjani in Possession

 

 

 

 

Possession follows international spy Mark (Sam Neil) and his wife Anna (Isabel Adjani) who are trying to work out their dying relationship after spending some time apart. Anna begins to display increasingly disturbing behaviour once he accuses her of having an affair. Is Anna having an affair with a demon?  

 

 

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Filmed in 1980 Berlin, the Berlin Wall stands as a major metaphoric image in this film, in regards to the political climate of the time and the main character’s marriage. Adjani’s performance won her the award for Best Actress at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. Possession was Żuławski’s only English-language film. In recent years, the film became somewhat of a cult classic.

 

Żuławski has stated that he wrote the script after his own marriage ended to Polish actress (and his former muse) Malgorzata Braunek.  

 

Born in 1944 Poland, director Andrzej Żuławski’s films are known to make skin crawl. His films are dark, disturbing and always macabre.

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Before leaving Poland for France (where he spent most of his career) he released the Polish horror movie The Devil (1972), which was banned by the Communist Regime.

 

The actors in his movies have played out the most intensely high-pitched emotions in cinema history, which inspired the French to coin the term ‘Żuławskien‘, meaning ‘over the top’. In an interview with Margaret Barton-Fumo, Żuławski describes his films as “provoking a certain kind of awareness, nervousness, open-eyed-ness”. (Source: Culture.PL)

 

The music from Possession was composed by Andrzej Korzyński who also worked with Andrzej Wajda in The Birch Wood and Man of Marble.

 

Toronto’s 10th Polish Film Festival takes place Nov 5-11 (Toronto) & Nov 16-18 (Mississauga) for full SCHEDULE click HERE.

For TICKETS to Toronto’s 10th Polish Film Festival click HERE.

22 Chaser is the Canadian produced thriller about the dark underbelly of the tow truck industry in Toronto is Polish born Rafal Sokolowski’s first feature film.

The film could be described as a film noir which paints Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway as a grimy haven for seedy tow truck’s (known as “Chaser’s”) looking to cash in on a car crash before the police do.

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Sokolowski is no stranger to the Toronto’s Polish Film Fest, in 2013 his film “Seventh Day” won Best Short Film.

Ekran caught up with Rafal to discuss 6 details you may or may not know about the Polish-Canadian director.

1.         Rafal holds a B.Sc. Degree in Biology from the University of Toronto and before shifting gears to arts, he was ready to apply to a med school.  He has trained at the National Theatre School of Canada and was awarded the prestigious Fox Scholarship from New York to study directing as an apprentice at the National Theatre Academy of Krakow.

2.         He also teaches film, video production, directing and acting. He has taught at York and Ryerson Universities, the National Theatre School of Canada, Warsaw College of Communications and Media and Soulpepper. Currently he is the Assistant Professor of Film at Ohio University.

3.         22 Chaser is Rafal’s debut feature length film.  Before that he successfully created short films. His short Three Mother’s starring Kristin Booth and Camilla Scott screened at many festivals, including the Warsaw International Film Festival.  His short Seventh Day won Best Short Film at the 2013 Ekran Toronto Polish Film Festival.

4.         He is the founder and the Artistic Director of Blind Dog Films, an independent production company based in Toronto with a mandate to create, develop, and produce narrative films. Blind Dog Films partnered in production of all of his short films and several other theatre projects.

5.         While harnessing his directing craft, Rafal assisted several master theatre directors including Laszlo Marton, Artistic Director of the Vígszínház Theatre and professor of the University of Theatre, Film and Television in Budapest while directing “Mirandolina” by Carlo Goldoni for Soulpepper Theatre Company in Toronto, and Krystian Lupa directing “Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov for the Stary Theatre in Krakow.

6.         Rafal performed in over twenty professional theatrical productions in Canada, US, and Europe including the Atlas Stage Canada production of “Theatre of the Film Noir” by George F. Walker directed by Miroslaw Polatynski, which toured Europe in 2008.

22 Chaser will be followed by a Conversation with director Rafal Sokolowski and the film crew, Nov 6th at 7pm at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

For tickets click HERE. 

Ekran is pleased to partner with The Polish Highlanders Association of Canada (Zwiazek Podhalan w Kanadzie) to co-present The Gorals.

The documentary is set in Podhale – the mountainous region of Poland inhabited by Polish Highlanders. This ethnic group is one of the most distinct in Europe, with their own unmistakable style of dress, economic trade, construction, culture and folklore. The film tells the stories of four men, each carrying out age-old, traditional professions such as wheelwright, lumberjack and bagpipe constructor. It seeks answers to the current and pressing question of how these people manage to reconcile their Highland culture with the modern world.

The Gorals (Górale) are no strangers to Canada, and in particular Ontario where many reside around Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton and have established organizations such as The Polish Highlanders Association of Canada (celebrating its 40th year) to help maintain their connection to their unique folk culture of song, dance, art, architecture and language.  For many within the Goral community around Toronto, as well as our own Ekran team, the documentary will hit close to home as family connections shine on screen for this Canadian premier.file_ostatni-gorale

Director Filip Luft’s film beautifully captures Polish highlanders as they perform the same professions their ancestors did over the past several centuries. From shepherds to craftsmen, characters are shaped when confronted with nature, inaccessible mountains, weather changes and animals. The Tatra mountains become more than just a silent observer of our heroes. Around the mountains, everything changes and they stand and maintain, unshaken.

The film screens on November 18th at 3:00pm at Cine Starz Mississauga and is followed by a Q & A with special guest and producer Maciej Pawelczyk. To help warm up the viewers, we share a few highlander anecdotes;

Oscypekis a smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk exclusively in the Tatra Mountains region of Poland. Since 2007 Oscypek is a protected trade name under the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin geographical indication.

Ciupaga; The shepherd’s axe is a long thin light axe used in past centuries by shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains. The features of a shepherd’s axe combine a tool with a walking stick, that could be used as a light weapon. It has symbolic historical and cultural connotations and is still used as a prop in many traditional dances.

Kierpce; light and soft moccasins which are secured with tightly wrapped straps around the ankles and are made from sheepskin, pigskin or cowhide.

Malarstwo na Szkle; reverse glass painting is one of the many art forms (among wood carving & embroidery) practiced in the Podhale region, the colourful paintings adorn houses, churches and chapels.

Halny; is a foehn wind that blows in the Tatra Mountains of the Carpathians, with the most turbulent blowing in the Podhale region, coming down the slopes of the Tatra Mountains. This warm windstorm blows through valleys and is often disastrous, ripping off roofs, causing avalanches and, according to some people, can affect a persons state of mind.

For the ambitious Polish speakers, click here to pick up a few easy words from the dialects found in the Podhale region!

Ekran is pleased to partner with Inside Out to co-present NINA.
Ekran is proud to collaborate alongside Inside Out in presenting the film, as well as, hosting the director, Olga ChajdasNINA is Chajdas’s award-winning and ground breaking-feature debut.  Chajdas is a force to be reckoned with.

For more than two decades, Inside Out has brought Toronto’s LGBT community together in celebration of the best queer film from Canada and around the world.

NINA is a film about life itself. Being lonely within a relationship and being lonely within yourself. It’s a topic that is universal and beyond sexual preference and translates beyond subtitles.

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Director Olga Chajdas

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NINA (dir. Olga Chajdas)

Chajdas is one of 4 women to direct 1983, Poland’s first Netflix Original Series, due November 30th.  Her wife, Kasia Adamik (who edited NINA) and her mother-in-law, Oscar nominated Agnieszka Holland, are also part of the series.  Not to mention, Chajdas is no stranger to Toronto, at one time she was an intern at The Score.

Despite being family to classic Polish director’s (Adamik and Holland), she started as a theatre director and worked her way up to where she is today. Nothing was handed to her.

NINA, is a story where losers and winners stand on the same side and where the world is not divided between good and bad, heterosexual and homosexual. This is a story of impulsive love, which doesn’t care for traditional divisions.

NINA is playing it’s Canadian debut Nov 5 at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street W., Toronto)

For tickets click HERE.

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Olga Chajdas & Ekran’s Marta Pozniakowski at the 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia

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Filmmaker’s Kasia Adamik & Olga Chajdas

The Ekran team is proud to announce our 10th season, 2018 Box Office is now open!
As previously announced the festival will begin with a special screening of Cold War (dir. Pawel Pawlikowski), Nov 5th at 7pm at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street W., Toronto), followed by the official Opening Night on Nov 6th at 7pm for 22 Chaser (dir. Rafal Sokolowski), at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (506 Bloor St. W., Toronto).

This years festival highlights 37 feature, documentary & short films in two cities (Toronto & Mississauga):

Nov 5 to Nov 11 at the Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto)
Nov 16 to Nov 18 at the Ciné Starz (377 Burnhamthorpe Rd. E., Mississauga)

2018 offers an exceptional line up of films that will excite audiences from all walks of life.  On Mon Nov 5th Award Winning director Olga Chajdas will be in attendance at the screening of her first feature debut NINA. She is a powerhouse director, family to Agnieszka Holland and one of four women directors of the first original Polish series for Netflix “1983”.

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Cold War

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22 Chaser

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Nina

Just in time to commemorate Remembrance Day we’ll be screening the post WWII drama Pardon (dir. Jan Jakub Kolski). The film tells the story of mourning parents who have recently lost their son, a Home Army soldier, after he is killed by the secret police in the autumn of 1946. Left with the corpse in a coffin, the parents set off on a journey to give their son a proper burial in Paclawska Calvary despite the distance and the dangers ahead.  The film won 3 awards at the 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia: Best Screenplay (Jan Jakub Kolski), Best Actress (Grazyna Blecka-Kolska) and Best Costume Design by Toronto’s own Monika Onoszko. Monika recently moved to Toronto from Warsaw and will be in attendance to answer questions from the audience after the screening.

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Pardon

Actor Arkadiusz Jakubik (photo cred. Jasia Kiersnowski)

Actor Arkadiusz Jakubik (photo cred. Jasia Kiersnowski)

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Lead Actress and Screenplay writer Gabriela Muskala from “Fugue”

Also in attendance will be one of Poland’s hottest actors, Arkadiusz Jakubik.  Winner of multiple acting Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film Silent Night (dir. Piotr Domalewski). Jakubik will be available to answer questions from the audience after the screenings of Silent Night (dir. Piotr Domalewski) and Breaking the Limits (dir. Lukasz Palkowski).

As mentioned above, Ekran will return to Mississauga the weekend of November 16 to 18.  Highlights will include director Agnieszka Smoczynska’s award winning psychological drama Fugue, a romantic comedy Plan B (dir. Kinga Debska) and the documentary The Gorals – Highlanders of Carpathia (dir. Filip Luft).

2018 SCHEDULE – TORONTO

Monday, Nov 5th

7:00pm – “Cold War, director Pawel Pawlikowski; Isabel Bader Theatre SOLD OUT

9:15pm – “Nina”, director Olga Chajdas (Introduction by Olga Chajdas); Isabel Bader Theatre

Tuesday, Nov 6th

7:00pm – “22 Chaser”, director Rafal Sokolowski (Q&A w. Rafal Sokolowski & crew); Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

9:30pm – “Silent Night”, director Piotr Domalewski (Q&A w. Arkadiusz Jakubik); Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Wednesday, Nov 7th

6:30pm – “Breaking the Limits”, director Lukasz Palkowski (Q&A w. Arkadiusz Jakubik); Revue Cinema

9:15pm – “Squadron 303”, director Denis Delic; Revue Cinema

Thursday, Nov 8th

6:30pm – “Fugue”, director Agnieszka Smoczynska; Revue Cinema

9:00pm – “My Friend the Polish Girl”, director Ewa Banaszkiewicz & Mateusz Dymek; Revue Cinema (double screening, together with “The Lake”)

9:00pm – “The Lake”, director Catherine Kasima Kanda; Revue Cinema (double screening, together with “My Friend the Polish Girl”)

Friday, Nov 9th

6:30pm – Block of Short Films, various directors (see below under Special Events); Revue Cinema

8:30pm – “Mug”, director Malgorzata Szumowska; Revue Cinema (double screening, together with “On the Road”)

8:30pm – “On the Road”, director Bartosz Nowacki (Q&A w. Bartosz Nowacki); Revue Cinema (double screening, together with “Mug”)

Saturday, Nov 10th

4:00pm – “Back Home”, director Magdalena Łazarkiewicz; Revue Cinema

6:30pm – “A Cat with a Dog”, director Janusz Kondratiuk (Q&A w. Bozena Stachura); Revue Cinema

9:00pm – “The Butler”, director Filip Bajon; Revue Cinema

Sunday, Nov 11th

4:00pm – “Pardon”, director Jan Jakub Kolski (Q&A w. Monika Onoszko); Revue Cinema (double screening, together with “Deer Boy”)

4:00pm – “Deer Boy”, director Katarzyna Gondek (Q&A w. Monika Onoszko); Revue Cinema (double screening, together with “Pardon”)

7:00pm – “Leave Me Not”, director Grzegorz Lewandowski; Revue Cinema

9:00pm – “7 Emotions”, director Marek Koterski; Revue Cinema

 

2018 SCHEDULE – MISSISSAUGA

Friday, Nov 16th

7:00pm – “Plan B”, director Kinga Dębska; Ciné Starz Mississauga (double screening, together with “Leader”)

7:00pm – “Leader”, director Katia Priwiezenciew; Ciné Starz Mississauga (double screening, together with “Plan B”)

9:00pm – “Fugue”, director Agnieszka Smoczynska; Ciné Starz Mississauga

Saturday, Nov 17th

3:00pm – “Forever a Pilot of the Spitfire” (Documentary), director Slawomir Ciok; Ciné Starz Mississauga

5:00pm – “Don’t cry when I am gone” (Documentary), director Slawomir Grunberg; Ciné Starz Mississauga

6:30pm – “Werewolf”, director Adrian Panek; Ciné Starz Mississauga

Sunday, Nov 18th

3:00pm – “The Gorals – Highlanders of Carpathia” (Documentary), director Filip Luft; Ciné Starz Mississauga

4:30pm – “Outsider”, director Adam Sikora; Ciné Starz Mississauga

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Friday, Nov 9th, 6:30pm – Block of Short Films, various directors; Revue Cinema

“A Prayer”, director Sofia Bohdanowicz
“An Evening”, director Sofia Bohdanowicz
“Another Prayer”, director Sofia Bohdanowicz
“Running Toward Thou”, director Hanka Brolinska
“How to Fall”, director Aref Mahabadi

Saturday, Nov 10th, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Screening of Short Films & Documentaries at High Park Library, Community Room, 228 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto (FREE)

“Daddy”, director Kacper Anuszewski
“Dreaming of Warsaw”, director Mateusz Czuchnowski
“Heimat”, director Emi Buchwald
“New Bronx”, director Filip Ignatowicz
“Short Distance”, director Giovanni Pierangeli
“You Are What You Eat”, director Monika Kalicki

Ticketing Details:

Tickets purchased online are non refundable. Seats are not numbered – first come first served.

Doors open 15 min before each screening. Tickets purchased online should be printed or displayed on a Smartphone at the entrance.

Ekran, Toronto’s Polish Film Festival is now entering the double digits! Wow, 10 years! For those of us who have been following the festival since day 1, it feels like yesterday.  Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

10 years ago, Marta Pozniakowski began her dream of bringing the best of contemporary and artistic films to Toronto. 10 years today, her once little festival has grown bigger and better! From celebrity guests, industry professionals on the jury panel and all the glitz and glam that goes into a film festival, the festival has thrived through thick and thin.  It has definitely made it’s mark on the city.

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Host Anna Cyzon & Ekran Executive Director Marta Pozniakowski at the 9th Toronto Polish Film Festival.

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Throwback to a past Toronto Polish Film Festival with Marta Pozniakowski, Actress Katarzyna Figura & Filmmaker Mitja Okorn.

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Throwback of Ekran Founder & Director Marta Pozniakowski from the 6th Toronto Polish Film Festival.

Marta recently spoke about Ekran’s 10 year journey with journalist Malgorzata P. Bonikowska (Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor of Gazeta) on her English speaking podcast POLcast.

This story is featured in Episode 58 and in the Full Story.

The 10th Toronto Polish Film Festival will take place in Toronto at the following venue’s:
Nov 5 at the Isabela Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. W.
Nov 6 at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W.
November 7 to 11 at the Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave.

& in Mississauga:

November 16 to 18 at the Ciné Starz (377 Burnhamthorpe Rd. E., Mississauga)

Tickets can be purchased HERE.

Want to get involved? VOLUNTEER with us! 

See you at the movies!

Ekran is excited to announce the first guest from Poland to attend Toronto’s 10th Polish Film Festival, award winning director Olga Chajdas is attending the screening of her first feature film NINA.

NINA won the “Golden Claw” in the Visions Apart contest at the 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.

It also won the “Big Screen Award” at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

The film follows the marriage of 30-something year old’s Nina and Wojtek.  Their marriage seems to be falling apart, mainly because of their failed attempts to have a baby. When they meet a young woman, Magda, they decide to propose that she become a surrogate mother for their child. But things get more complicated when Nina suddenly feels attracted to Magda.

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Nina (2018)

Olga Chajdas & Ekran's Marta Pozniakowski at the 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia

Olga Chajdas & Ekran’s Marta Pozniakowski at the 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia

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Nina (2018)

Chajdas graduated from from the Lodz Film School in 2006 and completed a course in directing at Andrzej Wajda’s Film School in 2009. She has worked as an assistant director, a writer and as an independent director for TV, film and theater.

Her notable credits include working as the 2nd unit director on Kasia Adamik’s Amok & the 1st assistant director for Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness.

The film touches on feminist and LGTBQ themes. A scene worth noting is when Nina and Magda find themselves within an art installation by Natalia Bażowska, entitled Birth Place” This specific scene represents a womb you can lie in and serves for the characters as their only shelter, where their love, freedom and identities are not bound by any conventions. (Source: IFFR.com)

NINA will be screened on Monday, November 5th at 915pm at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St. W., Toronto).

A live forward of the film from Chajdas will open the film. 

Tickets for NINA are available to purchase through Guestlist.

The 10th Toronto Film Festival is proud to present a Special Screening of Cold War (Zimna Wojna) by Academy Award winning director Pawel Pawlikowski on Monday, November 5, at 7pm at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St. W., Toronto).

Pawlikowski won Best Director at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the “Golden Lion” for Best Pictureat the 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.

Cold War is also Poland’s contender for Best Foreign Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards.

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Autographed Poster of “Zimna Wojna” in Gdynia

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Joanna Kulig & Agata Kulesza (reunited on screen since Ida) in “Cold War”

Director Pawel Pawlikowski and the Cast & Crew of Cold War/ Zimna Wojna at the 43rd Polish Film Festival

Director Pawel Pawlikowski and the Cast & Crew of Cold War/ Zimna Wojna at the 43rd Polish Film Festival

Considered to a “bonafide masterpiece” by the London Times, the epic love story follows musician Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and his muse, the wild and sensual Zula (Joanna Kulig), as their passion spans for a decade and a half across post-WWII Europe in Warsaw, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris.

Cold War is set in black and white cinematography along the smoky melancholy and angst of those who lived and survived in post-WWII Communist Poland. The pictures are equally as stunning as the soundtrack which carries the film between both sides of the Iron Curtain. From traditional folk music, jazz and early rock n roll, the audience follows Wiktor and Zula (named after Pawlikowski’s own parents) as they struggle to be together during the times of Soviet rule.  Their love affair is all over the place feeling hyper loving and passionate in one moment and then anti-romantic and toxic in the next. The audience is in a constant battle with the main characters, hoping that their love will finally bring their souls peace.

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Producers, Cast & Director Pawel Pawlikowski at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival in 2018

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Actors Tomasz Kot & Joanna Kulig “Cold War”

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Actress Joanna Kulig “Cold War”

Oscar talk has also been buzzing around actress Joanna Kulig. Her acting in the film (not to mention her singing) is classic and captivating like an old film starring Bridgitte Bardot or Audrey Hepburn. The actress herself admits to the Guardian,

“I was channeling the relationship between Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller and that it helped to think about Amy Winehouse and her personality”.  

The film is captivating, artistic and worth watching more than once. However, if you have only one chance to see the film– we hope to see you on Monday, November 5, at 7pm at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St. W., Toronto).

Click Here to Buy Tickets to the Special Presentation of Cold War.