guest Poland

In 2023, the guest country program was Poland in partnership with the Polish Embassy and Munka Studio.

Poland's love affair with the moving image goes right back to 1899, when the first cinema opened in Lodz (by the 1970s, the industrial city would boast no fewer than 36 picture houses, with hundreds more across the nation).

It wasn’t long before Poland’s first acclaimed filmmaker, Kazimierz Prószyński, announced the Eastern European nation’s creative ambitions, setting in motion an artistic tidal wave that includes such all-time great directors as Krzysztof Zanussi, Andrzej Wajda, Tomasz Bagiński, Małgorzata Szumowska, Jan Jakub Kolski, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Stanisław Bareja and Janusz Zaorski.

Studio Munka, functions within the structures of Polish Filmmakers Association since 2008 and was set up to focus exclusively on producing directorial debut films. The goal of the studio is to discover and support talented young directors in making creative, art-house cinema.

To date, thirteen full-length feature debuts have been made at Munk Studio, among others: Piotr Domalewski’s „Silent Night” (the best polish movie on Gdynia Film Festival 2017), Bartosz Kruhlik’s „Supernova” (the best polish debut on Gdynia Film Festival 2019) and Damian Kocur’s „Bread and Salt” (Special Jury Prize Venice Orizzonti 2022).

Apart from long feature debuts, Munk Studio is producing 30 minutes-long live-action debuts, 15-30 minutes length documentary debuts and 3-5 minutes length animation debuts. Most of them were presented and awarded in competitions all over the world. „Glass Trap” the short documentary directed by Paweł Ferdek were nominated to European Film Awards 2009. „Hanoi-Warsaw” the short feature directed by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz won the EFA 2010. Short documentary „The Whistle” directed by Grzegorz Zariczny received the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival (2013). Two short documentaries were on the Oscar shortlists in Best Documentary Short Subject category: „Starting Point” by Michal Szczęśniak (2015) and „Close Ties” by Zofia Kowalewska (2016). Feature „The Best Fireworks Ever" directed by Aleksandra Terpińska received CANAL+ award for short film and the Rail d'Or award at La Semaine de la Critique competion in Cannes (2017). Short documentary "Dancing for you" by Katarzyna Lesisz has won the main prize at IDFA for Best Children’s Documentary in the Kids & Doc section (2018). The short feature „Weightlifter” directed by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk recived Grand Prix in Premiers Plans - Angers Film Festival (2019). Animated documentary „We Have One Heart” by Katarzyna Warzecha won Gold Hugo for the Best Documentary Short Film at 56th Chicago International Film Festival (2020) and two awards (Jury Award For Documentary and The Ellen Award) at Aspen ShortFest 2021.

Participating films