Films directed by Kasia Adamik, Magdalena Piekorz, Małgorzata Szumowska, Andrzej Jakimowski, Jerzy Skolimowski, and Maciej Wojtyszko took part in the main competition of the 10th Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles. Adamik's The Offsiders (Boisko bezdomnych) took the Hollywood Eagle Award in the Feature Films competition.
Awards were handed out in four other competitions: Documentary Films, Animation, Students' Études and Independent Films. Each category had an individual jury; the feature film category included American filmmakers and Oscar winners Tony Bill and Albert Wolsky and actress Jane Kaczmarek.
The Hollywood Eagle Documentary Award went to Three Buddies (Trzy kumpli) by Ewa Stankiewicz and Anna Ferens, while the Hollywood Eagle Animation Award went to Chick (Chick) by Michał Socha. Another Day (Kolejny Dzień) by Pawel Chorzepa, won the Kodak Award for a Student Étude, while The Ruby Wedding (Rubinowe gody) by Andrzej Mankowski won the Laboratorium Award for Best Indie Film.
The festival, which wound up on 3 May, was held at the Egyptian Theatre, not far from the Oscars' Kodak Theatre. The Offsiders joined five other films in the main competition: Drowsiness (Senność) by Magdalena Piekorz, 33 Scenes from Life (33 sceny z życia) by Małgorzata Szumowska, Four Nights with Anna (Cztery noce z Anną) by Jerzy Skolimowski, Tricks (Sztuczki) by Andrzej Jakimowski, and Louise's Garden (Ogród Luizy) by Maciej Wojtyszko.
Last year Michał Kwieciński and his film Tomorrow We're Going to the Movies (Jutro idziemy do kina) was the winner.
"Our festival is atypical - we give awards during the opening day," said festival co-organiser Łukasz Będkowski. "Why? It's simple: The opening gala is visited by the biggest number of guests, especially by important representatives of the American film sector. Giving awards the first day is also a hint for the viewers, which helps them to choose what films should they particularly see."
Scott Wilson, an American actor well known in Poland from Our God's Brother (Brat naszego Boga) and The Year of the Quiet Sun (Rok spokojnego słońca) by Krzysztof Zanussi, won Pola Negri Special Award for cooperation with the Polish director. Last year the same award was given to Ed Harris for his cooperation with Agnieszka Holland in the films Copying Beethoven (Kopia mistrza) and Third Miracle (Trzeci cud).
"Our rule is to end each show with a discussion between the viewers and the film creators," said Vladek Juszkiewicz, the festival's creator and director. "This year several outstanding Polish filmmakers answered our invitation: Jerzy Skolomowski, Alina Janowska, Adam Ferency, and Paweł Kędzierski. Also actors living in Los Angeles announced their visit: Jadwiga Barańska and Jerzy Antczak, creators of the unforgettable Nights and Days (Noce i Dnie) which was nominated for an Oscar."
Jacek Bromski, Agnieszka Lipiec-Wróblewska, Magdalena Łazarkiewicz, Krzysztof Globisz, Szymon Bobrowski, Andrzej Jakimowski, Rafał Mohr, Małgorzata Potocka, Magdalena Różczka, Maria Seweryn, Damian Ul, and Robert Więckiewicz were guests at the festival.
A special day was set aside for Telewizja Polonia (Polish Television "Polonia"). The Television Theatre Days segment highlighted the latest productions by TVP (Polish Television): Kryptonim Gracz by Agnieszka Lipiec-Wróblewska, and O prawo głosu by Janusz Petelski. The productions' creators were guests during the shows. A pre-premiere of TV Theatre's Prezent dla towarzysza Edwarda G. by Janusz Dymek was scheduled during the festival.
The festival also included two concerts: film music by Wojciech Kilar and a concert by Mieczysław Szcześniak and Wendy Walkman (a composer and texts author), connected with the world pre-premiere of their latest record.
Students from film schools in Łódź and Katowice attended the festival as well. "In Hollywood's Kodak Theatre young filmmakers will have an unusual opportunity to show their films to outstanding American cameramen," Donata Rojewska from Kodak Entertainment Imaging said on opening day. "We have organized this event four times already. The first one was surprising for the students; they had no idea about who would watch their films. They were astonished, when they saw that the audience consists of such masters of camera art as Laszlo Kovacs, Vilmos Zsigmond and William Fraker. After each étude there was a discussion; young cameramen were paid a lot of compliments from the masters."
The students benefited as well from special lessons and workshops prepared by the American Film Institute.
This year's edition of the festival was held under the patronage of Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, a festival attendee, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The main sponsor is the Polish Film Institute. Other patrons are the Polish Filmmakers Association, Senate of the Republic of Poland, the City of Warsaw, and TVP S.A. (Polish Television).
The festival's programme website: www.polishfilmla.org
Translated by Monika Miziniak | Edited by Patricia Koza