Pole position

Mateusz Jarza looks back at Play Poland.

by Staff Writer

Joanna in WW2 occupied Warsaw
Joanna in WW2 occupied Warsaw
The Play Poland film festival took contemporary Polish films on a tour of the UK during 2012. Festival organiser Mateusz Jarza gives us his thoughts on how it all turned out.

Where did the idea to hold a Polish film festival in the UK come from?

Members of Polish Art Europe have organised various film projects since 2007. Our projects have always been very popular with audiences. That is why we thought it would be worthwhile to organise an event on a larger scale. And it worked!

What made you feel confident that contemporary Polish films would attract British audiences?

Before organising the festival we conducted research to test interest in Polish films and the general idea of ?such festival in the UK. More than 95% of respondents said that too few Polish movies are shown in Great Britain. We wanted to fill this gap.

The Kinematograph
The Kinematograph
Why do you think the festival attracted such a large audience? Was it thanks to the great number of Poles living in the UK?

Not necessarily. Polish contemporary films show reality exactly as it is. This is often an intimate, subtle cinema where directors talk about their experiences. For this reason, they are popular among not only the British but also international audiences. The movies are about universal problems that affect everyone.

Who came to the festival screenings?

Mature people and connoisseurs of the world of cinema were coming to see feature films. Special shows were more popular among young people and students. In the UK there is a growing interest in ambitious cinema and such films are being made in Poland.

Do the team have plans for 2013?

We will be organising workshops with filmmakers, and expect even more great Polish poster exhibitors. Certainly we are also going to expand the festival to other cities or even countries. We are already having talks with new partner cities in Canada, Shanghai, Lisbon and Malta. Our partners have confirmed their engagement in the next edition, which means one thing – you can expect even more good Polish cinema in the UK.

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