Kinoteka – which celebrates its 15th birthday this year – has become something of a London institution. The three-week long Polish film festival combines new releases with a celebration of the country's cinematic past, mingling screenings with talks and other events. Ahead of the full programme announcement on 22 February, Jocks & Nerds surveys some likely highlights.
Not even Roman Polanski commands the same critical reverence as Andrzej Wadja, Poland's most celebrated filmmaker. As a tribute to the great man, who died last October, Kinoteka will run two retrospective series of his works, at the Barbican and Close Up Cinema. These will include the seminal Second World War films A Generation (1955) and Ashes and Diamonds (1958), the devastating industrial age drama The Promised Land (1975) and the rarely-seen French Revolutionary biopic Danton (1983).
The Red Spider
At the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), the festival's annual Frames of Representation strand will focus on the hugely acclaimed documentarian Marcin Koszałka. Screenings include the UK premiere of The Red Spider (2015), Koszałka's first fiction feature. An intricate psychological thriller, it follows a teenager who witnesses a brutal murder.
Continuing its tradition of bringing little-known directors to a London audience, Kinoteka will showcase the works of Wanda Jakubowska, the country's first prominent female director. Jakubowska's The Last Stage (1948), partially shot on location at Auschwitz, recounts the director's own experience of the death camp, while the more expressionistic Encounter at Twilight (1960) follows a Polish pianist returning to the German town in which she had been incarcerated during the war.
70 Years of Polish Animation
This year's closing night gala at the Barbican Hall will celebrate Poland's contribution to the art of animation. Curated by the Quay Brothers, among the world's most famed stop-motion animators, it will involve a compilation of highlights from the genre's history. The indie band British Sea Power will perform a specially commissioned live score.