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The Warsaw Voice » Other » December 17, 2008
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Festivals Galore: £ód¼ 2009
December 17, 2008   
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The central city of £ód¼, the cradle of Polish cinematography, is a major center of modern arts and a city brimming with life. Since recently, it has also been referred to as the "Polish comics capital." Every year the city hosts a long list of cultural events and festivals.

Next year a variety of artistic events will be held in £ód¼, targeted at both residents and visitors. There will be a wide range of attractions for all those who love film, theater, dance, visual arts, new media, jazz, rock and rap, graffiti, travel, extreme sports, and more.

Film festivals
The calendar of events to be held in £ód¼ next year includes a number of film festivals. One of the most important is the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography Plus Camerimage, which has attracted world-famous cinematographers, directors and actors to the city every year since 2000. To date festival guests and winners have included Billy Williams, William Fraker, Jiri Menzel, David Lynch, Roman Polanski, Pierre Lhomme, and Alan Parker. The festival will take place in November.

Earlier, in October, talent hunters will flock to £ód¼ for the 16th International Film and Television Schools' Festival MEDIASCHOOL, organized by the National University of Film, Television and Theater in the name of L. Schiller and offering an opportunity to become acquainted with the work of students from film schools all over the world.

Movie buffs will come to the city for the 6th International Animated Film Festival ReAnimacja, which will be held at the Charlie Cinema in April. A month later, independent cinema fans and filmmakers will get together at Charlie Cinema for the 4th "Off jak Gor±co" Independent Cinema Festival. Yet another promising event at Charlie Cinema will be the Charlie Experience monthly series of presentations of a variety of audio/video and multimedia forms, including video art, computer animation, interactive art, and artistic network projects.

Globetrotters and media aficionados will be interested to visit the 6th Mediatravel Cinema Civilization and Audio-Visual Works Festival in April. The festival focuses on both Polish and foreign achievements in the field of cinema, photography, radio programs, the internet, music and periodical publications dedicated to travel and social and ethnic issues. Next year the festival's guests will include Serbian film director Emir Kusturica, American journalist and traveler Eugene Buchanan, Polish film director Andrzej Jakimowski, and Polish traveler and reporter Jacek Pa³kiewicz. Accompanying events will include an international review of Ibero-American culture, the National Geographic magazine's exhibition of the 30 most beautiful places on Earth, and music concerts featuring performers such as ethno-jazz star Richard Bone.

Makers of films dedicated to travel, exploration, extreme sports and discoveries will be back in £ód¼ in the fall for the 11th Explorers Festival.

Next year £ód¼ will also host the 13th International W³odzimierz Puchalski Nature Film Festival. This event, held every two years, aims to promote Polish and international nature films, while playing an educational role and helping protect Europe's environment.

Theater and dance
The city is also offering a wide range of theater festivals and reviews next year. The 15th International Festival of Pleasant and Unpleasant Plays will kick off Feb. 21 at the Powszechny Theater. Shows will include Stanis³awa Przybyszewska's Sprawa Dantona (The Danton Case), a play directed by Jan Klata and staged by the Polski Theater from Wroc³aw, and Tony Kushner's Angels in America, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski from TR Warszawa theater.

Lovers of European theater will come to the 4th Meetings of Theaters of Twin Cities at the Nowy Theater in £ód¼. The end of next year will see the £ód¼ Theater Meetings, a review of independent stage productions.

The Puppet Theater Arlekin will be the venue for two festivals: the 6th International Festival of Solo Puppeteers in April, and the 4th International Festival of Street Art "TrotuArt" in September. The latter will feature open-air street performances on Piotrkowska Street. As usual, it will open with a colorful parade of mime artists, acrobats walking on stilts, conjurers, and fairy-tale characters.

£ód¼ also has something in store for ballet enthusiasts. The 20th "£ód¼ Ballet Meetings" International Ballet Festival will be an opportunity to see the latest from international choreographers, in both classical and modern dance. The Grand Theater of £ód¼ will host performers including Balletto Teatro di Torino, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and Nederlands Dans Theater II, as well as ballet workshops conducted by choreographer Tamas Geza Moricz from Berlin.

In mid-July £ód¼ will host the 8th International Flamenco Festival. Talented Spanish artists, dancers and musicians will conduct flamenco workshops and belly dance lessons. There will also be an art exhibition, film shows and meetings with writers with the aim to promote Spanish and Ibero-American culture.

Music, photography, design and more
There will also be many music events in £ód¼ next year. These include the Student's Review of Tourist Songs "Yapa", the Sailor Song Festival "Kubryk", the Grand Prix "Jazz Melomani", the International Aleksander Tansman Festival and Competition for Musical Personalities, and the Canto Lodziensis £ód¼ Choir Festival.

Film music connoisseurs will meet at the 12th Film Music Festival in the Museum of Cinematography. This time the festival is dedicated to Polish composer, conductor and film director Jerzy Satanowski.

Two major contemporary art festivals will be held in the city next year. These are the 8th "Photofestival" - International Festival of Photography in May and the 3rd International Festival of Design in October. The photography festival will be part of a large international project called Backlight and involving the Tickle Attack series of exhibitions organized by curators from Germany, Italy and Finland. The exhibition features amusing, ambiguous and ironic photographs that stimulate profound reflection. As every year, the festival will comprise the "Photography Factory" Review of Photography Schools that will offer an opportunity for young Polish and foreign artists to launch their careers.

The £ód¼ Design festival in October will focus on new design trends in cities such as Milan, London and Berlin. As in previous years, it will also feature various artistic projects, films screenings, fashion shows, lectures and workshops conducted by experts.

The Festival of Dialogue of Four Cultures promises to be an especially important event next year. In the past £ód¼ was a multicultural city in which Poles lived next to Germans, Russians and Jews. Today, the city is looking back at those days with nostalgia. The festival, held annually in £ód¼ since 2002, aims to promote dialogue between the four cultures and offer an opportunity for residents to rediscover their past.

Pop culture fans will be attracted to the 20th £ód¼ International Festival of Comics in October. Attractions will include meetings with draftsmen and publishers, drawing and script-writing workshops, "comics sessions" for both professionals and amateurs, and a comic strip competition.

Another pop culture and visual arts event, the Outline Colour Festival will bring together Polish and foreign graffiti artists, who will strut their stuff and encourage onlookers to join in.
These are only some of the many festivals that £ód¼ is preparing to hold next year. All these events promise to deliver top-notch entertainment for participants.
For more information visit: www.cityoflodz.pl

Barbara Fronczkowska
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