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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 29, 2009
The world of movies
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Polish Cinema in Moscow
April 29, 2009 By W.Ż.    
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The 2nd Vistula Festival of Polish Films was held at Moscow’s largest movie theater, the Khudozhestvennyi, on April 9-15.

This was the latest event in a Polish-Russian cinematographic initiative that began in 2007 with the 1st Sputnik Festival of Russian Films at Warsaw’s Kinoteka movie theater and continued a year later at the 1st Vistula Festival in the Russian capital.

The movie inaugurating this year’s festival was Andrzej Jakimowski’s Sztuczki (Tricks), winner of the Golden Lions award at the Polish Film Festival. After that, Moscow audiences saw 17 more Polish films that premiered in the last few years. The Polish-language versions of the films were screened with Russian subtitles.

Comedies were prominent among the Polish offerings and included Testosteron and Lejdis (Ladies) by Tomasz Konecki and Andrzej Saramonowicz, To nie tak, jak myślisz, kotku (It’s Not What You Think, Honey) by Sławomir Kryński and Ranczo Wilkowyje (Wilkowyje Ranch), the cinema version of Wojciech Adamczyk’s TV series.

Apart from light entertainment, Moscow audiences were shown a number of more serious projects from recent years, such as Jerzy Skolimowski’s Cztery noce z Anną (Four Nights With Anna), Dorota Kędzierzawska’s Pora umierać (Time to Die), Kasia Adamik’s Boisko bezdomnych (The Offsiders), Wiesław Saniewski’s Bezmiar sprawiedliwości (Immensity of Justice) and Marek Koterski’s Wszyscy jesteśmy Chrystusami (We’re All Christs).

The closing ceremony included the presentation of the White Elephant Special Award of the Association of Film Critics in Russia, one of the most important Russian film awards, to a Polish movie for the first time ever. The judges chose Immensity of Justice as the best film of the festival. Last year’s winner was Jan Jakub Kolski’s Jasminum.

Veteran actress Danuta Szaflarska, who starred in the drama Time to Die, received a special lifetime achievement award. The appearance of the 94-year-old actress on stage was greeted with applause.

The audience award went to Maciej Wojtyszko’s crime drama Ogród Luizy (Louise’s Garden).

The festival’s official patron was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, indicating that the Polish-Russian initiative had the seal of approval at the highest level in Russia.

The Vistula Festival attracted about 9,000 visitors, over 1,000 more than last year. Many films had multiple screenings, with people signing up in advance at box offices for the extra shows. Apart from movies, the festival also featured an exhibition entitled 100 Years of Polish Film. 1908-2008, an initiative by the Polish Film Institute in association with the National Film Archive. Sample Polish lessons were held as well.
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