The premieres of the most interesting Polish documentary, short and animated films, returns of the award-winning film-makers and the latest debuts, the award for the contribution to the development of international cinema for Piotr Dumała – in the programme of the Krakow Film Festival there is always a special place for the productions of Polish film-makers, who tell the stories about Poland and the world in an original and uncompromising way.

The Dragon of Dragons for Piotr Dumała

This year’s Dragon of Dragons award for the exceptional contribution to the development of the international cinema will be given to Piotr Dumała — the master of international animated film and the creator of original film technique, almost from the very beginning associated with the Krakow Film Festival.  Dumała received the Golden Dragon twice — for “A Gentle Creature” in 1985 and “The Walls” in 1988, the Bronze Hobby-Horse in 1989 for “Freedom of the Leg,” the Bronze Dragon and the FICC Award for “Franz Kafka” in 1992 and the Silver Hobby-Horse (2014) for “Hippos.” 

The award ceremony of the Dragon of Dragons will be accompanied by the retrospective of the laureate’s work. In the programme, there are several works by Piotr Dumała, both the first award-winning films as well as the latest ones. As every year, the award-winner will give a master class, open not only to film-makers but to all animated film fans.

Polish films in international competitions

In the international documentary film competition, 2 Polish films will be presented: “Walk with Angels” by Tomasz Wysokiński, who for years accompanies like a shadow the mysterious Jerry, searching for missing children in the Republic of South Africa, and “No Hero at All” by Michał Kawecki, telling the story of Miszka — a promising Alpine skier who, in spite of a serious disability and difficult living conditions, makes the most of life.

The short documentary, feature and animated films, including 5 Polish productions, will compete for the Golden and Silver Dragons in the international short film competition. Animated film-makers are the most numerous group — Zbigniew Czapla, the award-winner of the Krakow Film Festival in 2017, will present his latest film. Characteristic, recognisable in the very first frames, images from the film “On Time” will take us on a journey to Japan. In turn, the award-winner of 2015, Tomasz Siwiński (the author of the award-winning “Blue Room”), in the film “Love in Times of Coal-Based Economy” moves the setting of the film to Silesia in 1962, where, in the grey reality the love between a miner and a woman crane operator flourishes. Whereas Kinga Syrek in her debut “Too Late” pays homage to Edie Sedgwick, the muse of Andy Warhol.

Polish feature films are represented in the short film competition by Adrian Apanel with the film “The Last Room On the Left” — an explosive mixture of comedy, horror and social satire, while in “Solar Voyage” —  the only Polish documentary film — Adam Żądło follows in the footsteps of an extravagant genius from Pcim to Africa.

The National Competition of the Krakow Film Festival

As always, the latest Polish films of award-winning film-makers and debutants constitute the extremely diverse picture of Polish cinematography. In the programme, there are films by film-makers who have already been awarded in Krakow: last year’s award-winner Tomasz Wolski this time will present a documentary animated film “1970” about the protests in communist Poland from the point of view of the perpetrators, Izabela Plucińska in her animated film “98 kg” analyses the issue of domestic violence, and Zofia Kowalewska in the film “Only the Wind” sets off with her grandfather (whom we met in the documentary “Close Ties” awarded at the KFF) to Kazakhstan in search of his first love.

In the feature films, interesting outlooks on contemporary problems will appear: the dystopian “First Last Summer” about climate disaster, the irreverent “The Case of Jan Pampuch” on ideological disputes in Poland, or a more personal film “My Son Locks Himself In the Bathroom” about a mother who has to come to terms with the fact that her son plans to move out of the house.

The documentary film-makers will also show us their experiences of the pandemic year (“Balcony Concert,” “Cigarettes”), they will tell the story of the figures from the world of culture (“High Maintenance – The Life and Work of Dani Karavan”) and of sport (“And Still”) as well as about struggles with a disease (“Last Chance,” “One More Day”).

The panorama of the Polish documentary film

In the panorama, we will follow the fates of outstanding Polish artists: Rafael Lewandowski in the film “Herbert. Barbarian in the garden” reveals the complicated personality of the genius author, while the documentary film “An Actress in Wonderland” (dir. Maciej Kowalewski, Piotr Konstantinow) transports the viewer to the fascinating world of the prominent actress Barbara Krafftówna. We will also take a look at the workouts of the MMA champion Aleksandra Rola (“Fury”) and we will get acquainted with the mysterious story of Johanna Langefeld, the high-ranking SS woman in the concentration camps Auschwitz and Ravensbrück (“The Disappearance of Johanna Langefeld”).

The Krakow Film Festival is included on the prestigious list of events qualifying for the Academy Awards in as many as three short film categories (feature film, animated film, documentary film) as well as in the feature-length documentary film category. The winners of the Golden and Silver Dragons as well as the Golden Horn have a shortened path to the Academy Award selection. The KFF also recommends films to the European Film Award in the same categories.


The international documentary film competition 

„Antybohater” / “Not Hero At All” reż. Michał Kawecki, 75’, 2021

„Spacer z Aniołami” / “Walk With Angels” reż. Tomasz Wysokiński, 84’, 2021

The international short film competition

„Miłość w czasach gospodarki opartej na węglu” / “Love in Times of Coal-Based Economy”, reż. Tomasz Siwiński, 12’, 2021

„On Time”, reż. Zbigniew Czapla, 5’, 2021

„Solar Voyage”, reż. Adam Żądło, 18’, 2021

„Stancja” / “The Last Room On the Left”, reż. Adrian Apanel, 30’, 2021

„Za późno” / “Too Late”, reż. Kinga Syrek, 16’, 2021


The documentary films:

„1970”, reż. Tomasz Wolski, 70’, 2021

„Antybohater” / “Not Hero At All” reż. Michał Kawecki, 75’, 2021

„Borderland”, reż. Andreas Voigt, 97’, 2020

„High Maintenance – The Life and Work of Dani Karavan” / “Dani Karavan. Bez taryfy ulgowej”, reż. Barak Heymann, 66’, 2020

„Jeden dzień dłużej” / “One More Day”, reż. Monika Meleń, 50’, 2020

„Koncert balkonowy” / “Balcony Concert”, reż. Diana Kadłubowska, Krzysztof Kadłubowski, 15’, 2021

„Lata świetlne” / “Light Years”, reż. Monika Proba, 27’, 2021

„@miriamfrompoland”, reż. Piotr Szczepański, 77’, 2021

„Mury” / “Walls”, reż. Andrei Kutsila, 17’, 2020

„Nature Is My Homeland”, reż. Marek Gajczak, 54’, 2021

„Niezwyciężona” / “And Still”, reż. Tom Koliński, 83’, 2021

„Ostatnia szansa” / “Last Chance”, reż. Wiktoria Niewiadomska, 25’, 2021

„Pamiętnik Tanaki” / “Tanaka’s Diary”, reż. Filip Jacobson, 22’, 2021

„Papierosy” / “Cigarettes”, reż. Maja Markowska, 18’, 2020

„Solar Voyage”, reż. Adam Żądło, 18’, 2021

„Spacer z Aniołami” / “Walk With Angels” reż. Tomasz Wysokiński, 84’, 2021

„Trochę raju” / “A Little Bit of Paradise”, reż. Andrzej Cichocki, 19’, 2020

„Tylko wiatr” / “Only the Wind”, reż. Zofia Kowalewska, 58’, 2021

„Ziemia” / “The Soil”, reż. Zuzanna Solakiewicz, 75’, 2021

The animated films:

„98” kg, reż. Izabela Plucińska, 5’, 2021

„Książę w cukierni” / “Prince in a Pastry Shop”, reż. Katarzyna Agopsowicz, 16’, 2020

„Miłość w czasach gospodarki opartej na węglu” / “Love in Times of Coal-Based Economy”, reż. Tomasz Siwiński, 12’, 2021

„Oderwanie” / “The Place”, reż. Sylwia Zawiła, 7’, 2020

„On Time”, reż. Zbigniew Czapla, 5’, 2021

„Psie pole” / “Dog’s Field”, reż. Michalina Musialik, 12’, 2020

„Turbo Love”, reż. Alicja Jasina, 7’, 2021

„Wizyta” / “The Visit”, reż. Mateusz Jarmulski, 7’, 2021

„Za późno” / “Too Late”, reż. Kinga Syrek, 16’, 2021

„Zieleń” / “Green”, reż. Karolina Kajetanowicz, 8’, 2021

The short feature films: 

„Jeszcze na chwilę” / “Just for a While”, reż. Zuzanna Gorczycka, 19’, 2021

„Mój syn zamyka się w łazience” / “My Son Locks Himself In the Bathroom”, reż. Kuba Januszewski, 30’, 2021

„Pierwsze lato końca świata” / “First Last Summer”, reż. Nastazja Gonera, 24’, 2020

„Przypadek Jana Pampucha” / “The Case of Jan Pampuch”, reż. Mikołaj Piszczan, 18’, 2020

„Samogłów” / “Headfish”, reż. Jakub Prysak, 24’, 2021

„Stancja” / “The Last Room On the Left”, reż. Adrian Apanel, 30’, 2021


„Furia” / “Fury”, reż. Krzysztof Kasior, 85’, 2021

„Herbert. Barbarzyńca w ogrodzie” / “Herbert. Barbarian in the Garden”, reż. Rafael Lewandowski, 93’, 2021 

„Jeden dom” / “Common Place”, reż. Karolina Anna Kuta, Patrycja Skorupska, 27’, 2021

„Johanna Langefeld. Historia znikania” / “The Disappearance of Johanna Langefeld”, reż. Władysław Jurków, Gerburg Rohde-Dahl, 53’, 2020

„Krafftówna w krainie czarów” / “An Actress in Wonderland”, reż. Maciej Kowalewski, Piotr Konstantinow, 83’, 2021

„Mikrokosmosy” / “Universes”, reż. Dorota Roś, 16’, 2020

„Nad Niemnem” / “Over the River”, reż. Andrei Kutsila, 43’, 2021

„Ten obrazek jest bardzo ładny” / “It’s a very pretty picture”, reż. Jakub Ciosiński, 30’, 2020

„To wszystko nie takie proste” / “In a knot”, reż. Aleksandra Sykulak, 32’, 202

You can learn more about the festival here.