Mateusz Jarża: Ambitious films are made in Poland

Mateusz Jarża, the director of Play Poland Film Festival has praised contemporary Polish films for showing the reality exactly as it is. Here’s an interview with Mr. Jarża.

Where did the idea for the Polish film festival in the UK come from?

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

How did you know that the Polish contemporary films would attract the British audience?

Before organizing the festival we conducted researches that were testing interest in the 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.

Why do you think the festival has attracted such a large audience? Do we need to thank the great number of Poles living in the UK?

Not necessarily. Polish contemporary films show the reality exactly as it is. Not always they are movies socially or historically engaging. This is often an intimate, subtle cinema where the directors talk about their experiences. For this reason, they are popular among not only the British but also the international audience. 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 an ambitious cinema and such films we are being made in Poland.

Why else is Polish cinema so unique?

“Contemporary Polish cinema is an interesting phenomenon. Films created by directors, cameramen as well as soundtrack authors who received numerous awards worldwide revolve around fascinating histories perceived from the point of view of a resident of the country after a political transformation who tries to account for his legacy. This does not have to be a socially or historically committed cinema. This is frequently an author’s and intimate film in which a director talks about his own experience,” comments Mr Bartosz Konopka, a director of “Fear of Falling,” a drama which was screened at the festival. According to him Polish films should win the approval of spectators from the West, “because Polish cinema is full of humanism. An apocalyptic and melancholic trend as well as a doubt in a human being prevails in films shot in other countries. We still have hope. We reflect on the human condition and still believe in a human being,”.

Plans for 2013?

This year we are 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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