63rd Krakow Film Festival


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  • Sunday, May 28, 2023 - Sunday, June 18, 2023

The Kraków Film Festival is one of the world’s longest-running events focusing on documentaries, animations and short films.

This year’s programme includes over 190 films from all over the globe, including over 100 Polish and world premieres. The festival is held at cinemas (between 28 May and 4 June) and online on the KFF VOD platform (between 2 and 18 June)! Films are presented as part of three international competitions (documentaries, short films and DocFilmMusic), a competition for Polish films and several other cycles and special screenings.


According to the organisers, anyone can become an Insider! The festival introduces us to fascinating situations and reveals unfamiliar historical events, takes us to faraway places and inaccessible regions, and – first and foremost – showcases extraordinary protagonists and their incredible lives. People and their stories are at the heart of the Kraków Film Festival.

The event opens with the latest documentary by Margreth Olin “Songs of Earth”. The director left her native western Norway 30 years ago, and now she returns to the mountainous region to follow in the footsteps of her ancestors to answer the question “where am I from?”. The film is an encounter with local history and with the wild nature of the region and its neverending cycles of birth and death. The family story becomes a breathtaking visual and sound sonnet. The film is co-produced by the BBC and SWR with ARTE, and the executive producers are Wim Wenders and Liv Ullmann. The festival opening ceremony is held at 7pm on Monday 29 May at Kino Kijów.

A focus on…

The special guest of this year’s festival is Spanish cinematography. The cycle A Focus on Spain presents the latest documentaries from the country and a special programme for kids and young people. The programme opens with the documentary “Walls Can Talk”, the latest (and final) film by Carlos Saura who passed away last February. Representatives of the Polish and Spanish film industries attend meetings to develop future co-productions. Partners of the cycle are AC/E Acción Cultural Española, the Embassy of Spain and the Cervantes Institute in Kraków.

Dragon of Dragons

We already know the winner of this year’s Dragon of Dragons, awarded for lifetime achievement in animation. The prize goes to Michael Dudok de Wit, winner of many prestigious film awards and author of films such as the beautiful fairytale “The Red Turtle” and the acclaimed animation “Father and Daughter”. The director will be in Kraków to pick up the statuette in person. The award ceremony is accompanied by a retrospective of his works and a masterclass for filmmakers and all fans of animation. The partner of the programme is the Embassy of the Netherlands.

Non-competition sections

Sounds of Music. The Immortals is a real treat for fans of good music, acclaimed cinema and beautiful natural surroundings. The stunning outdoor settings of Wawel Hill and the Łaźnia Nowa Theatre in Nowa Huta resound with immortal voices by cult vocalists. Although none of them are still with us, their music never gets old and it will continue to inspire and soothe generations to come. Screenings include productions by award-winning filmmakers such as Asif Kapadia (“Amy”), and guests of past festivals including Kevin MacDonald (“Whitney”) and Brett Morgan (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”). The partners of the cycle are PGE Energia Ciepła and Radio Kraków.

As usual, the programme includes the Docs+Science section presenting a selection of fascinating scientific documentaries. The theme of this year’s edition is utopia and Wisława Szymborska’s poem of the same title. The concept of utopia resounds with failed revolutions and millions of ruined lives; the ideology echoes over killing fields and battlefields. It’s a synonym of a state of universal justice, sadly unattainable as shown by many tragic events of the 20th century. The cycle is curated by Karol Jałochowski and co-organised by Pulsar.

The programme of the Panorama of Polish Documentaries promises to be fascinating once again, showcasing artists and artistic phenomena from Kraków and throughout the country. We will see profiles of the acclaimed animator Jerzy Kucia, past winner of the Dragon of Dragons, and the visionary filmmaker Wojciech Jerzy Has, a favourite of Martin Scorsese. We will also discover creative circles such as the legendary Stary Theatre in Kraków and its artists, the avantgarde Kaliska Group from Łódź, and the guru of Polish fantasy and comics Maciej Parowski and his acolytes. We will also see fascinating works by the inspired artists Natalia LL and Witold Kaczanowski.

Kids & Youth is a review of films for – you guessed it! – children and young people. The programme includes the best documentaries of last year from all corners of the globe and fascinating European productions. The cycle is free for organised school and preschool groups. The programme also features retro fairytales prepared with the National Audiovisual Institute.

Industry meetings

An important element of the festival is KFF Industry – Poland’s most important platform for documentary and animation makers. The conferences, debates, workshops, presentations of projects at all stages of production and film fair bring together over 1000 participants from all corners of the globe. The programme includes the wide-reaching Doc Lab Poland and CEDOC Market co-organised by the Władysław Ślesicki Film Foundation.

We also continue the latest cycle KFF TALKS, presenting important meetings and discussions with representatives of non-cinematic circles. Spanning philosophy, physical and natural sciences and the humanities, the discussions explore the condition of the world around us and the place of humankind in today’s reality. This year’s meetings area “Utopia. Desert Island?” with the participation of Edwin Bendyk, Prof. Ewa Domańska, Dr. Karolina Safarzyńska and Dr. Andrzej Juszczyk and “Can Art Save the Planet?” with Michaël Dudok de Wit, Margreth Olin and Jagoda Szelc.

The gala finale and prize-giving ceremony is held on 3 June at Kino Kijów.

The hearts of documentaries and short films beat in Kraków!



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