On Saturday, November 5th the Polish Film Festival in America kicked off in Muvico 18, one of the most elegant cinematic centers in the country. The internationally recognized PFFA is the largest annual Polish cultural event outside of Poland and one of the most extensive film events in Chicago. The 28th edition runs until November 20th. The program includes nearly sixty feature, documentary and animated films from Poland.
The PFFA Opening was attended by distinguished guests from the Chicago art and political circles, members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, opinion-molding leaders of Polish community in the United States. Tanguillo Quintet from Lublin, consisted of outstanding musicians/educators from the Maria Sklodowska-Curie University, gave inspiring concert of music by Astor Piazzolla. The Opening Film was MARIE CURIE, THE COURAGE OF KNOWLEDGE directed by Marie Noelle, a Polish-French-German co-production which had its world premiere in Toronto a few weeks earlier. The movie was introduced by its producer Mikolaj Pokromski. Another eminent guest present at the ceremony was Polish star of stage and screen Andrzej Seweryn, a recipient of the PFFA Wings Award in 2000. The following day, for about one hour he answered questions from the audience following his new feature THE LAST FAMILY directed by Jan P. Matuszynski.
Honorary Wings Award for achievements in the art of film outside of Poland, for „spreading the wings” received great Polish director, script writer and producer Krzysztof Zanussi while „Golden Ciupaga” for contribution to a promotion of Polish cinema in North America was presented to Michael Kutza, a founder and for 52 years a director of the Chicago International Film Festival; the festival has shown nearly 200 Polish film and hosted numerous Polish film artists and producers.
The special „Hope for the Globe” Awards given for the very first time by the Society for Arts at the festival to public officials for promoting multicultural values in the United States were given to Hon. Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court and Alderman Ariel Reboyras. Beautiful glass sculptures were executed by Polish artist Ireneusz Wydrzynski and sponsored by Star-tech Glass, Inc.
Alderman Gilbert Villegas read the City of Chicago Council resolution which he initiated; the document acknowledges contribution and importance of the Polish Film Festival in America to Chicago.
During the gala reception at the Society for Arts was officially inaugurated a photo exhibition of renowned Polish photographer Witold Krassowski GRAND FINALE. PORTRAITS OF POLISH ACTORS showcasing seventy photos of Polish film and theatre greatest stars, made in a span of five years. The exhibit will be later presented in the State of Illinois Building, followed by presentations in Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Houston.
At the post-screening party during a Blues Night appeared the well-known Chicago blues musician Vance Kelly & the Backstreet Blues Band.
The 2016 PFFA line-up includes ZACMA: BLINDNESS by Ryszard Bugajski, THE LAST FAMILY by Jan P. Matuszynski, THE INNOCENT by Anne Fontaine, A SIMPLE STORY ABOUT MURDER by Arkadiusz Jakubik, FOREST 4 AM by Jan Jakub Kolski, and many more interesting pictures. AFTERIMAGE by Andrzej Wajda, a Polish entry to the Academy Award in Foreign Language category will be shown at a special screening in addition to his digitally restored THE PROMISED LAND, the Oscar-nominated 1975 classic. In addition, a very rarely exhibited THE STORY OF SIN by Walerian Borowczyk, also recently restored, is one of the hits in the program. Among numerous documentary films are already internationally acclaimed BROTHERS by Wojciech Staron, CASA BLANCA by Aleksandra Maciuszek, BATTLE WITH SATAN by Konrad Szolajski, TWO WORDS by Maciej Adamek and JAROCIN. WHY FREEDOM? By Marek Gajczak and Leszek Gnoinski.
Main media sponsors are: LOT Polish Airlines, IVY Hotel, Star-Tech Glass, Inc. and Society for Arts.
Main media sponsors are 1490 AM and 1030 AM.