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Polish Cinema Days in Ukraine kick off

The 16th Polish Cinema Days organised by the Polish Institute in Kiev kicked off on Wednesday. The event’s inauguration was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Stanisław Lem, who was born in Lviv in 1921.

Robert Czyżewski, the director of the Polish Institute in Kiev pointed out that the tradition of displaying Polish movies in Ukraine dates back to Soviet times.

“Of course, it was not free cinema either, but it was still more liberal than Soviet one, it was sort of a window to the world, so it can be said that the reputation of Polish cinema reached far beyond Poland,” he said.

The event began at one of the most famous Kiev cinemas called Zhovten, with the screening of the film “Stanisław Lem: Science and Fiction” directed by Adam Ustynowicz, who was also present at the ceremony. Czyżewski noted that this was the first time the festival had opened with a display of a documentary. The director of the institute also recalled that 2021 is the year of Lem, and the writer is a well-known artist in the post-Soviet area.

The director recalled that it was the first film he made after graduating from film school, made for the BBC in 1990. As the artist stated, “it is basically the only full documentary film about Stanisław Lem.” He noted that the Kyiv screening was the first after the HD upgrade.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been no conditions for such a show recently. This year, as part of the festival, three films will be shown in cinemas, and the rest will be shown on the Internet. The viewers will be able to watch, for example, “The Room” (dir. by Krzysztof Jankowski), “Never Gonna Snow Again” (dir. by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert) or “25 Years of Innocence. The Case of Tomek Komenda” (dir. by Jan Holoubek).

The films will be shown in the cinemas of Kiev, Kharkiv, Odessa, Vinnitsa and Lutsk, and those eager to see them online can watch them on a special platform. The festival will last until October 10.

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