Another great year of Polish film
The Seattle Polish Film Festival recently wrapped up an
amazing 15th year showcasing the best feature films
and documentaries to grace the European country.
The original Polish Film Festival took place in Gdansk, Poland
in 1974. In 1982 the country came under martial law, and the
festival moved to the city of Gdynia where it currently resides.
The festival has local sister festivals in Toronto, Canada, and
Seattle where Polish culture is celebrated every year.
Polish community leaders Tom Podl and Dr. Michal
Friedrich founded the Seattle festival in
1992. From 2002-2005, local attorney Krys Kooper lead the
festivities, and in 2006 Greg Plichta, a local patent attorney,
took the wheel.
together by their avid interest in cinema, these directors have
established this as one of the largest Polish film festivals in
“I do all this for fun, it’s a way for me to volunteer,” said
In only his second year of directing the festival, Plichta opted
for a change. The festival took place in the Nesholm Family
Lecture Hall in Seattle’s renowned McCaw hall—an upgrade from
previous venues. Plichta also added an Independent Submission
Prize in addition to the Seattle Spirit of Polish Cinema Award.
The winner of the Submission Prize went to αΩ (Alpha Omega), a
film about everything from A-Z or from alpha to omega, which
concludes ‘the unknown is our only hope’. Mateusz Droba was the
director, screenwriter and cinematographer along with Pawel
The festival showcases many feature films popular in Europe. At
the 2006 Gdynia festival, Emily Cries took home the Best
Independent Movie award and Wszyscy Jestesmy Chrystusami’s,
We’re All Christs, swept the event by winning Best
Director, Best Editing, and Best Screenplay.
films are in Polish with English subtitles, but by being Polish
doesn’t grant access. Plichta recognizes the greater Seattle has
a relatively small Polish community, but the festival’s goal is
to share it with all audiences.
“At least half to more of people aren’t a Polish audience base,”
Furthermore Plichta acknowledges that many of the filmmakers are
from all over such as Minnesota, Holland, and Los Angeles. A
majority of the films take place in Poland, but are not limited.
Guidelines state the films must be Polish-themed or consciously
connected to Polish culture, language, or people.
The festival was produced and presented entirely by volunteers
of the Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association, a non-profit
organization that promotes educational, cultural and business
exchange between the northern Polish seaport cities of Gdynia
and Gdansk and the Seattle area.
The festival accepts submissions of any class including
full-length features, short films, music videos, documentaries,
animations or experimental videos. All films are to be
associated with Poland with English subtitles.
Preparation for the 16th annual Seattle Polish Film
Festival will begin in July and if it is anything like past
celebrations, it is sure to please.
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