New Polish Cinema in 2021

The year 2020 brought with it a plethora of setbacks for the global film industry. Owing to health and safety concerns (and the accompanying new regulations), film shoots were delayed and, in some cases, even cancelled. This often had a knock-on effect for crew members, leading to longer-term financial and psychological worries. For those shoots that had already wrapped, cinema closures awaited, with no clear path to distribution. Meanwhile, producers seeking to finance new projects were left with a dearth of options, as traditional funding sources shied away, waiting for the pandemic dust to settle.

In Poland, this was no different. Along with the rest of the EU, the country saw a weighty drop in cinema admissions and gross box office takings. Coupled with cinema closures at various points across the year, this meant that 2020 was a much slower year for Polish cinema. Indeed, this was reflected in the reduced programme of last year’s Kinoteka film festival.

This year, we are able to showcase the fruits of the past year in Polish film-making, thanks largely to the efforts of crews, producers and actors across the country. Leave No Traces, Poland’s entry for Best International Feature Film at this year’s Academy Awards, received a last-minute but much-needed boost thanks to additional French investment. On the other hand, 25 Years of Innocence had finished shooting prior to the pandemic, but faced an uncertain autumn 2020 release – its box office success is largely predicated on the strength of its script, performances, and the moving story it depicts. In the case of The In-Laws, a tight 17-day shoot surely helped its chances. Many more Polish productions have been realised across the pandemic, including 90s nostalgia (Back to Those Days) and biopics (Sonata). The results are impressive – and pave the way for a rejuvenated, post-pandemic film industry.

In partnership with Riverside Studios, the ICA, JW3 and The Prince Charles Cinema, we are delighted to present the best in New Polish Cinema.

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