Polish Film Festival in America
Since 1989, the Polish Film Festival has held a place on the fall-festival calendar, though you might not know it if you’re not of Polish ancestry. Though the fest takes place at venues all over the city and suburbs (with programs at AMC River East, Facets Cinematheque, the Copernicus Center, the Beverly Arts Center, the Pickwick in Park Ridge, the Skokie Theatre…), it gets overwhelmed in the media by the Chicago International Film Festival and Reeling. This year, the Underground Film Festival’s move to the start of November exacerbates the exposure problem.
But the folks at PFFA don’t seem to care; CIFF works as a warm-up for them, and their core audience isn’t likely to be siphoned off by CUFF and Reeling. And with a program of more than 70 films, the PFFA has a lot to offer, from slapstick comedies to docs, from animation to political drama. Some of these films have played in Chicago before (Andrzej Wajda’s Katyn, Marina Zenovich’s doc Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Sergei Bodrov’s Mongol), but they’re worth a return engagement and will no doubt reach new audiences.
In an intriguing move, the festival kicks off with not one but two opening nights; there’s a VIP gala screening of Michał Rosa’s Scratch for $100 a pop, or a “popular opening night” (the fest’s term) screening of Krzysztof Zanussi’s A Warm Heart. So, check your stock portfolio and make your choice. If you’re looking for more insight, allow us to direct you to the fest’s website or to your Polish friends, who—judging by the fest’s success with Chicago’s Polish community over the years—already have some tips on what to see.
The festival runs Saturday 8 through November 23. For more information, go to pffamerica.com.