The Wellington Polish Film Festival 2016 ushered in the very first Polish film festival in New Zealand, screening a diverse range of films and showcasing Polish art and culture in the heart of Wellington.
WPFF 2016 opened with a gala screening of Jerzy Skolimowski’s spectacular and explosive drama-thriller 11 Minutes kicking off 10 days of thought-provoking and entertaining Polish cinema. The film programme ranged from feature narratives, documentary, shorts and animation.
Highlights included, 2016 Berlinale's Silver Bear winner Tomasz Wasilewska’s stark and emotionally intense United States of Love. Agnieszka Smoczynska’s internationally successful adult fairy tale-musical of vampire mermaids brought the house down at popular screenings of her film The Lure. WPFF 2016 also screened one of Poland’s significant and award-winnning productions of 2015, prominent Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska’s Body. The film continued its winning streak, going on to win a gong at the 2016 European Film Awards. Documentary highlights presented by Krakow Film Foundation included Paulina Skibinska’s short documentary, Object, Teresa Czepiec's Superunit and Grzegorz Szczepaniak's Snails. The crowd-pleasing feature documentary screenings of Solidarity According to Women by Piotr Sliwowski and Marta Dzido offered a lesser known perspective of Poland's Solidarity-era.
To honour the memory of the late renowned Polish film director, Krzysztof Kieslowski, WPFF 2016 were delighted to present retrospectives of his early student films brought to the festival by Poland’s leading film and arts school the Lodz Film School together with some of his great feature masterpieces. Kieslowski’s The Double Life of Veronique left us with the mesmerising performance of Irene Jacob on closing night, which farewelled WPFF 2016 and welcomed future WPFF editions.
Film Programme for 2016