EKRAN Toronto Polish Film Festival Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

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2018 Toronto Polish Film FestivalToronto, ON – Friday, October 26, 2018 – EKRAN Toronto Polish Film Festival – www.ekran.ca  – is back and it is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The Opening Film on Tuesday, November 6 at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema will be a vibrant Canadian thriller “22 Chaser” directed by Rafal Sokolowski and starring Brian J. Smith, Kaniehtiio Horn or Raoul Max Trujillo. The Festival runs Monday, November 5 – Sunday, November 11, 2018 at multiple locations in Toronto: Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St. W), Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (506 Bloor St. W), Toronto, Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Ave.) and High Park Library (228 Roncesvalles Ave.). The festival continues in Mississauga Friday, November 16 – Sunday, November 18, 2018 at Ciné Starz (377 Burnhamthorpe Rd. E). Online festival passes and individual tickets are available for sale at www.ekran.ca; tickets will also be available for purchase at the box office one hour prior to film screenings.

The festival offers audiences across the GTA a chance to enjoy the best of contemporary Polish cinematography on the big screen presenting its customary array of feature films, documentaries, and short films. The festival also features special screenings and opportunities to meet the people behind the magic on the screen.

The best of the showcased feature films will be chosen by a jury, which this year includes Larry Anklewicz, Ottie Lockey, Steve Veale, Elizabeth Radshaw and Robyn Kay. The Polish-Canadian singer Anna Cyzon will host the festival’s Toronto screenings, while its Mississauga edition will be hosted by the Polish actress Jolanta Mrotek.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

2018 Toronto Polish Film Festival - Cold WarThe festival’s tenth edition kicks off on Monday, November 5 with a Special Screening of Paweł Pawlikowski’s “Cold War”­ at the Isabel Bader Theatre. This is only the second occasion for Canadian audiences to view this critically acclaimed film (following its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival). Chosen as Poland’s official selection for the 2019 Academy Awards in the category of Best Foreign Film, Cold War has already received the Golden Bear for Best Film at the 2018 Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, and Paweł Pawlikowski won Palme d’Or for the Best Director at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Considered a “bona fide masterpiece” by the London Times, the epic love story follows Wiktor, a musician (Tomasz Kot) and his muse, the wild and sensual Zula (Joanna Kulig), as their passion spans a decade and a half across post-WWII Europe in Warsaw, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris. Cold War, shot in black and white, brings back the smoky melancholy and angst of those who lived and survived in post-WWII communist Poland. The pictures are equally as stunning as the soundtrack, which carries the film between both sides of the Iron Curtain. From traditional folk music, jazz and early rock and roll, the audience follows Wiktor and Zula (named after Pawlikowski’s own parents) as they struggle to be together during the times of the Soviet rule.  Their love affair is hyper passionate in one moment and anti-romantic and toxic in the next. The audience is in a constant battle with the main characters, hoping that their love will finally bring peace to their souls.

Following the screening of Cold War Ekran welcomes award-winning director Olga Chajdas and her first feature film “Nina”, in co-presentation with the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival. Nina won the “Golden Claw” in the Visions Apart contest at the 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia and the “Big Screen Award” at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. The film follows a thirty something married couple, Nina and Wojtek.  Their relationship seems to be falling apart, mainly because of their failed attempts to have a baby. When they meet a young woman, Magda, they decide to ask her to become a surrogate mother for their child. However, things get more complicated when Nina suddenly feels attracted to Magda.

Toronto Polish Film Festival - 22 ChaserThe official opening of the festival takes place on Tuesday, November 6 at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Rafal Sokolowski’s vibrant Canadian thriller “22 Chaser” opens this year’s 10th Toronto Polish Film Festival. Sokolowski is no stranger to the festival – in 2012 his film Seventh Day won Best Short Film at Ekran. Rafal Sokolowski, the Toronto-based, Polish-Canadian director is a long-time supporter of Ekran Film Festival. The evening will include a Q&A with the film’s director and crew. 22 Chaser was produced at the Canadian Film Centre and is Sokolowski’s feature debut. The film tells the story of Ben (Brian J. Smith), a tow truck driver and a new father, who is struggling to provide for his family. Having recently moved from a small town to the big city, he is one of Toronto’s last honest tow truck drivers. However, that changes when he trades his personal values for financial success and stability for his family, as he switches from towing illegally parked cars to chasing road accidents in his rig. Sokolowski, born in Kielce, Poland, is an award-winning film and theatre director. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, holds a MFA from York University, and is an apprentice of the National Theatre Academy of Krakow in Directing. His work has been presented worldwide and is supported by the National Film Board of Canada, the Canada and Ontario Arts Councils and Bravo!FACT. He is the artistic director of Blind Dog Films, specializing in the development and production of narrative fiction.

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE & LOCATIONS:

TORONTO

Monday, Nov 5t
7:00pm – Cold War director Pawel Pawlikowski; Isabel Bader Theatre
9:15pm – Nina, director Olga Chajdas (Introduction by Olga Chajdas), Isabel Bader Theatre

Tuesday, Nov 6th
7:00pm – 22 Chaser, director Rafal Sokolowski (Q&A Rafal Sokolowski & crew), Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
9:30pm – Silent Night, director Piotr Domalewski (Q&A Arkadiusz Jakubik), Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Wednesday, Nov 7th
6:30pm – Breaking the Limits, director Lukasz Palkowski (Q&A Arkadiusz Jakubik), Revue Cinema
9:15pm – Squadron 303, director Denis Delic, Revue Cinema

Thursday, Nov 8th
6:30pm – Fugue, director Agnieszka Smoczynska, Revue Cinema
9:00pm – My Friend the Polish Girl, director Ewa Banaszkiewicz & Mateusz Dymek, Revue Cinema (double screening with The Lake)
9:00pm – The Lake, director Catherine Kasima Kanda, Revue Cinema (double screening with “My Friend the Polish Girl”)

Friday, Nov 9th
6:30pm – Block of Short Films, various directors (see Special Events below), Revue Cinema
8:30pm – Mug, director Malgorzata Szumowska, Revue Cinema (double screening, together with “On the Road”)
8:30pm – On the Road, director Bartosz Nowacki (Q&A Bartosz Nowacki), Revue Cinema (double screening with Mug)

Saturday, Nov 10th
4:00pm – Back Home, director Magdalena Łazarkiewicz, Revue Cinema
6:30pm – A Cat with a Dog, director Janusz Kondratiuk (Q&A Bozena Stachura), Revue Cinema
9:00pm – The Butler, director Filip Bajon, Revue Cinema

Sunday, Nov 11th
4:00pm – Pardon, director Jan Jakub Kolski (Q&A Monika Onoszko), Revue Cinema (double screening with Deer Boy)
4:00pm – Deer Boy, director Katarzyna Gondek (Q&A Monika Onoszko), Revue Cinema (double screening with Pardon)
7:00pm – Leave Me Not, director Grzegorz Lewandowski, Revue Cinema
9:00pm – 7 Emotions, director Marek Koterski, Revue Cinema

MISSISSAUGA

Friday, Nov 16th
6:30pm – Plan B, director Kinga Dębska, Ciné Starz Mississauga (double screening with Leader)
6:30pm – Leader, director Katia Priwiezenciew, Ciné Starz Mississauga (double screening with Plan B)
9:00pm – Fugue, director Agnieszka Smoczynska, Ciné Starz Mississauga

Saturday, Nov 17th
3:00pm – Forever a Pilot of the Spitfire (Documentary), director Slawomir Ciok, Ciné Starz Mississauga
5:00pm – Don’t cry when I am gone (Documentary), director Slawomir Grunberg, Ciné Starz Mississauga
6:30pm – Werewolf, director Adrian Panek, Ciné Starz Mississauga

Sunday, Nov 18th
3:00pm – The Gorals – Highlanders of Carpathia (Documentary), director Filip Luft, Ciné Starz Mississauga
4:30pm – Outsider, director Adam Sikora, Ciné Starz Mississauga

SPECIAL EVENTS

Friday, Nov 9th, 6:30pm – Block of Short Films, various directors, Revue Cinema
A Prayer, director Sofia Bohdanowicz
An Evening, director Sofia Bohdanowicz
Another Prayer, director Sofia Bohdanowicz
Running Toward Thou, director Hanka Brolinska
How to Fall, director Aref Mahabadi

Saturday, Nov 10th, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Screening of Short Films & Documentaries at High Park Library, Community Room, 228 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto (FREE)
Daddy, director Kacper Anuszewski
Dreaming of Warsaw, director Mateusz Czuchnowski
Heimat, director Emi Buchwald
New Bronx, director Filip Ignatowicz
Short Distance, director Giovanni Pierangeli
You Are What You Eat, director Monika Kalicki

FEATURE FILMS:
22 Chaser, dir. Rafal Sokolowski
7 Emotions, dir. Marek Koterski
A Cat with a Dog, dir. Janusz Kondratiuk
Back home, dir. Magdalena Łazarkiewicz
Breaking the Limits, dir. Lukasz Palkowski
Cold War, dir. Paweł Pawlikowski
Leave Me Not, dir. Grzegorz Lewandowski
Fugue, dir. Agnieszka Smoczynska
Mug, dir. Malgorzata Szumowska
My Friend the Polish Girl, dir. Ewa Banaszkiewicz, Mateusz Dymek
Nina, dir. Olga Chajdas
Outsider, dir. Adam Sikora
Pardon, dir. Jan Jakub Kolski
Plan B, dir. Kinga Dębska
Silent Night, dir. Piotr Domalewski
Squadron 303, dir. Denis Delić
The Butler, dir. Filip Bajon
Werewolf, dir. Adrian Panek

DOCUMENTARIES:
A Prayer, dir. Sofia Bohdanowicz
An Evening, dir. Sofia Bohdanowicz
Another Prayer, dir. Sofia Bohdanowicz
Don’t cry when I am gone, dir. Slawomir Grunberg
Forever a Pilot of the Spitfire, dir. Slawomir Ciok
The Gorals – Higlanders of Carpathia, dir. Filip Luft
You Are What You Eat, dir. Monika Kalicki

SHORT FILMS:
Daddy, dir. Kacper Anuszewski
Deer Boy, dir. Katarzyna Gondek
Dreaming of Warsaw, dir. Mateusz Czuchnowski
Heimat, dir. Emi Buchwald
How to Fall, dir. Gaby Henderson
Leader, dir. Katia Priwiezenciew
New Bronx, dir. Filip Ignatowicz
On the Road, dir. Bartosz Nowacki
Running Toward Thou, dir. Hanka Brulinska
Short Distance, dir. Giovanni Pierangeli
The Lake, dir. Catherine Kasima Kanda

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