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A student of mine in The People’s College, Samanta Stochla from Poland, is involved in organising a Short Film Festival to take place on June 2nd at POSK. English version here. Why not go along and see what you might discover?

Samanta wrote the following about her experiences with the festival:

‘ODDALENIA’ (‘Distances’) was founded 4 years ago. Its name originated from a Polish newspaper in Ireland which did not succeed so the name was free and ready for another use. The idea of the film preview was simple. There were some films that I wanted to show and I wanted to use the occasion to meet new filmmakers. There was the Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK) where the festival could be organised. So it began this way…

The Short Film Festival ODDALENIA/DISTANCES is now a cyclical event. Each year it looks different. The organisers have more ideas and more experience. When I first came to Dublin with films, I did not think that the festival would develop so much. I simply had my film which I wanted to show everyone. It was actually a Dawid Ciślak film. I worked on it as production manager. In fact, it was a film etude. It was a 17 minute short story. I searched similar films and found Tomek Machura from Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK) in Dublin.

There were posters advertising the film night. We had a small screen and a computer and a place where the event could be organised. There were various films lined up to be shown, some simple stories and also documentaries. There was voting and prize-giving. At the end of the night some Kabaret DNO films were shown. Everyone left in a joyful mood. The 2009 Short Film Festival ODDALENIA/DISTANCES turned out to be an enjoyable event. The audience voted for Dawid’s film titled ‘Drugi pogrzeb’ (‘Second funeral’) as the best. For me personally it was a great achievement.

One year later we spread our wings by organising the event again. The person acting on behalf of POSK was Sławek Norberczak. The subject area and the genre of films varied a lot from comedies to reportages to Catholic missions, films for fun and films that aimed to show something more and impress the viewers. For the first time there were English language films. The 2010 festival ODDALENIA/DISTANCES was going to be a film marathon!

I hosted the event along with Trevor Rooney. I witnessed a miracle, and not only one, on that day. First, despite all my limitations in the English language we managed to communicate and set tasks, explain the way of presenting films and the way we would host the event. We knew what had to be done and said. Secondly, despite problems with equipment we managed to start up all the devices. Thankfully, there was a computer specialist in the audience. Thirdly, we did not set up breaks so the marathon went on uninterrupted. There was also a show of films produced by iTVe – Polish Television in Ireland.

We encouraged people to cooperate with each other and organize their own filmmaking groups. There was even a film invitation to Madagascar by Rafał Gilewski. Rafał was looking for a film crew to produce another film during his next trip. We still have a film centre in the POSK in Dublin. Trevor made a screen out of huge film posters. It was an amazing night but for us organisers it was also a little bit of a stressful evening. The Kabaret DNO helped us too by sending in their films. During that evening the jury chose Agnieszka Grandowicz with her film ‘Eine kleine movie’. The audience prize was given once again to Dawid Ciślak and his film ‘Nic nie wiesz’ (You don’t know anything).

The 2011 Short Film Festival ODDALENIA/DISTANCES was of a little bit different nature. On the stage Trevor entertained the audience along with Barbara Bugalska who joined our team. We chose 12 films for the show. They came from various parts of the world and were discussed, described and ready to be shown. Two films, a short Korean masterpiece and a beautiful Polish animation, competed for our ‘Golden Camera’. That year there were video clips, trip documentaries, animations, documentaries, etudes etc.

ODDALENIA/DISTANCES gained international character and it could be felt. In the audience there were people from all over the world. The room was chock-full! The occasion was honoured by Kimberley Murray who performed in concert. This time both the audience and jury agreed- The winner was Beniamin Szwed with his film ‘Rosa Alba’. To wrap up the evening, we saw the film ‘Skauci’ (Scouts) created by the Kabaret DNO.

Did the audience enjoy the event? I hope they did. Our film events are visited by more and more people each year. My dream of showing some short films has turned to a cyclical film festival and many people have contributed to that success. The festival and its course depend completely on both the organisers and the audience. However, the standard of the festival depends on you, our dear readers.

One more thing: We were supported strongly by the Embassy of Poland in Dublin which bought us a solid, professional screen. Your films will be presented on it wonderfully!

Samanta Stochla

(Translation Assistance by Sławomir Płudowski and Caroline Casey)

Thanks to Samanta for the above. See below for festival programme and last year’s winning short film Rosa Alba directed by Beniamin Szwed:

Short Film Festival ODDALENIA 2012 – Program and Final Gala
 
Congratulations to all succesfull entries who made it on the list.
 
The Festival will kick off at 7pm on Saturday, June 2nd, for the Screening of the movies and Final Gala.
 
Venue: Polish Social & Cultural Association, 20 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2
 

1. 38.5
    Grzegorz Dębowski / 10′
 
2. TRANS
    Elwira Florek / 11′
 
3. KRAWĘDŹ ZIEMI / THE EDGE OF THE EARTH   
    Nikodem Wojciechowski / 28’30”
 
4. WINDA / THE ELEVATOR
    Sebastian Kwidziński / 10’06”
 
5. COMPASS
    Domicjan / 16′
 
6. AUTUMN. THE RAINY FRIEND
    Karina Zembrzuska / 2′
 
7. LUKOUT
    Konrad Anoszczenko / 10′
 
8. ASHES TO ASHES. LOVE TO DUST.
    Grzegorz Dębowski / 16′
 
9. JEREMIAH O’DEA
    Kamil Krolak / 05’31”
 
10. ZWIERZĘ BEZ NOGI / LEGLESS ANIMAL (FISZ EMADE)
     Tymon Tykwiński / 4′
 
11. DZIEŃ Z ŻYCIA ŚW. MIKOŁAJA/ ONE DAY OF SANTA’S LIFE
     Sebastian Kwidziński / 6’39”
 
12. PIÓRO / THE PEN
      Wiesław Zieliński / 18′

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