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Lodz Film Fund

Łódzki Fundusz Filmowy (Lodz Film Fund)
Urząd Miasta Łodzi (The City of Łódź Office)
ul. Piotrkowska 104
90-004 Łódź, Poland
ph. +48 (42) 638 55 46 or +48 (42) 638 59 29
fax: +48 (42) 638 43 23
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
website: www.lodzfilmcommission.pl
contact person: Monika Głowacka

Łódź - city of film

Multi-culture, original history. The city of historic palaces, villas and XIX-century textile factories. The city of numerous festivals, vernissages, exhibitions, theatrical spectacles. Łodź is located in the centre of Poland at the crossroads of the European West-East and North-South communication routes. With over 750.000 citizens it is the third biggest Polish city.

Polish Manchester

Wanting to feel the unique climate of the city one should refer to its history. Over the centuries, in spite of having city charter, Łódź was a small farming town with wooden buildings, cultivated fields and woods. Only the XIX century saw great events which forever altered the face of the city. Textile industry was the main factor of the transformations. Lured with possibilities of fast fortune-making the manufacturers and industrialists arrived to this ‘promised land’ from all over the Europe. Geyer, Poznański, Scheibler and others built here industrial-residential complexes which are unique on a world scale.

The real tourist attraction is complex „Księży Młyn”, which consists of enormous spinning mill, workers’ houses, fire station, hospital, school, manor and the manufacturer’s villa.

The other complex built by the Poznański family is situated in the north part of the city.  It’s impossible to pass with indifference by the buildings erected from red brick, the architecture of which refers to the medieval fortress. Standing near by the Poznański Palace is admired for its immensity and diversity of details – it’s the biggest industrial residence in the whole Europe. The luxuriously furnished interiors house History of Łódź Museum and the former factory has been changed into the cultural-commercial-entertainment centre (Manufaktura).  Strolling about the city it is possible to find many examples of the XIX-century industrial architecture, thanks to which Łódź is being called „Polish Manchester”. Antique villas and tenement houses, the silent history witnesses, are admired for their interesting architecture and rich decorations.

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The City of Four Cultures  

Not only Poles but also settlers, mainly Germans, Jews and Russians, built the identity of the dynamically developing town. The traces of such a unique heritage might be admired today in numerous monuments of sacred architecture and necropolis. Till today tenement buildings erected by German and Jewish owners stand next to each other. We can admire orthodox and Evangelical churchs and synagogues. On the biggest European Jewish cemetery, among thousands of masebhas stand mausoleums of Polish manufacturers, rabbis’ and zaddiks’ gravestones and the ghetto field for the victims of the extermination of Jews by Germans during the II World War. The memory of the citizens of Litzmannstandt Ghetto is commemorated in the Holocaust monument Radegast Station.

In the Old Cemetery, in its catholic, orthodox and evangelical part rest Łódź industrialists, artists, academics and actors.
 
Four Cultures Dialogue Festival  has become the part of Łodź multi-cultural and multi-religious tradition.  Every year the spectacles and concerts of Polish, German, Russian and Jewish artists gather huge audience.

Piotrkowska Street 

The indisputable city pride and its heart is Piotrkowska street – the longest promenade in Poland (4 km). New buildings are being built along ‘Pietryna’ - once the busy communication rout. Here Łódź manufacturers erected their offices and warehouses, banks and tenement houses.  The street is still the representative location of the city and is full of life about every time of the day.  During the day the street lures the visitors with its numerous stores and in the evenings the cultural life concentrates in numerous pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes. Many pubs organize life concerts and clubbing events offering house music, drum&bass, elektro, reggae, rock and disco. The lovers of dance music might go to discos opened all night long.  During the summer season one might get some rest in colorful pavement gardens. Along the promenade one can move in rickshaws and tram-bus, which is the replica of an antique tramway.  Most important city event happen here: fairs, festivities and artistic happenings. 

Manufaktura

Manufaktura - the excellent combination of commerce, culture and entertainment – is situated in the rehabilitated XIX-century industrial complex. On the area of a dozen of acres side by side function: gallery with branded shops and boutiques, various restaurants, disco, climbing wall, multiplex, experiment area. In the nearest future these should be accompanied by the luxurious hotel and conference centre as well as the museum of modern art. Central part of the complex is occupied by the couple-acres market square with fountains – the favorite leisure spot for the citizens and visitors, where concerts and fairs are taking place.  During the winter the market square in transformed into skating rink or ski slope, in the summer into a sandy beach. When in Łódź one must visit that place.
 
Museums

Among many museums located in Łodź some of them, on account of their size, collections and their value, deserve special mention. One of them is undoubtedly Centralne Muzeum Włókiennictwa (Textile Museum) located in the classical industrial building erected by L. Geyer, which presents the history of the development of the textile industry in Łódź and exhibits antique textile machines. Moreover, for many years now the museum has been gathering the collection of modern artistic fabrics and organized Międzynarodowe Triennale Tkaniny (International Fabric Triennial) is visited by artists from all over the world.

Muzeum Sztuki (Museum of Arts) can boast about its valuable and biggest in Poland collection of avant-garde art (from cubism to surrealism). In the museum one can see the works of such celebrities as Max Erns or Pablo Picasso and the Polish avant-garde artists: Władysław Strzemiński, Katarzyna Kobro, Henryk Stażewski. Soon, the branch of the museum shall be establish in Manufaktura, in the XIX-century spinning mill. In order to admire the beauty of the industrialists palaces’ interiors of XIX and XX century one must visit Pałac Herbsta (Herbst Palace) (Oddział Muzeum Sztuki – Branch of the Museum of Arts) and the biggest in Łódź Poznański palace (Muzeum Historii Miasta Łodzi – History of Lodz Museum) with world-only Artur Rubinstein gallery. One cannot avoid to visit Scheilber palace, which antique interiors house the only Polish Muzeum Kinematografii (Museum of Cinematography).

The city of festivals

Łódź can be undoubtedly called the city of festivals.  Each year the city houses a great number of events that attract more and more outstanding quests and tourists from all over the world.  The lover of extreme sports, mountains and travels should visit Explorers Festival.  Międzynarodowy Festiwal Fotografii (International Festival of Photography) attracts the interest of many critics, artists and mentors.  Famous personalities take part in Łódź Biennale, where modern art, installations, sculptures, graphic works and painting are exhibited.  Since 1991 Łódź welcomes the authors and lovers of animation art from all over the world.  The program of Międzynarodowy Festiwal Komiksu (The International Animation Festival) consists of drawing and scriptwriting workshops as well as numerous exhibitions and meetings.
Out of many others event we should mention Międzynarodowy Festiwal Solistów Lalkarzy (The International Festival of Solo Puppeteers) or The Festival of Film Schools.

Łódź (2)Łódź – the city of film

Łódź – in the XIX-century the ‘promised land’ of the Polish capitalism, in XX-century a Mecca for filmmakers. After the crises of the 90-ties, thanks to festivals and the activity of numerous film producers Łódź has regained its position as the film-making centre, the important place on the Polish and international cultural map. All over the world ‘Łódź’ is being identified mainly with the famous Film School which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008.
The school is situated in Oskar Kona palace at 61/63 Targowa str.  The school was established in 1948 first as the National Film School (educating directors and cameramen). A year later the National Drama School was established. Both schools where pioneer institutions in their field in Poland – until then there was no tradition of national education of actors and directors.  The school was established in Łódź because in the destroyed by war Warsaw there were no conditions towards it. Later on the structure and way of functioning of Łódź Drama School was copied by other such schools established in Warsaw, Cracow and Wrocław. Łódź Film School still remains the unique institution in Poland. 

Leon Schiller’s National School of Film, Television and Theatre was established in 1958 by integrating both schools. Since its creation the school, colloquially called ‘filmówka’, shrouded in legend created by its famous students and graduates – has become the ‘laboratory of arts’ where music, literature and painting arts development around the activities directly linked to film and theatre. Among the graduates of the school there are the winners of Cannes, Berlin and Oscars. Such directors as Andrzej Munk, Janusz Morgenstern, Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polański, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, or Zbigniew Rybczyński should be mentioned as the school graduates. In the 70-ties the school was attended and finished by an array of excellent artists, directors and cameramen, still active in film, television and theatre both in Poland and abroad.

The cradle of Polish post-war cinematography was Łódź Film Studio located at Łąkowa str.  which functioned between 1945 and 1998. Through the years it has been the most important film studio in Poland: in the 60-ties and the 70-ties the studio produced on the average 15 films and approx. 40-60 tv episodes yearly. Zakazane piosenki (Forbidden  Songs) directed by Leonard Buczkowski  - the first Polish feature film in the post-war Poland – was produced right there.  The shooting started in December 1945, in a sports hall especially adapted for the film-production purposes. In 1953 first color picture Przygoda na Mariensztacie (Adventure on Mariensztat) was produced there.
Until the 90-ties the studio produced almost 600 feature films and over 1000 tv episodes.  In the 90-ties, because of the breakdown of the film production the studio went through a crisis.  In 1992, for the first time in its history, the studio made a loss and in 1998 its liquidation started.  Out of the former Film Studio only Łódź Film Centre remained untouched and it took over the biggest Polish collection of props. Today, in its warehouses one can see and admire almost 4000 props and a thousands of costumes that ‘played’ in such films as Krzyżacy (Tautonic Knights), Lalka (The Doll), Stawka większa niż życie (More Than Life at Stake), Ziemia obiecana (Promised Land), Królowa Bona (Queen Bona), Kingsajz.  The rest of the film complex located at Łąkowa street, including the biggest Polish film studio, has preserved its film character.  Today the premises are used by private companies offering services to the film, advertising and television industry.

Łódź is also famous for its animated film traditions.  The city houses Se-Ma-For studio established in 1947, which until now has produced over 1400 of puppet and cartoon animated films for children and adult audiences.  The most famous are: Miś Uszatek, Przygody misia Colargola, Przygody kota Filemona and Zaczarowany ołówek, but also Oscar Winner Tango directed by Zbigniew Rybczyński.  Apart from animation the studio also produced other formats – for example  the poetic documentary film Z głębokości wołam…based on the diaries of children from Łódź Ghetto.

The last film, Peter and Wolf directed by Suzie Templeton produced in the co-production with the British film studio BreakThru Films, has been a great success on many international festivals. Among others it has won main prize and audience award on the International Animated Film Festival in Annecy in France, it was also awarded with  Oscar in the category of the Best Short Animated Film.
The capital of Polish film industry wouldn’t do without Muzeum Kinematografii (the Museum of Cinematography) located in the XIX_century palace of Karol Scheilber, one of the biggest Łódź industrialist of Germany origins, called ‘The Cotton King’.
The interiors, kept in good condition, are the living evidence not only of the Łódź history, but also of the history of Polish cinema, because there were used in a number of Polish productions, among others in Ziemia obiecana (Promised Land) directed by Andrzej Wajda.

The Museum of Cinematography is the unique institution maintaining Łódź film tradition, but also gathering extensive collections of Polish and international film art exhibits.  It is worth visiting that place in order to see the locations of Polish mega-productions, for example: transferred from the production of Stara baśń (An Ancient Tale) impressive pagan church.  The pride of the museum is the XIX-century peepshow from the production of Vabank directed by Julusz Machulski, antique cameras, optical toys, collections of film posters from the 20-ties and the 30-ties, designs of costumes and decorations.

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Festivals, festiwvals

Film Łódź is not only about the history of cinematography, but is also famous for its present activities– numerous film festivals.

International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography Plus CAMERIMAGE is the most prestigious and the biggest in the world film festival dedicated to the art of the cameramen. The unique formula of the Festival that focuses on the value of the film images and pictures and their compatibility with the film’s message and theme, proved to be an attractive alternative to other festivals.  The awards express gratitude to the most brilliant achievements in the field of film-shooting.  By integrating prize-winning filmmakers, novices and students the festival allows them to discover new ways of artistic expression.  Camerimage is not only about film screening, but also about meetings with cameramen, workshops and other events such as exhibitions and concerts.

When first on the festival David Lynch became enchanted with Łódź and its industrial architecture and he decided not only to use city locations in his most recent film Inland Empire but also to attach himself to the city for longer.  Together with Marek Żydowicz, the director of Camerimage festival, and Andrzej Walczak, co-owner of Atlas Group, Lynch established World Art Foundation (Fundacja Sztuka Świata) thanks to which, the former premises of the power station EC1 is to be transformed into David Lynch film studio.  - I have become enchanted with old Łódź factories and chimneys, mysterious courtyards, narrow entrances and corridors, antique tenement houses.  They has this magic and energy about them that complement the climate of my films – says David Lynch.

ReAnimacja – Animated Film Festival: The main idea of the event, apart from creating the alternative to cinemas’ commercial repertoire, is the presentation of Polish and European works in the atmosphere of the artistic festivity, which is an important factor of the city’s cinematographic tradition. The main aims of the Festival include: integration of works produced both by amateurs and professionals, familiarization everyone interested with the genre diversity and the variety of animation formats, organization of meetings of authors and professionals enabling the exchange of knowledge and experience between them.
The festival is addressed to both the student of film schools, amateurs, cinema-goers and complete laymen. A competition for the best animated film is held as part of the festival.  The competition is directed at the students of Polish and foreign high schools and to amateurs. The festival is accompanied by out-of-competition films shows, workshops for the students of artistic schools, exhibitions and concerts.

The festival is organized by KinoForma Foundation operating by Charlie Cinema, the co-organizer.

Festival of Independent Cinema ‘Off Jak Gorąco’ is the all-Polish event attended by independent filmmakers, debutants and the enthusiasts of the cinema existing on the outskirts of Polish cinematography. A competition for the best independent film is held as part of the festival.  The jury consists of the filmmakers that started with independent cinema and achieved success and various Polish festivals.  The competition is accompanied by film retrospectives, feature film reviews, meetings with the authors and film workshops.

The programme of the festival also includes: best film competition, retrospectives, film premieres with authors’ participation, Cinema OFF film shows, workshops and many other events.  Young filmmakers compete in two categories:

    Best independent film (students and graduates of film and drama schools, amateurs, independent film groups etc.)
    Best student’s film (students of grammar and junior high schools)

An audience of the festival is also granting its award.

Film Music Festival: The idea of the festival, born in Łódź in 1996,  is to promote Polish film music composers.  The main aim is to integrate and promote the works of the most famous film music composers.  The idea was to dedicate each edition to one particular composer and this tradition continues until today.   Former editions were dedicated to Wojciech Kilar, Krzysztof Komeda Trzciński, Michał Lorenc, Zygmunt Konieczny, Krzesimir Dębski, Andrzej Korzyński and Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz.

The festival refers also to the cinematographic tradition of the city, although it came into existence when it seemed this tradition would go down in history. But the festival proved to be the platform integrating the old and the new cinematographic tradition of the city.    Today, when Łódź hosts many festivals and film shows, works like Edi, Mistrz or Dotknij mnie, as well as documentary and animated films are being produced here, the cinematographic future of the city seems to be very optimistic.  It might also be thanks to the Film Music Festival which promotes cinematographic works and   cinematographic tradition of Łódź.

Tomasz Gaduła-Zawratyński’s Award – established in order to commemorate the tragically deceased originator of the Festival – is granted to journalists promoting film works and film music.

Włodzimierz Puchalski’s International Festival of Nature Films: The festival was first organized in 1980 by dr Maciej Łukowski and resumed in 1998 on the initiative of the Society ‘ Film – Nature – Culture’.  The festival is currently organized under the banner: ‘Promotion of the European nature and landscape’.
The main aims of the festival include: promotion of the national and international achievements of nature cinema, evaluation of the current position and perspectives for the development of nature cinema, determining the possible use of nature cinema in youngsters’ education,  creating support for the artistic development in that area and distinguishing the most valuable nature films and TV programmes.  Both medium- and short-length films dedicated to the problems of nature protection, man-nature co-existence and related themes can be entered into the festival.
The main award – Wł. Puchalski’s Grand Prix (statute and money award)  – goes to the best film of the festival.  Festival winners also receive Special Awards (including: Janusz Czecz’s best pictures’ award, award to films with special educational values, award to journalistic films etc.).  The festival is organized by: Łódzki Dom Kultury, Society ‘Film – Nature – Culture’, Society ‘Film Łódź’, Łódź Education Films Studio, Wł. Puchalski High School.

International Festival of Film and Television Schools "Mediaschool": Established in 1994.  Main Prize – Grand Prix.  The competition open to the students of over 30 film schools from all over the world. The festival presents films produced by the members of the Federation of Independent Filmmakers.  A review of archival etudes created  by the students of the National School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź.

Media Festival ‘Man in Danger’: The all-Polish Media Festival ‘Man in Danger’ is the competition review of the domestic documentary works devoted to public issues, registering pathologies, intolerance, problems arising from the economic transformation, political issues and general condition of human race etc.  The festival presents the film, television and video works of  both professionals and amateurs as well as radio commentaries.  Materials of various length can enter the competition.

Apart from the main prize – the statute of White Cobra – several other awards are being granted. Each review in accompanied by out-of-competition shows (most often international documentaries, quite often coming from the neighboring countries), exhibitions of photography or fine arts, often radio broadcasts.

Thanks to the above mentioned and many other initiatives Łodź has the chance to come back to its former cinematographic splendor and once again become the promised land for the filmmakers coming to Poland from all over the world.

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Łódź – The European Capital of Culture 2016

Diverse and interesting cultural heritage, enormous collections of museum exhibitions, numerous festivals and cultural events, artists and welcoming citizens – those elements decided that the city is running for the title of the European Capital of Culture 2016.

Urząd Miasta Łodzi
Biuro Rozwoju Przedsiębiorczości i Miejsc Pracy

foto:
1. Ulica Piotrkowska
2. Muzeum Kinematografii
3. Międzynarodowy Festiwal Sztuki Autorów Zdjęć Filmowych Plus Camerimage
4. Biała fabryka Geyera
autor: Urząd Miasta Łodzi

Film Commission Poland
Creative Europe