Between the riversides, among the films


Mysterious Kazimierz, gnomes and many thanks – joyful and jazzy closing of the festival.

Kazimierz Dolny, the PGE Cinema, 4.30 pm. Grazyna Torbicka, the Artistic Director of the Festival enters the stage smiling. “Behind us there are eight festival days filled with films, music, art and meetings with the artists”, she says. The audience applauds loudly. “Our thanks go to the audience – all this has been for you”. Indeed, for the several days of the festival Kazimierz has been under siege of the faithful attendees. Everywhere there have been crowds with distinctive red or blue programme booklets in their hands. “We have met for the sixth time because we have faithful friends. Owing to them we are able to seek rare things, good films.”, says the Artistic Director.

The selection of films was indeed extensive. Retrospective of Marek Koterski’s works, Great Cinema on the Small Market Square, German Expressionism, In the Short Run – these are only some of the festival sections. “The Philosophy of Rebellion”, this being the main theme of the sixth edition of Two Riversides, is a perfect summary of both the atmosphere of the pictures screened as well as disapproval, well detectable in any street of Kazimierz Dolny and Janowiec, of the existing pop-culture where it is essential to sell yourself and provide the greatest possible quantity of irrelevant information.  On this account, this year’s winner of the Cannes Grand Prix – “Reality” – was so enthusiastically received at the opening Gala.   

“The Philosophy of Rebellion” is also perfectly visible in the Independent Short Film Competition with 50 entrants, selected out of 220 submissions. Comprising unprofessional cinema enthusiasts exclusively, the independent jury unanimously selected the winner “Would You Be Kind To Leave Sir” directed by Valeriė Thėodore. First distinction was granted to Mateusz Glowacki for “When the light of dawn arises” whereas the second to Jedrzej Bonczyk for his 30-minute long “Coyote”.

May a gnome be an energy source? Yes, it turns out! The audience applauds the winner of “People have the power” competition namely the film “Long Time Ago in Nowa Sol” by Jarek Piekarski. Its motto – “There is a gnome for any crisis” – evokes plenty of smiles, visible even despite the darkness of the cinema.

Expressions of thanks seem to be endless as there are numerous people to be grateful to. It is the sponsors, partners and organising institutions who make it possible for us to gather around in Kazimierz Dolny once a year. As per request of the Artistic Director, the audience applauds each institution jazz-wise, with a single clap. “We enjoyed each day and would like to thank the whole team and all volunteers”, says Grazyna Torbicka. The PGE Cinema falls silent for a moment. A sense of mystery appears. „Walking through narrow streets we interviewed the festival attendees ‘Who is Kazimierz?’. Well, let us see!” – the hostess introduces a short film explaining the history of the festival’s pet. After all, how can a small puppet know Boguslaw Linda, how can it be advised personally by Robert Wieckiewicz, go to the cinema with Magdalena Cielecka or spend time over a whiskey with John Henshaw. “I think Kazimierz is all of us here” – responds Grzegorz Dunia, the mayor of Kazimierz Dolny.

The Closing Gala of the 6th Two Riversides Festival was concluded with a premiere screening of “A royal affair” directed by Nicolay Arcer. “We shall now travel together to Denmark, we hope you will enjoy the film and let us remember that the festival is not over yet”, says Grazyna Torbicka smiling.


Joanna Szmidt