Sunderland hosts Polish film festival

Michal Chantkowski, Karolina Osmak and Magda Soko from ICOS in Foyle Street with the Polish Film Festival posters.
Michal Chantkowski, Karolina Osmak and Magda Soko from ICOS in Foyle Street with the Polish Film Festival posters.
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SUNDERLAND will play host to a prestigious Polish film festival in a bid to boost knowledge of the country’s culture.

The city is one of only three in England to take part in Play Poland, a global cinematography event.

Highlights of the festival on Wearside will include film screenings and a movie poster exhibition.

International Community Organisation of Sunderland (ICOS) has teamed up with Sunderland University for the festival which will feature events at North Shore and David Puttnam Media Centre, which are both on St Peter’s campus.

Sunderland University student Karolina Osmak, who is helping to stage the event, said: “The Play Poland festival takes place across the world and grows every year.

“There’s a strong Polish community in Sunderland and about four years ICOS came up with the idea of staging the festival here. We are hoping to get as many people as possible along.

It’s not just for the Polish community, people from other cultures are welcome to come along too. It’s free to everyone.”

Tonight from 7pm, North Shore, formerly Manor Quay, will host the screening of five short films: Chicken by Aleksandra Terpinska, The Boys by Pawel Orwat, The Return by Ewa Bukowska, The 128th Rat by Jakub Paczek and Beat Frequency directed by Arkadiusz Biedrzycki.

As well as Polish food stalls, there will also be a poster display on show tonight at North Shore.

Sunderland’s arm of the festival will close at 5pm on November 10 with a screening of Grzegorz Jaroszuk’s comedy Kebab & Horoscope at the David Puttnam Media Centre.

Karolina said: “There are 13 posters in total which have come from famous art institutions in Poland, they are very prestigious. Not many people here have the chance to see Polish art. In Edinburgh, which also hosts Play Poland, there is quite a developed knowledge because of the embassy, but we don’t have that here, so it’s a unique chance to see Polish art.”

Karolina estimates there are just over 300 Polish people living in Sunderland.

“Certain groups of Polish people stick together, so this is a chance for them to integrate,” she explained.