Kraków Film Festival

Kraków Film Festival
The Kraków Film Festival (Krakowski Festiwal Filmowy) is one of the oldest film festivals in Europe. It focuses on documentary, animated and short feature films. The festival has been held in the Polish city of Kraków every year since in 1961.

The Kraków Film Festival is the oldest film festival in Poland, it was established almost 25 years earlier than the Warsaw International Film Festival. Originally designed as a national short film competition, it eventually became an international film festival. In the 1960s and in the 1970s the Kraków Film Festival was considered one of Europe’s two major short film festivals alongside the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen held in Germany since 1954.

In the 1990s, the Kraków Film Festival was temporarily discontinued due to political and economic transformation in post-communist Poland which caused a crisis in the country’s film industry. It was revived in 1997 and has been held every year ever since. In 1999, the event was renamed International and National Festival of Documentary and Short Films to emphasize its primary focus. Today, it is known internationally as the Kraków Film Festival.

The Kraków Film Festival is typically held in late May and early June and lasts for eight days. Its program includes about 250 Polish and international films screened in the festival’s competition and non-competing sections. The Kraków Film Festival hosts four film competitions: International Documentary Film Competition, International Short Film Competition, International Competition DocFilmMusic, and National Competition. The festival’s non-competing sections include Somewhere in Europe, World Stories, Festival Award Winners, Sounds of Music, Panorama of the Polish Film, Docs+Science, Kinds&Youth Fest, Shorts Matter!, Music Video Night, Student Etudes Night, Focus On…, and others.

Each competition at the festival has its own main award. The Golden Horn Award is given to the best documentary film, the Golden Dragon Award is presented to the best short film, the winner of the DocFilmMusic competition receives the Golden Heynal Award, and the Golden Hobby-Horse is given to the winner of the national competition. Since 1998, the festival has presented the honorary Dragon of Dragons award for the contribution to documentary filmmaking and animation.

In 2020, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kraków Film Festival

Photo: KFF/Tomasz Korczynski




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