Polish Documentary School


Bydgoszcz (Poland)  09 - 12.10.2013

Participants: Maciej Drygas, Mirosław Dembiński, Mateusz Werner

A series of interactions with a local audience – mainly university and high school students interested in taking part in the project “Bydgoszcz from Dawn till Dusk” – took place in the second week of October 2013 in the hospitable Bydgoszcz Cultural Centre. Three of the tutors hail from there: Mirosław Dembiński, Maciej Cuske and Marcin Sauter. It’s an exceptional situation when the workshop organisers know the title city very well which means they can discuss the choice of subjects with the participants in great detail.

The meetings, which were run by Remigiusz Zawadzki, the representative of the Bydgoszcz Cultural Centre, had two aspects: a presentation of the project “The World from Dawn till Dusk” combined with conversations about the planned film about Bydgoszcz and a screening of films from the Polish documentary school. Maciej Drygas presented his legendary documentary “Hear My Cry” and talked about running the workshops “Moscow from Dawn till Dusk” in 2011. The following day Maciej Cuske and Marcin Sauter carried out a tour of universities and high schools in Bydgoszcz screening films from the collection “The World from Dawn till Dusk” and inviting young people interested in taking part in the Bydgoszcz project. The next point in the programme were screenings of the Polish documentary school and lectures linked to it by Mateusz Werner, who, when discussing the work of Kazimierz Karabasz, Krzysztof Kieslowski and Marcel Lozinski, endeavoured to emphasise the clear continuity in their thinking about the documentary, their similar relationship to the central characters and the truth of reality, resulting from their shared artistic philosophy. During the last day of the Bydgoszcz meetings we screened the film which resulted from the workshop run in Kiev. Following that there was a meeting with some remarkable guests: Otar Litanishvili and Dato Janelidze, the professors at the film school in Tbilisi. They brought with them a fragment of the film about Tbilisi lasting a few minutes, the fruits of this year’s workshops in Georgia. The audience were interested in the specifics of the making of the film: the choice of subjects, the organisation of the film crews’ work and the narrative criteria underpinning the edit. In this way the meeting transformed into a discussion about Bydgoszcz, as the focus for the next documentary and the future participants in the workshops began to conjure up visions about possible short films.