The festival in Niepokalanów, organised by the Catholic Film Association of the name of St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Niepokalanów Monastery of the Franciscan Fathers, is a review and a summary of the Polish and worldly achievements in the sphere of movie and multimedia featured by evangelical values. The festival is a sensation in the world scale due to its multimedia character

During the solemn inauguration of the Catholic Fair on 11 April this year in the Royal Castle in Warsaw, attended by among the others, cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, bishop Celestino Migliore, archbishop Henryk Hoser, bishop Wojciech Polak, an ambassador Hanna Suchocka, also XXVIII International Catholic Festival of Films and Multimedia Niepokalanów 2013 was started and this year’s rewards of the name of Julian Kulenty were given out, called ‘Multimedia in the ministry to the Gospel’. The reward of in the category of foreign media ‘Multimedia in the ministry to the Gospel 2013’ was awarded to the Vatican Radio for broadcasting programs in a several dozen languages via radio and internet for many years. Priest Józef Polak took it. The reward in the category of national media was awarded to the Editorial Team of ‘Gazeta Polska’ for promoting Christian values.

During the inauguration of the festival, also festival’s film projects were started. Organisers and authors of sent works, met with the fans of film at a stall of the Catholic Film Association and the Niepokalanów Festival, where it was possible to purchase films submitted to the festival.

The end of the festival, giving out rewards and projects of awarded films will take place in Niepokalanów on 11 May at 10.00.

158 films and TV programs were received by the festival, as well as 24 radio programs, 20 multimedia programs from 13 countries: Belarus, Spain, Indonesia, India, Israel, Philippines, Latvia, Madagascar, Russia, USA, Great Britain, Italy and Poland. It will be the first time when parish websites will have been evaluated, which broadcast Holy Masses in live. The patronage of the festival was taken over by cardinal Kazimierz Nycz.

The voice of the heart

This year the festival is held under the motto: ‘Silence and the word as a road to evangelisation’. – Making a film which would be a silence – as a film-director and screenwriter, and the chairman of the jury, Paweł Woldan emphasizes – is very difficult, it is nearly touching the perfection, that is, the essence of a film. And, as jurors, we are looking for such films which do not dazzle with a shout. A film should be a silence like a prayer.

The film-director notes that such films are made by younger and younger people, in fact, amateurs.- The skill can be learnt, whereas one must listen to the voice of the heart, which is the most important in work – the film-director emphasizes. On the one hand, jurors will surely follow the evaluation of the voice of the heart, but on the other hand, they will be looking for films speaking about the history of the Church, including the Church in Poland, history of our faith, films telling about beautiful people, regardless of whether the films will be made by professionals or amateurs.

Another circulation of culture

The Festival in Niepokalanów promotes works and achievements of journalists from Poland and abroad, which do not have a chance of clout in media in their countries. It shows the values of just these productions, their good and beauty, makes it possible to meet with the authors of films, reveals a difficult market situation of a film inspired by evangelical values. As Paweł Woldan notes, at the festival there are less and less films produced by state institutions or public or state television stations. Unfortunately, nowadays – as he states – the production and emission of films made in Poland depends on the State to much extent. In the recent years it has been seen that films of religious character are avoided. It appears both in a feature film, about which the Polish Institute of Film Art decides (the production of films by Paweł Woldan about John Paul II were rejected twice), as well as in the Polish Television. Producers are doomed to the production of such films either for their own means or they are looking for money in various forums independent from the State. In this way another circulation of culture is being created.

A lonely island

The Films Festival in Niepokalanów is a kind of a lonely island. Every year it searches for films, presents them and rewards films telling about our identity, culture and tradition, about God and faith. – I observe – as the chairman of the jury emphasizes- that in fact the festival in Niepokalanów is not subsidized by the Ministry of Culture or the Polish Institute of Film Art, which intend financial means for other festivals, often as if niche, annual, biennial, whereas they refuse financial means for the festival of Catholic films in Niepokalanów, although there are more and more films from abroad, from America, Australia, Asia at this festival every year.

Dorota Petrus has been to the festival twice. She experienced especially the festival in the year 2008 when she and Bogdan Lecznar were rewarded an award in the category of educational films, for the film “I am winning the most valuable” about a missionary from Bolivia. As she emphasizes, the festival in Niepokalanów is distinguished from others by the spiritual context. One does not feel the spirit of competition there, but more a desire of sharing one’s work, oneself, one’s experience.

At the festival in Niepokalanów, the weekly ‘Sunday’ was acknowledged twice. Prelate priest Ireneusz Skubiś – the chief editor was a laureate of the Award of the name of Julian Kulenty ‘Multimedia in the ministry to the Gospel 2005’. The website www.niedziela.pl was also rewarded for multimedia transmission of the Gospel, as well as the TV Studio of the Sunday for the multimedia program ‘Like Czarniecki to Poznań’ and the series of short video programs published on internet, showing religious life in our country.


"Niedziela" 17/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl