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Contemporary Polish Short Animation, photo: promotional materials

The 20th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) featured a programme of contemporary short animations from Poland. The event provided the Chinese cinema lovers with a great opportunity to see not only the classics of Polish animated film, but also works of the younger generation of Polish animators.

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Tango, directed by Zbigniew Rybczyński, 1980, photo: Se-ma-for

Animated avant-garde film, realised in 1980 in the Studio Małych Form Filmowych Se-ma-for by Zbigniew Rybczyński, the winner of the first Oscar for a Polish movie.

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Still from Zbigniew Rybczyński's Tango, 1980, photo: Filmoteka Narodowa

Zbigniew Rybczyński's experimental animated film Tango was shown at the 9th Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions in Tokyo. Rybczyński was yet another Polish artist featured at the festival, after Piotr Bosacki and Paweł Althamer who had participated in the previous editions of the event.

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Krzysztof Wodiczko, Personal Instrument, 1969-1972, photo courtesy of Łódź Art Museum

The relationship between art, science, and technology has a long and complex tradition in Poland, going back to the experiments of the first avant-garde.

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On 9th March, the Polish Institute in Vilnius in collaboration with the Vilnius Art Academy will launch the project Once Upon a Time: the Art of Polish Animation. It features screenings of the best animations by Polish artists, lectures and an exhibition of posters, graphics, drawings, sculptures and installations by Polish animators.

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György Kovásznai, still from Young Man Playing the Guitar at the Old Master’s Gallery, 1964, photo: György Kovásznai Research Archive / Cooper Gallery

The Tomorrow Was a Montage exhibition at the Cooper Gallery features work by premier montage artists, some world-renowned, others up-and-coming: Wojciech Bąkowski, Roman Cieślewicz, György Kovásznai, Jan Lenica and Zbigniew Rybczyński. It will be on display from 30th October to 18th December 2015.

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Animated films are the stuff childhoods are made of. These animations, however, aren't targeted at kids but they're not 'adult' animations either. They're experimental and alternative animations which explore hidden meanings, play with stereotypes, and bring life to inanimate objects in curious worlds.

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Still from Jan Lenica's "Labyrinth", photo: Studio Miniatur Filmowych

Animators are many things. They're poets of imagery and comedians, puppet and stop motion masters, illustrators and experts of 3D technology. Poland boasts an impressive array of well-respected and accomplished animators. Here is a (short) guide to Polish animation.

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HKIFF Cine Fan poster

Films by the most renowned Polish animators, including Zbigniew Rybczyński, Jan Lenica, Julian Antonisz and others are to be presented in Hong Kong.

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From Warsaw to Rangoon, passing through Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran on the way. Such a route is to be taken by a travelling cinema, which for half a year will promote Polish short films. Culture.pl is one of the organizers of the project.

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