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 will promote Polish short films for half a year. Culture.pl is one of the organizers of the project.
It involves an inflatable 40m2 screen, ten strong ropes and some metre-long pegs as thick as a man's forearm, along with a projector, cables and a generator. This is the mobile cinema created by Maciej Kuziemski and Piotr Stasik, adapted from an all-terrain SUV. They are about to present films in small towns and villages in Ukraine, Moldova and Azerbaijan.
Although our project is an educational one, we’re not going there as teachers carrying the torch of education. We want to show our viewers unfamiliar films, but also we want to learn a new way of looking at world from them. - says Maciej Kuziemski in an interview with Culture.pl.
Stasik and Kuziemski intend to drive more than 20,000 km displaying the classics of Polish documentary and animation on the way.
We have chosen the gems of short film, created by artists such as: Bogdan Dziworski, Marcel Łoziński and Zbigniew Rybczyński. These are universal and timeless films, carrying loads of meanings and emotions" - says Piotr Stasik.
Audiences in the East will be able to see classic masterpieces such as The Musicians by Kazimierz Karabasz, tales for children such as Bolek i Lolek and contemporary documents – including Małgorzata Szumowska’s Silence. Those films have something in common – they are devoid of dialogue, and speak to the audience only in the language of cinema. As a result, they will be understood in any country which the cinema tour visits.
The screenings will be accompanied by workshops aimed to raise awareness of intercultural dialogue and the mobilization of local communities. "Half a year ago, thanks to the organization of the Watch Docs festival in Rangoon, we realized how important a role culture plays in raising awareness of citizens and consumer culture. - says Maciej Kuziemski. - Especially in countries in transition - torn between censorship and oppression and savage capitalism". Therefore, the creators of the travelling cinema will encourage its viewers to initiate cultural activities and instruct them on how they can create a foundation or NGO.
Although Stasik and Kuziemski want to show films mainly in small towns and villages, the first stop on the journey is Kiev, where, at the invitation of the Ukrainian Film Festival DOCUDAYS, they will hold a number of events in public spaces.
This is not Piotr Stasik's first artistic journey. He is the creator of A Travel Diary, in which he talked about a photographic project implemented by the Polish master of photoreportage - Tadeusz Rolke and his teenage student. Along with the main characters, Stasik travelled to small Polish towns and villages, taking pictures of people they encountered. His film was a result of this journey. In 2013 it won the Krakow Film Festival award.
Maciej Kuziemski is a political scientist and cultural animator. He organized Watch Docs on behalf of the Lech Wałęsa Institute - a film festival about human rights in Burma.
Domestic Product is the name given to Stasik and Kuziemski's initiative which aims to promote Polish culture in developing and undemocratic countries. The project is led by the Lech Walesa Institute in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the International Solidarity Foundation, the Polish Film Institute, the National Audiovisual Institute, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” and the DobreKino.pl company.
You can follow the project at: http://facebook.com/dmstcprdct
Source: press materials, ed. BS., translated: Katarzyna Maksimiuk, 24.03.2014