IAM’s Cultural Projects around the Baltic
small, IAM’s Cultural Projects around the Baltic, A photograph by Mateusz Sarełło from the Swell project. The series originated on the Polish shores of the Baltic Sea, photo: courtesy of the artist, mateusz_sarello_swell_08.jpg
The countries around the Baltic Sea are the next region after the Eastern Partnership and Asia that the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (IAM) will concentrate on as part of their continued support for international socio-cultural projects.
Events will be spread across Poland, Russia (Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg), Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Iceland. IAM, under its Culture.pl brand, will work with key festivals and institutions from the region, while building its network of contacts by aiding artists and curators to attain residences and studio visits. This autumn’s programme will concentrate around music, including both classical and contemporary projects, as well as film. In later months, the reach will widen to include performance art and design.
The first few projects have already finished – in July, Polish musicians (Iza Lach, Mr Krime, Bokka and Break Da Funk) played at the Latvian festival Positivus. From 28th to 30th August 2015, more Poles will play at the next important festival in the region, Loftas in Vilnius. This will be the latest presentation of Polish musicians under the auspices of Don’t Panic! We’re from Poland at the festival – in 2014, the bands Rebeka and Non Human Persons played for Loftas attendees as well as at Vilnius Music Week. Rebeka’s performance was so popular that one of their songs then became a hit on Power Hit Radio’s playlist.
Rebeka, Xxanaxx, Pola Rise and other artists from Poland had only regularly played at the club Loftas – one of the greatest venues on Lithuania’s musical map. This year, for their festival, the Loftas organisers invited some Polish performers selected during their visit to the Spring Break festival in Poznań: Min T, Cosovel, and Fismoll. Using a concept from the Don’t Panic! We’re from Poland project, the concert will be accompanied by a networking event – managers and representatives from the Polish music industry will be guests at the festival. There will also be a discussion panel titled “What’s Next In Music?”.
The NFM Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, led by composer Tonu Kaljuste, will play a special series of concerts to coincide with the 80th
birthday of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, one of the most highly-respected creators of contemporary classical music in the world. The first concert will take place 29th
August at the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm, and the second 11th
September in Tallinn at the equally prestigious Narven Festival. The programme consists of four symphonies as well as Swansong
. The next concert in the series is scheduled for 30th
October at the newly-opened residence of the NFM Symphony Orchestra, the National Forum for Music in Wrocław, where the musicians will play Pärt’s first and third symphonies plus Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten
and Te Deum
. The Polish orchestra was given further recognition with an invite to record four of Pärt’s symphonies for the legendary record label ECM.
The film projects will not only involve screening at festivals in Baltic countries, but also the Common Baltic Short Film Contest. The competition is for short films lasting 1 to 5 minutes that tell us something about the identity of the countries around the Baltic Sea, touching upon their culture, history and inhabitants, as well as the region’s transformation. Being an open contest, professionals and amateurs alike can take part. The organisers are Culture.pl, the Pomerian Film Foundation, the Gdynia Film Festival, and Gdynia Film School. Entries are being accepted up until 25th August, and winners will be announced at the Gdynia Film Festival.
The jury will be made up of six people:
- Leszek Kopeć – (head juror) Director of the Gdynia Film Festival and president of the Pomerian Film Foundation
- Jerzy Rados – Gdynia Film School’s deputy director. Also a film director, screenwriter, photographer, founder of the Family Album of the Polish People website, and creator of the short-film series The Chronicles of Polish Film Festival
- Dr Olga Wysocka – Deputy director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute
- Magnus von Horn – Swedish film director residing in Poland. Graduate of and lecturer at the National Film School in Łódź. His last film, The Here After, premiered at the 68th Cannes Film Festival
- Jenifer Malmqvist – Swedish director and graduate of the National Film School in Łódź. Her film Birthday was shown at the Sundance Film Festival
- Grzegorz Skorupski – Film expert for the Adam Mickiewicz Institute
The Reykjavik International Film Festival will begin 24th September 2015 in Iceland. Polish cinema will be represented there by the Polish Animation Producers Association (SPPA) and the Kino-Sztuka (“Cinema-Art”) series which will present films made by Polish visual artists, namely Zbigniew Libera’s Walser, Wilhelm and Anna Sasnal’s It Looks Pretty from a Distance, and Performer by Maciej Sobieszczański and Łukasz Ronduda. Accompanying them will be a presentation about the book Kino-Sztuka and a Q&A with its authors.
In November, a pairing of Polish and Swedish films will be shown at the Stockholm Film Festival. These screenings are being prepared according to a simple rule to create a key effect: they are about similar themes but set on opposite sides of the Baltic. The screenings will be a starting point for a debate involving young filmmakers and critics on the cultural dialogue between Poland and Sweden.
reykjavik international film festival
short film competition
Source: IAM, edited by kk, translated by az, August 2015.