Polish FIlm Institute Logo
Font size (x1)
Letter spacing (x1)
Word spacing (x1)
Line height (x1)
Paragraph margin (x1)
Contrast (Off)
TIFF - Polish Films powered by PFI


Strong Polish presence at Toronto International Film Festival.

Representatives of the Polish Film Institute headed by General Director Radosław Śmigulski will be available at the Polish Cinema Stand # 7, located in the King Ballroom in the Hyatt Regency Hotel, at 370 King Street West, Toronto, between 7th and 11th of September.

We also welcome you to the special event – SPOTLIGHT Polish Cinema at TIFF: Powered by Polish Film Institute, which will take place floor on the 8th of September between 11.00am-12.30pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox – The Founders Lounge, located on the 2nd floor. All the details of the event can be found at the festival’s website: SPOTLIGHT: Polish Cinema at TIFF.

For TIFF Industry program we prepared two digital catalogs in electronic form: Poles in Toronto and Polish Films in Toronto.

First of them includes information about Polish Film Institute’s representation during the festival, including the general director, Radosław Śmigulski, as well as information on the Polish producers attending the event:

  1. Aneta Hickinbotham (Aurum Film)
  2. Sean Bobbitt (Breakthru Films)
  3. Hugh Welchman (Breakthru Films)
  4. Ewa Puszczyńska (Extreme Emotions)
  5. Aneta Dobies (House Media Company)
  6. Beata Pisula (K&K Film Selekt)
  7. Anna Różalska (Match&Spark)
  8. Marcin Wierzchosławski (Metro Films)
  9. Maciek Hamela (Pemplum)
  10. Krystyna Kantor (Shipsboy)
  11. Kamil Skałkowski (Studio Filmowe Kalejdoskop)
  12. Joanna Tatko (Tatko Production)
  13. Paweł Jóźwik (Under Ski Tower)

Polish films co-financed by Polish Film Institute at Toronto International Film Festival 2023

This year at TIFF four film co-financed by Polish Film Institute will be presented. The selection will include the Cannes darling and winner of Grand Prix award – “The Zone of Interest” by Jonathan Glazer, alongside highly anticipated follow-up to “Loving Vincent” – “The Peasants” based on the novel by the Nobel Prize winner Władysław Reymont, “In the rearview” – a documentary tackling the issue of ongoing war in Ukraine and “Irena’s Vow” – an incredible true story about a brave woman who helped groups of Jewish people during II World War.

“The Zone of Interest” is a British-Polish co-production that has won the Grand Prix award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as well as the FIPRESCI Award. It’s a dramatic story about the members of the Höss family, who live just outside Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, but try to live a full an pleasant life, not paying attention to the horrors happening around them. The film is being called a gut-punching drama that will leave audiences in a state of anguish. The film is also being eyed as one of the major Oscar contenders in the upcoming race by Variety and other major entertainment publications. Moreover – Polish cinematographer for “The Zone Of Interest”, Łukasz Żal, will be awarded the TIFF Variety Artisan Award during a special ceremony held in Fairmont Royal York Hotel Toronto on the 10th of September.

“The Peasants” is an adaptation of Władysław Reymont’s monumental book that gave him a Nobel Prize in Literature back in 1924. The film was directed by DK Welchman (nee Dorota Kobiela) and Hugh Welchman – a real life power-couple who gave the world the acclaimed drama “Loving Vincent”, which later became their Oscar Award contender. They call their new film a spectacle bigger than its predecessor. “The film includes big dance numbers and breathtaking battles. It’s shot in very dynamic style. We used camera-work that follows the characters around. There’s a lot of happening in the frame” compared to more static, dialogue-driven “Loving Vincent” – excitingly says DK Welchman in a conversation with members of Polish Film Institute.

“In the Rearview” is becoming this year’s festival darling, gathering awards at almost every event it is being screened at. “Skad dokąd” as it’s called in Polish, is a very contemporary production, tackling head on the issues of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The official synopsis of the documentary film states that during the first days of Russian invasion, people were suspended in time and space, not knowing how to deal with such extreme circumstances. In the face of the uncertain future, they had to make split-second decisions about what to do. Most of them decided to flee the country with the help of volunteers. The movie is an intimate portrayal of a group of people who spend days together in a car. The car that becomes not only their refuge but also a temporary home, hospital and a therapist’s office. It’s the place where they can share their inner thoughts and confessions.

“Irena’s Vow” is a Canadian-Polish co-production based not only on a true story of a Polish nurse Irene Gut Opdyke, who saved Jews during II World War in Nazi-occupied Poland, but also on a popular play by the same name. “Irena’s Vow” surprised audiences in 2009 when it had its Broadway premiere. The movie is based on the screenplay by Dan Gordon, who penned the original script for the play.


Films co-financed by Polish Film Institute at 48th Toronto International Film Festival – Screening Guide

Polish films backed by Polish Film Institute are being screened at various times and different venues. Please see the screening guide below.

“The Peasants” (pol. „Chłopi”), dir. DK Welchman, Hugh Welchman 

Saturday, September 8 6.00 PM 

TIFF Bell Lightbox

Saturday, September 9 12.00 PM (Press & Industry)

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto

Saturday, September 9 2.30 PM 

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto

Monday, September 11 6.40 PM (Press & Industry)

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

Saturday, September 16 5.45 PM

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

“In the Rearview” („Skąd dokąd”), dir. Maciek Hamela 

Monday, September 11 3.05 PM (Press & Industry)

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

Tuesday, September 12 12.05 PM 

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

Thursday, September 14 3.45 PM 

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

Sunday, September 16 9.05 PM 

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

„Irena’s Vow” (pol. „Przysięga Ireny”), dir. Louise Archambault 

Sunday, September 10 3.15 PM 

TIFF Bell Lightbox 

Monday, September 11 9.30 AM (Press & Industry)

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

Monday, September 11 3.35 PM 

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

Wednesday, September 13 6.05 PM (Press & Industry)

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

„The Zone of Interest”, dir. Jonathan Glazer 

Thursday, September 7 11.45 AM (Press & Industry)

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto  

Sunday, September 10 8.30 PM (Premium)

Royal Alexandra Theatre  

Monday, September 11 8.45 PM 

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto 


Toronto International Film Festival has been a great home for Polish cinema in recent years. Many of the acclaimed productions had premieres or Special Screenings during the “Festival of festivals”, as TIFF is often being called. That includes well received films by Andrzej Wajda (“Afterimage”), Wojciech Smarzowski (“Rose”), Jerzy Skolimowski (“Essential Killing”, “11 Minutes”), Agnieszka Holland (“In Darkness”), Marcin Wrona “The Christening”, “Demon”) alongside others, including big titles as: “Imagine”, “Sponsoring”, “Afterimage”, “Blindness” and “Maria Skłodowska-Curie”.

We look forward to meeting the industry at TIFF and wish everyone attending a successful time in Toronto!

We remind you that representatives from PFI will be available for meetings at the Polish Cinema Stand # 7, located in the King Ballroom at TIFF Industry between 7th and 11th of September.