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Archive for the ‘News from Poland’ Category

After months of planning and collaborating, we’re excited to finally tell you about an exhibition we have put together along with the Polish Consulate in Toronto and the Film Museum in Łódź.

On September 1st, 2011 the cinematic world of Krzysztof Kieślowski (director of such masterpieces as Oscar nominated the Three Colours Trilogy, Decalogue and The Double Life of Véronique) is coming to Toronto.

Marking the 70th anniversary of his birth and the 15th anniversary of his death, the Film Museum in Łódź along with the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto and YouNxt proudly present the North American premiere of Kieślowski in Posters: The Films of Krzysztof Kieślowski in World Film Posters.

The collection consists of film posters from countries such as: Spain, Italy, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Poland. Its travelled the world and in September will debut in Canada during the Toronto International Film Festival.

On loan from the Film Museum in Łódź for a limited engagement in the epicenter of Toronto’s film festival action, the exhibition will be on display at the Steam Whistle Gallery from September 1-10 and subsequently at the Metro Hall Rotunda from September 12-17. Admission is free.

Anyone with an appreciation for stunning classic and retro movie posters is invited to view the exhibition and attend the opening reception on Wednesday, August 31 from 7pm – 11pm at Steam Whistle Gallery.

Complete details are available on our EVENTS PAGE

Hope to see you all at the OPENING RECEPTION!!!

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On July 1, Poland will assume the six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union.  

This is a VERY big deal for Poland which has come a long way since the gloomy days of life behind the iron curtain. It’s also a great testament to the ambitious nature of the Polish people.

To commemorate the occasion the country commissioned celebrated filmmaker Tomasz Bagiński and the Platige Image company to create a short animated film titled Europe in Dance.

The film which took nine months to complete is based on a waltz metaphor and the transformations to which Poland is inviting Europe. You can view the film here.

But perhaps a more vivid showcase of Poland’s aspirations exist in a video which was shot last week.

On June 21st, the residents of Poznan, released 8,000 Chinese lanterns into the sky to mark Midsummer Night. The event was accompanied by the soundtrack Chariots of Fire by Vangelis. The effort set a national record and organizers are already planning to beat the World Guinness Record next year.

Poland’s future seems to be a bright one. And a sky filled with flickering lanterns seems like the perfect metaphor.

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Biking in Europe from Copenhagen Cycle Chic

By Izabela Stabinska

When I lived in Holland, I was impressed by how bike-friendly that country is. There are bike specific paths, bike parking lots as well as bike rentals and emergency repair bike shops. The variety of bikes is out of this world and they come in all colours, shapes and sizes

Although bikes were never strangers in Poland, there hasn’t been much infrastructure for them and they have never been top of mind. However, today many cities are including cycle paths in their development plans. And recently, one of the top national newspapers Gazeta Wyborcza initiated a campaign “Polska na rowery” (Get on bikes, Poland!) and organized a number of biking events to promote a bike-friendly lifestyle.

But that’s not all. Cycling is being promoted in style!

A few months ago the All For Planet Foundation came up with an idea to design bike racks that would reflect the spirit of the city that they would serve. Under the banner “Zaparkuj klimatycznie” (Eco parking) they selected five cities: Krakow, Wroclaw, Sopot, Rzeszow and Bytom and commissioned a team of designers to come up with ideas.

The designers returned with five concepts for each of the five cities and people all over country were encouraged to vote for their favourite design as well as for the prefered locations. Close to twenty thousand people (including me!) voted. Here are the 3 top designs that will be installed in each city:

Wroclaw

 

Krakow

Rzeszow

Bytom

Sopot

One of the designs in particular, sparked a lot of controversy. With lots of sunny beaches Sopot is one of the most famous Baltic Sea destinations but some were offended by the “naked” sun-bathing female figure. Then again, the design got the most votes.

Moreover, seeing all the buzz around the beach-lady, the organizers didn’t want to miss a good opportunity and so they announced a little surprise…

… a little beach companionship.

The first bike racks are being installed this month. So, if you travel to Poland this summer and see any of them, let me know how you like them. Until then, get on your bikes people!

Izabela Stabinska

Izabela is Toronto based fashion designer who studied fashion in California. After receiving the Best Graduation Collection award, she traveled all over Europe where she collaborated on art projects, fashion shows and photo shoots. In Toronto, she is freelancing in fashion design and production. Currently, she is working with a local enterpreneur on a specialized sportswear line and is developing her first Canadian collection.

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The official greeting ceremony of the President of the U.S. at Poland's Presidential Palace.

As noted recently in the New York Times, the United States might not have the same pizazz in the eyes of young Poles as compared to that of their parents, but when the “Leader of the Free World” pays you a visit you roll out the red carpet.

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama made a 24-hour visit to Poland as part of the final phase of his European tour.

He visited four countries over six days with his flying fortress, Air Force One, touching down in Warsaw on Friday evening.

He met with Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. He discussed security and energy issues, met with leaders of Polish democracy, and, along with Poland’s President, co-hosted a dinner for leaders of Central and European states.

Obama called Poland a model for the world and praised the country for it’s peaceful and succesful transition to democracy after the fall of Communism in 1989.

He also confessed to a personal Polish link.

“If you come from Chicago and you haven’t become a little bit Polish, something’s wrong with you,” he joked.

President Obama greets young leaders at The Presidential Palace

President Barack Obama pays his respects while visiting the memorial to the victims of the Smolensk plane crash at Field Cathedral of the Polish Military in Warsaw, Poland, May 28, 2011

President Obama is greeted by Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski at the Presidential Palace.

President Barack Obama and President Bronislaw Komorowski review troops during the arrival ceremony in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

Pres. Obama meets with Polish politicians, activists & Solidarity leaders to learn about Poland's experiences in a peaceful democratic transition.

Presidents Obama & Komorowski co-hosted a dinner for leaders of Central & Eastern European States.


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CONGRATS to Basia Bulat for being selected as the supporting act for Arcade Fire’s first gig in Warsaw!

The concert will take place on Friday, June 24th at Torwar Arena in Warsaw. Tickets can be purchased on Arcade Fire’s website . 

Arcade Fire stunned the music world a few months ago when they beat all odds to win Album of the Year at the 53rd GRAMMY Awards.

Basia was recently nominated for a Juno Award in the “Best New Artist” category. Previously she was nominated for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize – Canada’s equivalent of the highly regarded UK Mercury Music Prize.

Basia’s Polish-Canadian roots make her the perfect fit to accompany Montreal based Arcade Fire in Poland. And it should be one trully magical night.

Arcade Fire is known for their high energy concerts and Basia’s passion for music will offer the perfect accent.

Here is what you can expect…

Also, check out this amazing version of “Wake Up” from the Glastonbury festival…

And here’s Basia’s video for “In the Night.”

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A few weeks ago, 4000 representatives from the tourism industry from all over the world gathered in Germany for ITB Berlin – the largest tourist fair in the world.

The host of this year’s edition was Poland (or more specifically the Polish Tourist Organization).

In light of its upcoming presidency of the European Council and before the Euro 2012 tournament it wanted to create a splash with an innovative campaign.

The company entrusted with this was Platige Image; the Warsaw based Film Studio that we have written about numerous times.

Oscar nominated Tomek Bagiński, a self-taught illustrator, animator and director headed up a team which included: Marcin Kobylecki,  Jakub Jabłoński, Rafał Wojtunik, Damian Nenow and Bartłomiej Kik.

The result was the “Move Your Imagination” campaign – a five film animated journey that emphasizes Polish culture, nature, active pastimes, preparations for Euro 2012 and dance.

Have a look and let us know if you think they are a HIT or MISS.

UEFA EURO 2012

DIRECTOR: Tomek Bagiński

“The new film directed by Tomek Bagiński promotes Polish preparations to European championships that will take place next year. It was done in 3D stereo.

In the middle of concrete desert, there’s a fit man who starts spectacular dance. As the result the space around him changes. Huge pillars, spans – the elements of National Stadium in Warsaw are built. We also see other Polish stadiums that will host EURO 2012.” Platige Image

Here is the TRAILER which includes elements from all five films of the entire campaign. You can check out each film at the Platige Image website.

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Today marks the first anniversary of the Smolensk plane crash.

On April 10, 2010 Poland’s President, Lech Kaczynski and his wife and 94 of the most senior Polish diplomats, officials and cultural elite perished in a plane crash over Smolensk, Russia.

In an ironic twist of fate the Polish delegation was flying to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre during which over 20,000 Poles were killed by Soviet secret police.

There will be ceremonies throughout the day in Poland and around the world to commemorate the anniversary.

Please let us know details of ceremonies in your community or pass along links to more information.

Following last year’s tragedy, we received a great number of photos from readers in Poland. We also wrote a number of posts relating to the event.

Here’s a look back at some of the coverage…

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Poles Unite in Mourning

Hundreds Gather at Katyn Monument

Thousands Gather To Celebrate Mass To Honour The Late Polish President

Unforgettable

 

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