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Posts Tagged ‘polish culture’

Anja Rubik and Sasha Knezevic (not actual wedding photo)

Love is in the air!

This past weekend Polish bombshell/supermodel Anja Rubik married her model fiancé Sasha Knezevic.

Anja Rubik and Sasha Knezevic in Majorca PHOTO: Modelinia Blog

From the looks of it, it was a model wedding (too easy 🙂 ). The couple tied the knot on the Spanish island of Majorca.

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Sasha (a former professional basketball player for club Varese in Italy, was born in Serbia but raised in Vienna) and Anja (recently named the most in-demand model) fashion god Karl Lagerfeld’s go-to-girl, got engaged after seeing the opera Dance of the Vampires directed by Roman Polanski (I am guessing that they are big fans of True Blood).  

An emerging fashion power couple of sorts, the two are the creative brains behind the Austrian fashion and lifestyle mag 25 Magazine

Check out the two love birds in action on Polish morning show Dzien Dobry TVN ( Good Morning TVN. )

And here’s Sasha at a Quebec based fashion shoot for Canadian fashion house RW&CO. ft

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“No human community can exist without culture.”

This is the wisdom shared by Vaclav Havel.

Vaclav, a former playwright and elected first president of the Czech Republic, shared this bit of insight as part of the Wisdom project.

Wisdom is the work of 34 year old New York based photographer Andrew Zuckerman who completed the project in 2008.

Inspired by the idea that one of the greatest gifts a generation can give to the next is wisdom gained from experience, the project consists of a collection of 50 photographs/interviews that capture the wisdom of legendary leaders and visionaries, over the age of sixty-five, from the worlds of politics, science, sports and the arts.

Wisdom exists in the form of a book of portraits, a film and a travelling exhibition.

The latter (the exhibition’s Canadian premiere) is on display at Toronto’s elegant Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place) until August 5th, 2011.

Each copy of the book comes with a download code for a 60-minute film comprised of interviews from the project.

Among the global personalities featured are people such as Actor/Director (and all around Dirty Harry) Clint Eastwood, Diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger, first woman to become United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Actor Robert Redford.

There are also two notable characters as far as Poland and Canada are concerned. The first is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Warsaw born, McGill University educated, former United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter.

The second, is world renowned architect Frank Gehry who was born in Toronto and hails from Polish Jewish ancestry.

Wisdom is an inspiring and rewarding exhibition. If you’re in need of a gust of in your sails make sure to check it out. Best of all, it’s free!

And if you’re looking to combine the show with a nice dinner – we recommend either Ki  (Modern Japanese) or the eclectic Marché which are just steps away.

Enjoy your dose of wisdom!

But before you dig in, check out this trailer for the film…

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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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In Toronto, it seems that when one film festival ends another one begins. Then again, it is the city with the most film festivals in the world, so it’s natural.

Hard on the heels of the world-renowned Hot Docs documentary festival (in which Polish film At the Edge of Russia managed to snag the coveted HBO Documentary Films Emerging Artist Award for its director Michal Marczak) comes the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival (WSFF).

With the motto “shorter is better” this festival showcases the greatest short films from around the globe.

Image from Robert Proch's short film The Gallery (Galeria)

Last year, the festival spotlighted Poland and had a special presentation of films from Warsaw animation powerhouse Platige Image.

This time around, there are four Polish films. They include:

Invisible Border (Niewidzialna Granica)

A Plain Landscape with a Cradle (Krajobraz Nizinny z Kolyska)

The Gallery (Galeria)

Three Mothers

Three Mothers directed by local filmmaker Rafal Sokolowski stars Canada’s rising star Kristin Booth (The Kennedys, Young People Fucking).

Rafal Sokolowski on the set of "Three Mothers"

The film, which plays at the Varsity Cinema on Wednesday June 1 at 1pm and Friday June 3 at 6:15 pm, has been programmed alongside Spike Jonze’s highly anticipated Scenes From the Suburbs.

Spike Jonze is the cinematic genius behind films such as Being John Malkovich and Where the Wild Things Are and has created some of the best music videos of all time – including the Beastie Boys Sabotage video and Fat Boy Slim’s Praise You.

Director Spike Jonze

In Scenes From the Suburbs, Spike collaborates with Canada’s Grammy Award winners Arcade Fire on a story about a slice of suburban life in wartime. Check out the trailer below.

Playing with Spike Jonze is a big score for Rafal as both screenings are sure to be well attended.

We’ll be running a contest for passes to each of the films so make sure to visit our Facebook page for more details.

Hope to see you at the movies!

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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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As many of you can attest – seeing a great documentary film can leave you inspired, speechless and amazed.

From April 28 to May 8 the world’s best documentary filmmakers will be in Toronto for Hot Docs – North America’s largest documentary film festival.

This year, Hot Docs will present an outstanding selection of over 190 docs from around the world.

As last year, YouNxt and Ekran (the Toronto Polish Film Festival) are delighted to be official co-presenters of the Polish films at Hot Docs.

On May 4th we will also be hosting a special reception in honour of the Polish films at Hot Docs as well as local filmmaking talent.

Kultura Restaurant

The event will take place at the decadently delicious Kultura restaurant. Save the date and help us raise a toast to the creative, and often difficult, efforts of those that bring breathtaking stories to our eyes.

There will be two Polish features and two shorts at Hot Docs 2011. The features include:

At the Edge of Russia (Dir. Michal Marczak)

Sat, April 30 – 6:30pm, Cumberland 2

Tue, May 3  – 1:15 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Fri, May 6 – 7pm, Cumberland 2

Hundreds of miles from the nearest human settlement, a young recruit arrives at his Arctic post, charged with an absurd task: patrolling the nothingness. A riveting portrait of silence, broken at times by vodka and sad song.

Phnom Penh Lullaby (Dir. Pawel Kloc)

Mon, May 2 – 9:45pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

Wed, May 4 – 4pm, Cumberland 2

Sun, May 8 – 5:45pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

Pushing the boundaries of documentary, this disturbing, highly compelling drama follows an Israeli man now living in Cambodia with his Khmer girlfriend and their two young daughters. A story from the fringes conveyed with an edge.

The two shorts films have both won numerous international awards. They are:

That’s Life (Dir. Daniel Zielinski)

Fri, April 29 – 9pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

Sun, May 1 – 1pm, Cumberland 3

A middle-aged Polish man—the filmmaker’s retired father—selflessly and tenderly cares for his elderly mother. They live a quiet life in the solitude of the countryside. The son films his father and grandmother with a sensitive, impressionistic eye, but in conversation the father expresses frustration and loneliness. A family visit shows us why.

Out of Reach (Dir. Jakub Stozek)

Sun, May 1 – 11:30am, ROM Theatre

Tue, May 3 – 9:45 – The Royal Cinema

Young and headstrong, sisters Karolina and Natalia are realistic about their home life. Their domineering father may not take the best care of them, but they know any life with their mysteriously absent mother would surely be worse.

For ticket information please visit the Hot Docs website.

Over the next few days we will be showcasing these films in more detail so make sure to check out our blog regularly for updates.

We are very excited to be involved with Hot Docs once again and we are especially proud to collaborate with our good friends at Ekran in bringing these docs to you. We’re looking forward to some memorable cinematic stories and look forward to seeing you at the movies.

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