The United States is the cradle of popular film genres and the center of the world film industry. The highly diverse American cinema has always played an important role in shaping the film language. It embraces Hollywood films, skillfully produced ‘mainstream cinema’, independent films as well extremely daring author’s projects.
The AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL (AFF) will allow Polish audiences to become acquainted with the contemporary American cinema, as well as the culture and reality of the United States. The festival will present the latest films by both internationally established directors and unknown filmmakers.
Although American films dominate Polish cinemas, they are chiefly commercial productions distributed globally by major film studios. Many quality and universal, but less commercial films are not released in Poland at all. The festival aims to introduce new names and phenomena in the American cinema to the Polish audiences.
Currently, American cinema is perceived as a huge supermarket creating products to be sold globally. Strongly present in Europe, the stereotypical perception of the American film industry is based on the false opposition: the artistically sophisticated independent Europe versus commercially oriented America. The festival wants to break through this stereotype.
The AFF will also be educational. Aside from the latest productions, classics will be presented through directors’, and actors’ retrospectives, genres and themes. The retrospectives will create a background for the presentation of contemporary films and will disclose the multitude of links between the present day and the past years of American cinema. They will provide a pretext for showing the themes that have run through American films since the beginning, such as counterculture, the American Dream, Afro-Americans, war and pacifism, music culture, or metropolis.
Since the beginning, American cinema took an active interest in the current events of its home country. Thus, the films presented at the festival will contribute to various seminars, lectures as well as discussions on social, political and cultural issues.
The American Film Festival is the first such undertaking in Poland and, besides the festival in Deauville, France, it is also unique in Europe.