John Waters, the "Pope of Trash", is a guest of the 12th AFF

US in Progress 2022 awards

It outrages, it makes us laugh, it makes us aware (in different doses and not necessarily in that order). That is how the cinema of John Waters, one of the most fascinating representatives of the American counterculture, can be summed up. The author of Pink Flamingos will visit Poland for the first time, as a special guest of the American Film Festival in Wrocław, where he will receive the Indie Star Award.

The director will take part in a masterclass devoted to his work and perform his one-man show This Filthy World. The festival program includes five iconic works by Waters, as well as the 2007 remake of the classic Hairspray (presented in parallel with the original) and the documentary I Am Divine, portraying the history of Waters' muse, one of the most famous drag queens in US history.

The films of John Waters – a retrospective

The audience of the American Film Festival will have the unique opportunity to watch five films by the eccentric artist, whose work has entered the cinematic canon along with the author. The Baltimore scandalist will receive the Indie Star Award – an accolade given to uncompromisingly independent filmmakers (the award will be presented on November 9th, on the festival's opening day). The program of the 12th AFF includes: Pink Flamingos (1972), Female Trouble (1974), Hairspray (1977), Serial Mom (1994) and Cecil B. Demented (2000). The attendees of the festival will also get a chance to see the 2007 remake of Hairspray directed by Adam Shankman (and starring John Travolta) and the documentary by Jeffrey Schwarz, I Am Divine.

Buy a ticket to screenings of John Waters' movies

This Filthy World

John Waters is one of the few directors whose work is consistent with the creator's personality and whose world views are clearly visible, which is reflected in him touring the world with his one-man show This Filthy World. During this year's edition of the American Film Festival, Waters' stand-up will be presented for the first time in Poland.

The author of Pink Flamingos will talk about the reception of his films, tell stories from the time they were made, reveal secrets of the alcove of movie sets and disclose what turns him on and what provokes disgust. In his performance, adapted to Polish reality, we will also find jokes about local attempts to combat rainbow culture, which reached overseas. There will also be plenty of more innocent, clever stories about his artistic fascinations (Waters passionately collects paintings and is a lover of music).

The subject of friendship with Divine, Waters' favorite muse, will definitely come up during the performance. A muse, which became the inspiration for the second part of the event: the We Are Divine drag show, prepared by Wrocław's drag diva – Twoja Stara. During the We are Divine show, the best drag queens and kings from Poland will present seven different incarnations of drag. The event is prepared in collaboration with the Kultura Równości association.

This Filthy World and We Are Divine will take place on Wednesday, November 10th, 20:30 at the Vertigo Jazz Club, which is a partner of this year's American Film Festival. 

A class with the master of „trash cinema”

Hear about behind the scenes of "the world's most disgusting films" during the masterclass hosted by Piotr Czerkawski, curator of the John Waters retrospective. Find out what our guest thinks about the U.S. film industry and learn the details of his career as an independent artist, who flirts with Hollywood. Waters will also present the history of the colorful artistic environment, which he started in Baltimore in the 1980s. The masterclass with John Waters will take place on Wednesday, November 11th at 18:00, at the New Horizons Cinema. Tickets (10 PLN) will be available for purchase from October 22nd, via the americanfilmfestival.pl website.


The 12th American Film Festival will take place on the week of November 9-14, at the New Horizons Cinema in Wrocław. The online editon of the festival will happen on December 1-14, 2021.

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