70 YEARS OF POLISH CINEMA HISTORY
Documentary and Feature Film Studios (WFDiF) at 21 Chełmska Street in Warsaw is a legendary institution which has been producing Polish films for 70 years. Founded in 1949, at the beginning as a center for the production of documentary films and the Polish Film Chronicle, WFDiF became an important center for feature film production as well.
WFDiF produced famous Polish documentaries and hundreds of episodes of PKF (Polish Film Chronicle). The most important trends in Polish documentary cinema were born and developed at WFDiF - from the first post-war productions, through the renowned "black series" and the most famous documentary films of the 60s, 70s and 80s, to the documentaries of the time of the transformation. WFDiF produced films by, among others, Andrzej Munk, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Jan Łomnicki, Tadeusz Makarczyński, Ludwik Perski, Maria Kwiatkowska, Władysław Ślesicki, Kazimierz Karabasz, Jerzy Hoffman, Edward Skórzewski, Marcel Łoziński, Paweł Kędzierski, Andrzej Brzozowski and Andrzej Titkow, Irena Kamieńska and many others. In the studios, laboratories and editing rooms of WFDiF, famous works were created, including those by Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Antczak, Krzysztof Zanussi, Krzysztof Kieślowski and Jerzy Hoffman.
Currently, the Documentary and Feature Film Studios in Warsaw is the largest film production center in Poland. It was here that such titles as Marek Koterski's 7 Feelings, Rose by Wojciech Smarzowski, The Eccentrics and Black Mercedes by Janusz Majewski, Little Rose by Jan Kidawa-Błoński, General Nil by Ryszard Bugajski and Karbala by Krzysztof Łukaszewicz were created.
WFDiF is also a particularly welcoming place for debuting artists. The debuts produced by WFDiF win the hearts of Polish and foreign viewers and are showered with awards around the world. Among the dozens of debuts created in WFDiF in recent years are: Agnieszka Smoczyńska – The Lure, Bodo Kox’s The Girl From the Wardrobe, Mall Girls by Katarzyna Rosłaniec, Michał Otłowski ‘s Waterline, Beata Dzianowicz’s On the Run or Adam Sikora’s Outsider.
In addition, WFDiF as co-producer supports dozens of film productions, including debuts, which enjoy commercial as well as artistic success.
MODERN FILM PRODUCTION INFRASTRUCTURE & DIGITALIZATION
WFDiF is constantly developing its technological facilities and film production infrastructure. Modern video and sound post-production studios enable production of films at world class level, and modern filming equipment, including ARRI Alexa LF cameras permit shooting of the most technologically advanced film productions.
WFDiF is also conducting a series of activities aimed at preserving Polish cinematography heritage created at Chełmska 21 for future generations. This entails digitalization, regeneration and distribution of Polish film classics. Recently restored documentary films can be viewed at www.dokumentcyfrowo.pl.
Because of WFDiF’s position and significance in Polish audio-visual industry, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage designated WFDiF as a national Cultural Institution in 2013, welcoming film artists as well as viewers. As originator and producer, WFDiF creates original audio-visual content including:
- A series of adaptations of contemporary Polish dramaturgy – TEATROTEKA – enabling dozens of young artists to be discovered every year. TEATROTEKA performances are awarded at numerous festivals in Poland and abroad and are very popular with audiences.
- A series of unique educational films – HISTORY IN MOVING PICTURES ( Part 1 JAN MATEJKO and Part 2 INDEPENDENT POLAND) – reviving famous works of historical painting. Films enriched with educational materials for teachers constitute an attractive didactic material for schools and history enthusiasts.
In recent years, WFDiF has become a recognizable center of modern film education. A space of original WFDiF projects visited every year by thousands of young participants from all over Poland who come to WFDiF for exceptional courses, tours and film workshops. WFDiF's flagship educational projects are:
- MOVIE SET – An authentic work space, the first of its kind in Poland, for filmmakers made available for educational purposes. Project participants will learn about the most interesting film production processes and little-known movie jobs in a modern and interactive environment.
- SCRIPT FACTORY – A screenwriting course, in which WFDiF educates future authors of screenplays, from mastering screenwriting skills, from basic concepts to a self-written script of a feature film. The staff is comprised of prominent practitioners in the field of screenwriting, directors and film experts.
Let's meet at Chelmska 21!