Ghosts, Spirits and Miracles on a Summer Night: Short Animated films of Joanna Polak

Oct 18, 2016

(Joanna Polak, Poland, 2011-2014, 46 min)

Filmmaker in attendance!

Co-presented by Seattle Polish Film Festival

This all-ages event takes place at the Polish Home, 1714 18th Ave., not at the Film Forum.

Admission is $5, payable at the door only.
Joanna Polak, visiting Seattle for the 2016 edition of Seattle Polish Film Festival, is an award-winning animator whose films have been presented at more than 300 festivals and exhibitions worldwide, winning more than 25 awards and distinctions. Polak has a special genius in her work for leading multi-generational groups in the creation of animation — many of the haunting and sophisticated films in this program were created in such workshops.
Notable among these projects is a series of fairy tale films created with children and the elderly in the “Tales of the Borderland” project, which preserved Lithuanian, Gypsy, Jewish, Russian and Polish tales through their adaptation. These films belong to another place and time, detailing fears, superstitions and simple joys that are as long-vanished as the people who lived them. Still, they strike a modern chord as well, capturing a timeless human longing for magic, redemption and understanding of loss. 
In Seattle, Polak’s work has appeared in three consecutive editions of Children’s Film Festival Seattle, which is produced by Northwest Film Forum and distributed throughout the USA as part of the festival’s “Best of the Fest” touring programs. 
For information about Polak’s upcoming multi-generational animation workshop at Film Forum, click here.
For more information on the Seattle Polish Film Festival, click here.
- Below is the complete program of shorts that will screen during this event. -
(Joanna Polak, Poland, animation, 2011, 2:31 min, in Polish with English subtitles)
A peddler comes to town, and everyone trades their colorful clothing for newer things.
Sensible Senses
(Joanna Polak, created in a workshop with children, Poland, 2013, 5:30 min, nonverbal, with text in English)
A man learns all about his five different senses, and how they help him understand his world and make him feel.
Underground City 
(Joanna Polak and youth filmmakers, Poland, 2014, 7:30 min, live action and animation, in Polish with English subtitles)
A boy is transported to a colorful underground city where a three-headed dragon shows him the fantastical legends of Lublin, Poland.
About a Man and His Devil Partner 
(Joanna Polak & Daria Kopiec, Poland, 2014, in Polish with English subtitles, 3:37 min)
A tale, told in chalkboard animation, about the original battle between good and evil.
The Legend of the Angel of Oblivion
(Joanna Polak, 2013, 2:50 min, in Polish with English subtitles) 
Sand animation tells the story of a haunted widower, who is saved from beyond the grave so that he can find another bride and have children. 
(Joanna Polak, 2014, 3:28 min, no dialog)
Programmer’s note to parents: A little scary!
Stop-motion animation tracks a spooky landscape haunted by both the living and the dead.
About the Miracles of Kupala Night 
(Joanna Polak, 2013/14, 2:48 mins)
One night a year, the unbelievable happens: magic is in the air. 
(Joanna Polak, 2012/13, 3:27 mins)
The Jewish population of a small village was there, and then suddenly, it wasn’t. 
(Joanna Polak, 2012/13, 2:29 min)
Two groups of parents, both afraid of each other, spread the fear to their children. 
About the Origin of the Earth 
(Joanna Polak & Daria Kopiec, Poland, 2014, 2:29 min)
This film, made in a workshop with elders, children and animators, recounts a creation legend from the Polish village of Krasnogruda near the Lithuanian border.
About Growing Stones 
(Joanna Polak, with youth filmmakers, 2013/14, 2:13 min)
A legend about a time long ago, when stones grew so quickly that God felt the need to do something about it. 
About a Little Pillow
(Joanna Polak, 2011, 3:18 min) 
A girl makes a pillow for her beloved from the beautiful feathers of swans. 
About What's Most Important
(Joanna Polak, 2011, 2:40 min) 
Programmer’s note to parents: A little scary!
Haunting music of a song based on “Bylo Solntse” and performed by Russian Old-Believers threads together this animation about the perils of belief and non-belief. 
The Legend About a Dream of Leshek the Black 
(Joanna Polak, created with youth filmmakers, 2012, 3:50 min)
The Archangel Michael appears in the the dream of sleeping prince, and leaves behind a sword to help him win a battle.

Watch a video of the creative process behind the "Tales of the Borderland" project


Sensible Senses

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