Film Podlasie has been in Attack since around 2003. We had been organising shows with independent films from all over Poland, so we came up with the idea to do a festival with our regional fims. It turned out that there’s a lot of films and some of them were awarded prizes on big Polish festivals. We felt the good energy in it, came up with a nice name and that’s how it started.
The project’s aim is to promote independent films and film-makers, but most of all to create a positive climate. It is becoming more and more popular in Bialystok, in Poland and also outside of Poland thanks to numerous tours. After a couple of the first screenings it turned out that those films bring out the energy in us and the audience. This accumulation caused us to do even more work and get into the idea even deeper. The strength of the project is the variety of creators, the subjects they cover, their experiences and styles. We have a lot to choose from, so when selecting films we can make our sets fit a certain city, country, subject, weather, season. We can even make the sets fit with the number of girls or cyclists on the audience.
This kind of independent film festivals motivate young creators to make more films and to develop their skills. Screenings always come with meetings, so that the audience can confront with the creator as well as with the work itself. So many people are involved in the project that it’s hard to name all of them. Besides that’s not the point. People come and go, and the main idea of the project is to transmit the good Podlachian energy. We show our films in the country, in small towns and in big cities, in the pub or on the street, in a modern cinema in Germany or a big film festival, but also a sheet in barn will work. We sometimes show our films to five people and sometimes to one hundred fifty-five. The place and size of the audience does not matter. The most important thing is the connection with the creators and how the audience receives the films.
Film Podlasie in Attack is a recognizable and rare brand. It is a positive promotion of the region. Podlachia is not only nature, forests and frogs. We have many creative and imaginative people here. The project is supposed to show them that if you want something hard enough, then you will achieve it. That you can become a someone no matter where you come from. We inspire eachother. The intro, the postcards and posters made by Magda Szliselman show that FPA! is a mixture of humour, pure, spontaneous energy and force.
We intend to keep on attacking. Organise workshops, show our films wherever people want to see Podlachian films. We want to infect as many good people as possible, encouraging them to work with us, give them the ability to learn and develop their skills. This year thanks to the guidance of Maciek Szupica and Grzesiek Nowiński a group of people made very good videos in just a couple of days. We hope that in a few years they will pass on their knowledge by teaching more people how to do films. What’s more, we want to organise international workshops, in the summer of 2007 we went to Crimea. East Europe needs more life, energy and independent film-making. In Bielsk Podlaski we have the Draha Group (Grupa Draha), we organise film shows in high-schools and gymnasiums. The point is to create a web of people who do something from independent film-making, regardless of their age or education, so that the potential is not wasted and so that we can develop and do creative work.
The story was told by: Maciek Rant and Krzysiek „Kris” Sienkiewicz, noted down by: Magdalena Gorbacz