Polish collection of animations


Polish collection of animations, duration: 71′
The Labyrinth; Jan Lenica; 1962; 15’
Trip; Daniel Szczechura; 1970; 6’
Tango; Zbigniew Rybczyński; 1981; 8’
A Gentle Spirit; Piotr Dumała; 1985; 11’
Fallen Art; Tomasz Bagiński; 2004; 6’
The Lost Town of Świteź; Kamil Polak; 2010; 21’
Baths; Tomek Ducki; 2013; 4’

Seven fantastic animated movies from years 1960-2013: The Labyrinth (dir. Jan Lenica), Trip (dir. Daniel Szczechura), Tango (dir. Zbigniew Rybczyński), A Gentle Spirit (dir. Piotr Dumała), Fallen Art (dir. Tomasz Bagiński), The Lost Town of Świteź (dir. Kamil Polak), Baths (dir. Tomek Ducki). Total duration 71 min.

Author: Mikołaj Góralik
Translation to English: Katarzyna Matej




Director: Jan Lenica
Country/Year: Poland, 1962
Duration: 15’

A cut-out surrealist animation from the Se-Ma-For studio in Łódź. Inspired by the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, it tells the story of a man who wanders around a mysterious city, like in the title labyrinth, relentlessly trying to escape. Filled with symbolism, the film falls into the philosophical movement in Polish animation.

About the director:

Jan Lenica (1928-2001) – artist, poster author, art critic and animated film director. His father was the painter Alfred Lenica. Since the 1950s he was one of the top Polish poster artists, and the first to use the term Polish School of Posters. He made over 200 theatre and film posters. His film debut was in 1957 with the animation “Once there was…” made with Walerian Borowczyk. They both contributed to the development of Polish animation, earning it the title of a respected art form.




Director: Daniel Szczechura
Country/Year: Poland 1970
Duration: 6’

Using the mixed animation technique, it depicts the monotony of a trip. In the window of a train, with the changing background, stands the silent figure of a man.

About the director:

Daniel Szczechura (born 1930) – screenplay writer and director of animated, cut-out and documentary films, professor of arts. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and the cinematography department at the Film School in Łódź. Between 1982-1983 he was vice-president of Association Internationale du Film d’Animation (ASIFA). He received numerous awards: a lifetime achievement award in Linz (1975), Genoa (1984) and Zagreb (1990) and the Gemma award of the Italien Animated Film Association (1990).




Director: Zbigniew Rybczyński
Country/Year: Poland 1981
Duration: 8’

The film takes place in one room where characters repeat the same actions in an even rhythm. The mother changes her baby’s diapers, a boy jumps through the window to pick up a ball, a man tries to change a lightbulb. The number of characters increases, but in this mathematically precise film, they are not in each other’s way. In the film’s climax, 26 separate figures are present. Like in a dance, they do their daily chores on a small space, typical of socialist architecture – entire families had to live on a few square meters, forced to do similar stunts. “Tango” was the first Polish film to win an Oscar in 1983.

About the director:

Zbigniew Rybczyński (born 1949) – director, multimedia artist, teacher. He graduated from the cinematography department at the Film School in Łódź, later worked as an animator in the Se-Ma-For animation studio and was a member of the avantgarde group of artists called Warsztat Formy Filmowej. As a cinematographer he worked with Andrzej Barański and Grzegorz Królikiewicz. In 1983 he won an Oscar for the animation “Tango” and stayed in the United States where he started his company, ZBIG Vision. He was one of the pioneers of HD technology.


A Gentle Spirit


Director: Piotr Dumała
Country/Year: Poland, 1985
Duration 11’

An adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel and a crown jewel in Polish animation. In only 11 minutes, the director was able to capture the complicated relationship between two people and be true to the original story. In the novel, the hero watches over the dead body of his wife and in an internal monologue retells the story of their marriage. Dumała translated this tale into the language of images, in an incredibly vivid animation. Shapes blend into one another, which was possible using the time consuming technique of plaster animation.

About the Director:

Piotr Dumała (born 1956) – he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the animation class of Daniel Szczechura and then went on to work as his assistant. His debut was in 1981 with the film “Lykantropia”, while his first international success followed shortly in 1983 with “Little Black Riding Hood”. He created his personal technique of plaster animation – painting on dark plaster plates, which are many times over repainted and cleared. He is also the director of two films: “Las” and “Ederly”.


Fallen Art


Director: Tomasz Bagiński
Country/Year: Poland, 2004
Duration: 6’

The film combines three dimensional computer animation with the old school of hand-painting. Paying attention to every detail, countless specialists from Platige Image worked on the project supervised by Piotr Bagiński. The director also collaborated with graphic designer and animator Grzegorz Jonkajtys (“Mantis”). The story takes place in a military base, while its dark humour is both a tribute to stop motion animation and the invention of the nickelodeon. In 2006 “Fallen Art” received a BAFTA for best short animation.

About the director:

Tomasz Bagiński (born 1976) – he studied architecture, which he quit in order to make movies. His fascination with architecture is however visible in his debut “Cathedral” (2002), a solitary project he worked on for 3 years that earned him an Oscar nomination. He is creative director of Platige Image, a company specializing in creating computer graphics and special effects. He is the author of animated films for the game “The Witcher” and is now in the process of directing the “Witcher” series for Netflix.


The Lost Town of Świteź


Director: Kamil Polak
Country/Year: Polska 2010
Duration: 21’

An adaptation of Adam Mickiewicz’s romantic ballad made by the Warsaw based studio Human-Ark. It tells the story of a mysterious lake that hides a magical medieval city. It’s an apocalyptic tale of an ongoing struggle between good and evil. The mood of the film is achieved through the play of light and shadows, a harmonious color scheme – most scenes are in the warm light of a torch or sunset – and expressive music by Irina Bogdanovich. All the figures and elements were brought to life by a special technique that enriched the animation through a unique paint texture.

About the director:

Kamil Polak (born 1980) – director and screenplay writer. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and animation in the Film School in Łódź. Since 2003 he has been working with the Se-Ma-For animation studio. Author of the etude “Birth of a Nation” and the award winning animation “Świteź”, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.




Director: Tomek Ducki
Country/Year: Poland 2013
Duration: 4’

Dwie wiekowe pływaczki spotykają się w łaźni aby uczestniczyć we wspólnym rytuale pływania. Tym razem jednak zanurzają się głębiej niż zwykle i przypominają sobie swoją sportową rywalizację.

About the director:

Tomek Ducki (born 1982) – he graduated animation direction at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest (MOME) and the National Film and Television School in London. He works on music videos, short feature films and posters. His best known film “Life Line” won several awards at international film festivals.