- July 8, 2014
Renata Butkiewicz: I am looking forward to the increase in Polish films in Lithuanian cinemas
A conversation with Renata Butkiewicz, author of the nominated for The Polish Film Institute Awards, PFI (pl. Nagrody Polskiego Instytutu Sztuki Filmowej, PISF) audition ‘Filmoteka polska’ on the radio ‘Znad Wilii’ (Polish films) had Marta Sikorska.
How did the beginning of your interest in Polish films look like?
I was always attracted by this mysterious world of TV. When I was a child, we lived in Brussels and I always watched a lot of French movies. And France has what to be proud of. When we moved back to Lithuania ubiquitous were Russian films. Lithuanian people unfortunately do not have dynamically developed cinematography. One film produced during a year is a great success. I became interested in Polish films in 2008 when I came to the Gdynia Film Festival (pl.Festiwal Filmów Fabularnych w Gdyni). At that time the winner was ‘Mała Moskwa’ (‘Little Moscow’) directed by Waldemar Krzystek. In the main contest were presented also ‘Cztery noce z Anną’ (‘Four nights with Anna’) directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, ‘33 Sceny z życia’ (’33 Scenes from Life’) directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and ‘Boisko bezdomnych’ (‘The OFFsiders’) directed by Kasia Adamik. After the performance I had to digest these movies and was thinking a lot about them. I realized that Polish cinema has a completely different view of the world than the videos I dealt with. It took some time before the Polish cinema became close to me. Because it is not so easy to look at this world. It is often an appraising of the history, making difficult existential themes. And in this type of issues, director’s vision is close to you or not.
When did you decide to transform your interest in films into radio broadcast?
Gdynia Film Festival entranced by its atmosphere. Every day I reported on the radio on what was happening on the festival. After each press conference I connected with the studio and told about the film just examined. We discovered that the interest of people in Polish cinematography is huge. Poles living in Lithuania treat actors whom they know from TV with great fondness and sympathy and are looking forward to new movies. It did not take me a long time to start looking for the opportunity to create a permanent program dedicated to the Polish cinematography. The first step was writing the project to the Polish Film Institute. Our cooperation continues today and I really appreciate this because ‘Filmoteka polska’ is the only way for Poles living in Lithuania to see the Polish films.
‘Filmoteka polska’ what is this audition about? Who is it devoted to?
The audition is devoted to the Polish cinematography. Our listeners are pleasantly surprised that in Polish cinematography so many things are happening. Every Sunday afternoon I invite on a conversation with the Polish filmmakers – directors, actors, producers, scriptwriters, costume designers. We visit film festivals. Moreover, in each broadcast I introduce new Polish movies that come onto the screen what is unthinkable in Lithuania. Lithuanian filmmakers even cannot dream of such a big amount of films. Recently, Polish movies are more and more often presented on the Lithuanian festivals. Therefore the interest in Polish cinematography increases. Vilnius viewers were recently entranced by ‘Ida’ directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. To encourage the listeners to watch a Polish film which is presented on the festival I invite on interviews with directors and actors who play in it. I feel a huge responsibility, because ‘Filmoteka polska’ is the only “reviewer” if we are talking about Polish movies. Excluding the Internet, for sure, where it is really hard to form your own opinion and decide whether film is worth seeing.
How long does the project exist?
‘Filmoteka polska’ has existed on the radio ‘Znad Wilii’ for 5 years. We enrich our program with different competitions connected with the knowledge of Polish cinematography. The prize is a disc with Polish movie and this really attracts people. They tell us in mails about an advantage with Polish films about favourite actors. Disarming are stories of children. One girl ensured that she watched a good Polish film during the festival with her mother and when she was asked what was so good in the movie, she replied laconically – I do not remember. I succeeded in establishing cooperation with Lithuanian festivals. The section where Polish films appear, we take patronage and also have the opportunity to give away few tickets for Polish movies. At the time I am trying to make up the most difficult questions in competitions so that our games would last longer. The amount of people who want to see a Polish film is really huge. If it appears in a festival, we do a big show based on this. So, Polish filmmakers cannot even imagine that they are promoted and presented like world-known celebrities.
What surprises you in this job?
Surprises me a lot – these are the depth of human feelings in Polish films, wealth of topics, history and also the interest in Polish movies that Vilnius people have. There are people who know all the Polish cinematography. If my friends want to see a Polish film, they always ask me for advice, suggestion and content. I watch everything that appears I embed deeper and deeper in the wonderful world of old Polish films. A nice surprise was the fact that my program about Polish movies listen via the Internet my friends in Canada and Germany.
What are you most satisfied with as the author of ‘Filmoteka polska’?
I am pleased with the interest and love of the listener and viewer of Polish films. Admittedly, after us are times when to see ‘Trędowata’ (‘Leper’) in the cinema went everyone who lived but a great interest and masses of viewers on reviews of Polish movies prove that Polish cinematography has power, magic, broach questions important for people of all nationalities.
Is there anything you would like to change in the program?
I would like to tell people in my weekly program about Polish movies in Lithuanian cinemas and I hope that it will be so that Polish films would be within reach in Lithuania and that our listeners will be able to watch a Polish movie and not only just listen about it on the radio.