Short film festival from Poznań, Poland, which takes place in the third week of March, presenting about 250 films for 8,000 viewers, including over 100 guests from all over Europe. The first edition of Short Waves Festival took place in 2009 and I joined the team in October 2014. Initially, as an intern in the program and distribution department, after a year I joined the programming team, and at the end of 2018 I became the festival director.
In 2015, my first task was to organize a traveling Grand Prix Tour competition – a series of screenings of Polish cinema around the world. I remember that I approached this task with unbelievable enthusiasm – in the end I managed to organize over 100 screenings. This experience strengthened my belief that there is great potential in a short cinema.
I remember my first festival editions as very stressful experiences. Short Waves Festival is an event whose every edition is different – our young team changed frequently and every year we crossed the boundaries of the impossible: we organized film projections in unusual locations, broke records of the number of screened films, or implemented really crazy ideas.
I believe that the Festival has found its format and stable team in 2017 – we decided to create a European film festival with a distinctive program line and innovative solutions taken from the field of expanded cinema.
My role and skills have also evolved. From around 2017, I have also been preparing applications for festival funding. Since 2017, I coordinate the work of the program department and support substantively the promotion and production of the festival. Approximately in 2016, I also began to actively go to film festivals, which I visited several dozen as a guest or jury member.
Subjective calendar of the most important events of the Short Waves Festival:
2015 My first edition of Short Waves is the 7th edition of the festival. I learn programming and actively support the PR & distribution departments.
2016 we are open was the slogan of the 8th edition, which was hard due to almost complete exchange of the whole team. Noon played at the opening, we introduced innovative Best of Seven competition, Poznań Industry Days and the wandering festival club, which culminated in the weekend at the Tramwajarz House under the slogan Art & Sound Weekend.
2017 beyond borders and the 9th edition. I am pleased to remember the poster of the festival with the flag of a non-existent country, refreshed competition program and solid focus on german cinematography. The edition abounds in experimental cinema, accompanying the exhibition About Cities and people and the first European Short Pitch final in Poznań.
2018 in or out – the 10th birthday of Short Waves Festival. There was a piñata, over 300 films and probably the largest number of guests in the festival history. On a program level – focus on Great Britain and opening ceremony All In. The second and last edition of European Short Pitch and A Wall is a Screen on the streets of the city.
2019 outside the box – the 11th edition and a new opening with a new director. Focus on Southeast Asia, strong competition selection and development of special events: Kino Forma, or the memorable live act brainbows in the Pavilion.
2020 fixing the future – 12th edition postponed to August 2020 literally a week to the original March dates. Visually polished, ecological and multi-threaded edition. Focus on Lebanon, new Polish Experimental Film Competition, guests from outside Europe – all of this had to be postponed to August due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Eventually, the festival took place in a hybrid form. You can read full story here (PL).
2021 Mirror Mirror – 13th edition of the festival took place for the second time in Summer (June!) and again in the online & offline version. Short Waves Festival is now also a part of European Short Film Network and initiated the This Is Short festival platform. You can read my subjective summary: 7 reasons why you should like Short Waves Festival.
2022 Light a spark – 14th edition of Short Waves Festival will take place in Poznań & online in June 14-19.2022. See you there!
More about the festival and its history is available at its official website.