Polish Film Festival
November 10 – November 14, 2021

$10 general admission
$7 students


IMPORTANT: Proof of vaccination (along with photo ID) and a mask are REQUIRED to attend this event. Please read our updated COVID Safety Guidelines for full details.

Since 1997, the Polish Film Festival has been a fixture in Rochester, thanks, in part, to the area’s active Polish-American community.

The annual, two-part festival presents classic Polish cinema as well as contemporary works produced by the newest generation of the country’s filmmakers. It showcases internationally recognized films that might not otherwise be seen in the area and attracts renowned Polish actors, directors, screenwriters, and critics to Rochester.

The festival is sponsored by the Skalny Center, the Polish Film Institute, the Polish Filmmakers Association, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York and the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester.

Back Then (Zupa Nic)

2021 / 94 M  / Poland

 Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Q&A session with film director and producer will follow the screening

Back Then is a new enormously funny comedy by the internationally-acclaimed film director Kinga Dębska. The film is set in early 1980s and follows Marta, a romantic who is bullied at school. She shares a room with her sister Kasia and their grandma, who tells her insurgent stories instead of fairy tales. Martha’s father is an academic, who is constantly humiliated by the system, while her mother is the leader of her workplace “Solidarity” trade union, with a need for freedom and a dream of finally making it out of Poland. The real emotional turmoil starts once a dream orange Fiat appears in front of their apartment. It will turn out to be an unexpected catapult to the big world – the world opens up.

Back Then / Zupa Nic


2020 / 106 M  / Poland, Sweden

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Sweat recounts three days in the life of fitness motivator Sylwia Zając, whose presence on social media has made her a celebrity. Although she has hundreds of thousands of social media followers, endorsement deals, photo spreads in magazines, she is, in fact, desperately lonely and insecure. The rising pressure forces her to confront her deepest insecurities and the exhaustive demands of her lifestyle.


Magnesium (Magnezja)

2020 / 120 M  / Poland

Friday, November 12, 2021

A western, inspired by the likes of Tarantino and Leone, set in the 1920s in the borderland between Poland and the USSR. After the death of the gang boss and the head of the family, power over the criminal Lewenfish clan passes into the hands of his daughter – Róża. Together with her sisters, the woman continues her father’s shady business and does everything to resist the growing strength of Soviet bandits led by the conservative Lew.

Meanwhile, in the shadow of the rivalry between two powerful Mafia-style families, twin brothers plan to rob a bank where the wealth of the Lewenfisz family is kept.  However, it takes only a few bad decisions, plain bad luck and two dead bodies for the whole intrigue to be jeopardized. What is about to happen will have bloody consequences with a dark humorous twist, which will shake up the borderland for good.


For Now, For Ever

(Na chwile, Na Zawsze)

2021 / 104 M  / Poland

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Pola is rockin’ the music scene – at just 22 she is selling out venues and has an army of fans. Fame comes at a price though. One night, right after one of her flashy concerts, Pola gets into her car drunk and causes a crash. Her father and manager launches a cover up thanks to which she avoids jail but is put in a rehab clinic for young adults. There she meets Borys– a charismatic instructor/therapist known for his unconventional healing methods. Borys was once a popular musician himself but fell into all the traps of young stardom. Despite a rather chilly start, Pola and Borys begin to get close to one another. They share a passion for music and have both done things they regret. Unfortunately past secrets and Pola’s lingering career begin to stand in the way of the growing affection between the two. Will they manage to overcome these obstacles and will their meeting be something more than just a random collision of wondering souls?

Polish Film Festival

The Taste of Pho (Smak Pho)

2020 / 84 M  / Poland

Sunday, November 14, 2021

10-year-old Maja hides from her classmates the lunch of traditional meals prepared for her every morning by her father, a Vietnamese chef and master of pho soup, who is trying to find his own path in the reality of Warsaw. When his long-term boss decides to return to his homeland, he has to face the requirements of the new restaurant owner. However, mastering new cooking skills is a minor challenge, compared to raising his daughter as a single parent: the growing-up girl is incredibly perceptive.

The Taste of Pho