Situated at the heart of Poland, Łódź is the third largest city of the country with 700,000 inhabitants. After World War II, Łódź has been recognised as the Polish filmmaking centre after the foundation of the National Film School in 1948. The city is home to many internationally acclaimed directors and cinematographers such as Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieślowski and Piotr Sobociński. Łódź’s hosts a great number of film studios, including the largest one in Poland, Feature Film Studio. In 2016, the local creative industry represented 4,858 creative industries, of which 9.4% were related to the audio-visual sector.
Known as the city of festivals in Poland, Łódź offers hundreds of cultural events through-out the year, from the Transatlantyk Festival; directed by the Academy Award winner Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, to the Humanistic Man in Danger Festival and the environment-oriented International Nature Film Festival. The city also hosts the Film Museum and the Se-ma-for Museum of Animation, as well as the newly established National Centre for Film Culture. Aiming to be completed by 2020, this new facility will be devoted to audio-visual technologies, the process of filmmaking, the history of Polish film culture and multimedia research and learning.
Building on the tagline ‘Łódź Creates’, the City Council adopted the Culture Development Policy 2020+; setting creative talent, retention and attraction as a strategic goal. The policy’s operational objectives include providing financial support to young artists through scholarships, as well as supporting recognised creators through artist-in-residence programmes and honorary awards. The city-funded Łódź Film Commission, operator of the Łódź Film Fund, also financial supports film producers, as well as providing technical and promotion assistance. From 2012 to 2016, 26 projects received an overall funding of US$1.1 million, including Afterimage, the last film directed by Andrzej Wajda.
As a Creative City of Film, Łódź envisages:
- increasing access to film culture through the National Centre for Film Culture (NCKF) in Łódź, which aims to preserve the film heritage and focus on audio-visual technologies;
- implementing the Film School project, aimed at boosting film literacy in Łódź for children and youth by fostering cooperation between schools and film education structures, as well as providing a set of film education guidelines;
- enhancing the city's creative tourism offering through the creation of a Live Film Street on the site of Moniuszki Street and Piotrkowska Street;
- developing an international animation cluster which will encourage international cooperation and exchange of experiences and best practices;
- fostering networking and international exchange of ideas on state-of-the-art technologies within the International Centre for Interactive Cinema and Video Essay, an innovative unit focusing on non-traditional forms of contemporary film; and
- strengthening multi-stakeholder and international cooperation in the film industry.