The University of Rochester Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies is presenting the twentieth anniversary Polish Film Festival through Sunday, November 12 in Rochester.

The Director of the Skalny Center Randall Stone and acclaimed director, screenwriter and producer Jan Kidawa-Blonski discussed this year’s Festival Friday during News 8 at Noon.

Each year the Polish Film Festival looks to the past and the present. “We usually have a historical segment of Polish films which precedes the Film Festival,” said Stone. “So this year it was commemorating Andrzej Wajda who passed away last year. And then, once the Film Festival gets started – which happened on Tuesday this week, we turn to contemporary film, and Polish film is one of the most dynamic areas of European film right now, so it’s very exciting.”

All of the films presented during the Festival have English subtitles, including Kidawa-Blonski’s “Gwiazdy,” which translates into Stars. “It’s a film based on the biography of the very famous Polish soccer player Jan Banas, or Hans Dieter Banas because his father was a German and Banas was born in Berlin, so he’s a half Pol, half German player,” the director explained. “But it’s also a film about big love. So it’s a story of two friends. He likes to be a soccer player, the big soccer player, but they love the same girl, the same beautiful girl, and so – what could I say – we’ll see if it’s possible to have both things, big love and a big career in soccer.”

“Gwiazdy” was featured Thursday night. All of the remaining films will be shown at The Little Theatre in Rochester. “So we have films in the evenings at 7 o’clock each night, and we also have some during the afternoon,” Stone said. “So check our website. It has all of the information, including trailers and details about all of the films. On Saturday night we’ll be showing the one the picture here is taken from, which is ‘Wolyn,’ which is a story about the very tragic events that took place in an area of now Ukraine, formerly Poland called Volhynia towards the end of World War II.”

For a list of the films and their show times, here is the link to the Skalny Center website: