Not many 25-year-olds can add “film festival organizer” to their C.V., but Anna Pospieszynska isn’t just any 25-year-old.
In a cosy Dublin tearoom, Anna Pospieszynska sips her warm cup of chamomile tea and chuckles about her hectic schedule. “I like to keep myself busy, so I always look for trouble,” she smiles. One way she’s kept in trouble is spearheading the upcoming Irish Polish Film Project to be hosted in Dublin.
Since moving to Dublin in 2007, the 25-year-old Polish migrant has become quite involved in Dublin’s arts community. And as one of 40,000 Polish migrants living and working in the city, Pospieszynska is a testament to the way young Polish migrants have become involved in the city’s cultural scene. “It doesn’t matter where you are, you want to get involved in what you love,” says Pospieszynska, who’s doing just that.
The young woman has written for arts publications, worked with arts collectives, and is now an active member of Mosaic Arts, a young collective which organizes and promotes cultural events in Dublin. She explains the aim of the group is to “expose the Irish community and the Polish community to very different, collective or common projects so they can work together.” The Irish Polish Film Project is Mosaic Arts’ latest project, to be hosted at Filmbase in Temple Bar the first two days of July.
The festival’s program will include 31 shorts and animations (11 by Polish directors, and the rest by Irish) and two feature-length films, as well as two concerts and a panel discussion hosted by Irish and Polish film experts, she says. Pospieszynska says the venue will seat about 100 participants.
The idea for the festival came about when Polish Art Europe suggested PlayPoland, an already established Polish film festival across the UK, expand its project to Ireland. Since a popular Polish film festival, Kinopolis, already existed in Dublin, it seemed perfect to turn the angle of the festival towards an Irish-Polish cultural exchange.
The festival was planned out two years ago and after being heavily postponed, Pospieszynska says she offered to take on the project herself. She says she intends for the festival to become a platform where Irish and Polish filmmakers can come together and create a dialogue about film. “Who knows, maybe we’ll end up with two or three people who came together and say ‘Hey, we met at the festival and now we are actually realizing a project together,” she says.
While Dubliners are pretty tolerant of migrants, she says they have little knowledge of Polish culture besides their love of Polish sweets. Pospieszynska says the city still has a lot to learn about Polish arts and culture, so the film selections will focus on a theme she said both groups will easily be able to relate to: conflicts of working life. “We experience the same problems, we have the same ideas, we share common space,” she said, “but we still perceive it from a different perspective, maybe because of the different backgrounds.”
Pospieszynska says film is an important medium because viewers can literally see how Polish people think and how culture plays a part in their everyday lives. Festivals are even more important because they allow for this kind of immersion for a longer period of time.
Even though Pospieszynska is knee-deep in arrangements and preparations for the festival, she says she’s still very excited for the premiere and can’t wait to see the project come to life on the big screen.