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May 20, 2024

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ARTSBEAT… and Culture 11-6-13

Rochester Polish Film Festival (Nov. 6-11)

This year’s festival will feature four special guests and eight full length films, including four movies inspired by real events, two biographical films, a comedy-drama, and a thriller.

Blueeyesforweb  Baby Blues, directed by Katarzyna Roslaniec, was inspired by an article in a popular Polish newspaper about a trend among very young women to have children for unconventional reasons. To Kill a Beaver explores post-traumatic stress through the story of an ex-soldier who had been stationed in Afghanistan. Imagine, carries the audience to a clinic for the blind in Lisbon, Portugal where a new teacher named Ian helps his students re-imagine reality.

Opening the festival at Dryden Theatre will be the documentary Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir. The film chronicles Polanski’s life from his childhood in the Kraków ghetto and the production of his first films in Poland, to the triumphs of his Oscar winning film, The Pianist, and the tragic murder of his wife, Sharon Tate. The documentary weaves together excerpts from Polanski’s films, news footage, conversations with the filmmaker, and photographs illustrating his unusual, rather extraordinary life.

On Thursday Nov. 7, the festival will screen The Closed Circuit, a political action movie based on a true story and set in contemporary Poland.

The Rochester festival continues to grow through the support and sponsorship of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies, the Polish Film Institute, the Polish Filmmakers Association, the Little Theatre Film Society, and the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester. Films are shown with English subtitles.

For details on all the films check:; or the Skalny Center at 585-275-9898.


After Midnight opens on Broadway

AfterMidnightforweb  The Broadway production of Encores! critically acclaimed Cotton Club Parade, now titled After Midnight features an orchestra of 17 world-class musicians, an ensemble of 25 vocalists and dancers and performances from an exciting roster of special guest star headliners.   Representing Jazz composers including Duke Ellington, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields and Harold Arlen, the show is set against a narrative of Langston Hughes poetry.

Director/choreographer Warren Carlyle and superstar fashion duo Isabel and Ruben Toledo will join nine-time Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars to bring the lavish shows of the hip Harlem nightclub to a whole new generation of theatergoers.

Opens November 3 at Brooks Atkinson Theatre – 256 West 47th St.


Actress Lakomy at Film Festival

Polish-American Actress Anna Lakomy will be attending the 10th annual Big Apple Film Festival in NYC where “Vamp” –a comedic short she has a supporting role in will be screening.

AnnaLakomy  The film is about a slacker who believes he has witnessed a vampire attack and is now convinced his buddy’s girlfriend is the culprit. It has been previously screened at the Coney Island Film Festival and the Pollygrind Film Festival in Las Vegas. Lakomy plays the news anchor that relates the breaking news throughout the short.

Lakomy was born to Polish parents in NYC and is very active in the Polish community. She attended the “Fame” high school in Manhattan and started pursuing acting professionally last year. Most recently she worked on “Welcome to New York” opposite Gerard Depardieu.

The Big Apple Film Festival screens a variety of specially selected films from the NYC independent film community, as well as additional selections across the country and across the world.


Karski Foundation Anniversary Event

The first anniversary celebration of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation  will take place at the Polish Consulate in New York City on November 19.  The reception will feature Polish art, music, cuisine. US Ambassador Samantha Power will accept the Spirit of Jan Karski Award.   For attendance information:


Magical Polish American Poets

Designed as a continuation of last year’s Poetry Salon devoted to the Beat Generation, the Salon “Magic Polish Identity – Poetry of Polish Americans” introduces the audience to a wider circle of poetry of Polish Americans. On The event will take place on November 17, noon, the poetry of Michael Basinski, Phil Boiarski, Stuart Dybek, John Guzlowski, Leonard Kress, Linda Nemec Foster, Karen Kovacik, John Minczeski, Elisabeth Murawski, Mark Pawlak, Thad Rutkowski, Laura Ulewicz and Cecilia Woloch will be read by Magdalena Cielecka and Jan Nowicki – actors from Teatr Polski in Warsaw. For information:


Polish Youngstown Events
For more information call 330-333-9724;

• Brick Project Celebration
A pairing of wine and art will benefit the bricking project at Peterson Park on Thursday, November 7 from 5:00-8:00 pm at Wine & Art for the Park.  Local artist Tom Antonishak, and Youngstown State University’s  Encore String Quartet, along with a sampling of wine and beer and unique vodka infusions created by Chef Tad Siembida will unite in the beautifully renovated Wittenauer Gallery. Proceeds will complete the paving necessary to make Peterson Park accessible to all who wish to enjoy the history and splendor of the Veterans monument and the statue of the Revolutionary War Heroes Generals Pulaski and Kosciuszko.

• Teach kids about heritage
Hosted by Krakowiaki Polish Folk Circle, Polish Kids Corner, the monthly workshop for kids 4-14 that takes place the second Saturday of every month. This month we will gather on Saturday, November 9:00 am – noon.  Built around a seasonal theme each month, klubowiczki will enjoy learning about Polish traditions, language, songs and creating a craft to take home.

• Tasty Polish cakes
When visiting his hometown of Wadowice for the first time after ascending to the papacy, John Paul II remarked how he loved the kremówka pastries from the shop just down the street from his home. With that comment, kremówka became the Pope’s favorite pastry. You can learn how to make this custard-filled puff pastry at Polska Kuchnia class on Sunday, November 10 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Wick Ave. and Wood St. Szarlotka one of many apple cakes popular throughout Poland will also be taught.