Film essays by vnLab at the Camera Action Festival

The 14th edition of the Kamera Akcja Festival, an event dedicated to film criticism, will feature new productions created at the Film Essay Studio. The Action Education series accompanying the festival will include screenings, meetings and the premiere of the vnLab digital publication.


  • October 13, 5:00 pm, Essay on Method meeting. Premiere of the digital publication on the gestures of the film essay 

Stanislaw Liguzinski and Michal Matuszewicz, directors of the Film Essay Studio, will present the digital publication Essay on the Method, edited by Stanislaw Liguzinski and Ariel Avissar. This anthology of ten texts is the result of a joint journey that filmmakers, artists, scholars and members of the vnLab Film Essay Workshop working group took between March 2021 and December 2022. 

Venue: Museum of Cinematography, free admission.
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  • October 14, 1:00 pm, screening of the essay Solaris Mon Amour, directed by Kuba Mikurda, 2023. 

After the screening, there is a meeting with the filmmakers – Kuba Mikurda, Laura Pawela, Marcin Lenarczyk, hosted by Kaja Klimek. 

Venue: Cinema of the Film School, free entrance.
More information:


  • October 15, 5:45 pm, screening of essays produced at the Film Essay Workshop. 

The program includes: 

A short conversation between brother and sister, by Temra Pavlovi?, Stefan Pavlovi?, Poland, Netherlands 2023, 27’21”
Room 404, dir. by Elysa Wendi, Lee Wai Shing, Poland, Hong Kong 2023, 29’40”
Non Duality, dir. by Tomasz W?gorzewski, Poland 2023, 25”
Wanda, dir. by Anna Baumgart, Poland 2023, 20’53”
Subtotals, dir. by Mohammadreza Farzad, Poland, Germany, Iran 2022, 16′ 

Venue: Kinematograf Cinema, Museum of Cinematography, admission free.
More information:


The night before the dramatic events, the girls sat around the bonfire discussing the legend of “Wanda who did not want a German”. They boarded two boats, each overloaded. Allegedly, local fishermen had been warning them. They wanted to see the sea very much, though. Witness accounts remain fragmented and inconsistent. The order of events can only be recreated roughly. Using the historical narrative, we reshape its plot. We follow 5 girls from the moment of departure from their homes until the moment of tragedy. The essay pictures the days preceding the trip: girls elect their own Wanda (the scout team is named after the legendary virgin). The chosen one is to become the leader for that day – she holds the power. Yet, at night, we learn the dark side of it: taking up the role of Wanda means being slandered and drowned. We explore the girls’ relation with two worlds: internal (relations among themselves) and the outside world. We look at the sphere of submission: scout uniforms vs. colorful dresses, slips and loose hair – slipping out of the masculine world order: militarisation, discipline, hierarchy, and war. Negligence on the side of adults or unconscious suicidal desires? The story unfolds on the edge between dreams and reality, historical facts and legends about Wanda as a figure of overcoming the triad: death-life-death. The girls’ world is tormented by mystery. Each of them is, in their own way, a “Wanda” who was forced to take her own life or was made, by some other forces, to withdraw from life – from libidinal reality – elan vital, one’s own sexuality. It is Wanda who is the mirror of their impression of femininity. The action of the movie has two timelines: 1948 and today. The girls’ age and looks do not change. The change of time, but not of the space, serves to show how important and unceasingly relevant for women are the issues at stake.

Anna Baumgart – She is one of the most acclaimed Polish contemporary multimedia artist involved in directing, sculpture, installation, performance, video, photography and artistic tattooing. Her work is categorised as critical art and feminist art. She explores themes related to cultural patterns of behaviour, social stereotypes and the problems of contemporary women. She moves fluidly between essay, documentary, reportage and music video conventions. Baumgart’s works can be found in collections, musea, and art galleries all around the world.