Programme section devoted to screenings of intriguing, visionary and original films by the most esteemed animators.

This edition of the RETROSPECTIVES programme section takes a look at artists of a very different profile.

The first part is a farewell and presentation of the directorial achievements of Marcin Giżycki, the long-time Artistic Director and co-founder of the ANIMATOR Festival, who died in 2022. The second focuses on the works of Keiichi Hara, who is a guest and International Jury Member of the 16th ANIMATOR Festival.


The retrospective spotlights Marcin Giżycki as an independent filmmaker, historian, researcher and experimenter, who through his countless artistic endeavors, conducted his own interdisciplinary explorations in the domain of film, be it animation, documentary or experimental, boldly abolishing rigid divisions between narrow fields of art. For this brief, incomplete retrospective, we have selected titles less often shown or absent in Poland, that were created by Marcin Giżycki independently or in collaboration with other artists, dialoguing with them, continuing their work or reconstructing and developing ideas that had a decisive impact on the history of 20th century art. That is why the show does not include well-known titles such as “Wyspy Jana Lenicy” or “Podróże Daniela Szczechury”. Instead, we emphasized the fluid handling of media and the transition from the position of commentator to participant with shared responsibility for the creative process. 

In this retrospective, we are also interested in identity as a field of constant negotiation between belonging to a particular profession, to different points of view, as well as nationalities. Marcin Giżycki’s life choice was to live across two continents – in the United States and in Poland; he explored and combined the histories and cultural traditions of both countries, and in both places pursued being a creator and an activist socially engaged in the life of the community. The dominant feature of his work was responsibility – taken entirely on himself by the author, from the spirit of artistic independence in the American sense of the word. With full commitment to the development of an idea on the subject described, regardless of technical conditions, means and circumstances, he conducted his research and invited other enthusiasts to join him. The most important goal of the films he created was to inspire reflection, discussion, research and stoke further creativity. 



    • „Unorthodox Geometry. Sculpture by Ursula von Rydinsvard” dir. Marcin Giżycki i Peter O’Neill, 1998 
    • „Monument” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2016 
    • „Pantha Rhei” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2008 
    • „Stone story” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2016 
    • „Sycylijska pchła” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2008 
    • „Mieczysław Szczuka. 5 momentów filmu abstrakcyjnego” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2006 
    • „Zdzisław Lachur. Senat z wozu, koniom lżej” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2007 
    • „Henryk Berlewi. Kinefaktura” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2012 
    • „Fala” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2021 
    • „Sunset” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2019 
    • „Der Blaue Reiter” dir. Marcin Giżycki, 2021 


    • „Jerzy Sołtan. Człowiek, który polski nie zbudował” reż. Marcin Giżycki i Sławomir Gruenberg, 1995 
    • „Providence to ja” reż. Marcin Giżycki i Agnieszka Taborska, 1997 
    • „1060 Olney Street” reż. Marcin Giżycki, 2007 
    • „White Curtain” reż. Marcin Giżycki, 2014 
    • „Gra w strzałki” reż. Marcin Giżycki, 2021 

Keiichi Hara drew widespread praise for his irreverent feature “Crayon Shin- chan: The Storm Called: The Adult Empire Strikes Back” (2001), and won numerous awards in Japan for “Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Battle of the Warring States” (2002) and “Summer Days with Coo” (2007). Subsequently became one of Japan’s most globally revered animation auteurs for his body of work, including the Annecy International Animation Film Festival double award-winning “Colorful” (2010), “Miss Hokusai” (2015), and “The Wonderland” (2019). In 2018, he became the third animation director (following Isao Takahata and Katsuhiro Otomo) to receive a Medal with Purple Ribbon, awarded by the Japanese government to individuals who have made great contributions to artistic and academic fields. His work continues to be highly anticipated both at home and abroad. We celebrate his visit to our Festival with a dedicated RETROSPECTIVE.


MISS HOKUSAI (reż. Keiichi Hara, Japonia 2015)

As all of Edo flocks to see the work of the revered painter Hokusai, his daughter O-Ei toils diligently inside his studio. Her masterful portraits, dragons and erotic sketches – sold under the name of her father – are coveted by upper crust Lords and journeyman print makers alike. Shy and reserved in public, in the studio O-Ei is as brash and uninhibited as her father, smoking a pipe while sketching drawings that would make contemporary Japanese ladies blush. But despite this fiercely independent spirit, O-Ei struggles under the domineering influence of her father and is ridiculed for lacking the life experience that she is attempting to portray in her art. “Miss Hokusai”‘s bustling Edo (present day Tokyo) is filled with yokai spirits, dragons, and conniving tradesmen, while O-Ei’s relationships with her demanding father and blind younger sister provide a powerful emotional underpinning to this sumptuously-animated coming-of-age tale.

From award-winning director Keiichi Hara (“Colorful”) and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G (creators of “Ghost in the Shell”) comes a remarkable story of the daughter behind one of history’s most famous artists.


LONELY CASTLE IN THE MIRROR (reż. Keiichi Hara, Takakazu Nagatomo, Japonia 2022)

Shy outcast Kokoro has been avoiding school for weeks when she discovers a portal in her bedroom mirror. She reaches through and finds herself transported to an enchanting castle where she is joined by six other students. When a girl in a wolf mask explains that they have been invited to play a game, the teens must work together to uncover the mysterious connection that unites them. However, anyone who breaks the rules will be eaten by a wolf.

From acclaimed director Keiichi Hara (“Colorful”, “Miss Hokusai”) and based on the bestselling novel by Mizuki Tsujimura, “Lonely Castle in the Mirror” is a heartfelt drama about the pains of growing up and the unlikely bonds that can bring people together.


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