On 10th October, Magdalena Sroka stepped down as Director of the Polish Film Institute (PISF). The European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) would like to stress her important contribution to Polish and European film and cultural diversity as Director of PISF.
Sroka has overseen a huge growth of Polish cinema since 2015. In 2016, Poland achieved a record 51 million cinema admissions which was a 16% increase on 2015, and the market share of Polish films was 25%. Poland was also one of a very few countries in 2016 which had a national film at number one for admissions; Patryk Vega’s action thriller Pitbull: Dangerous Women (2.1 million admissions). In 2017, Polish films continue to record excellent figures. Maria Sadowska’s The Art of Loving achieved 1.7 million admissions in 312 theatres.
Sroka’s dedication at the Polish Film Institute has contributed to this success. She introduced adjustments in the PISF’s Operational Programmes, focused financial resources on films for families and young audiences, and introduced new funding opportunities for minority co-productions. Sroka also launched an innovative script competition ScripTeast for films for young audiences.
In 2016, Poland witnessed the emergence of several successful first-time Polish filmmakers such as, Agnieszka Smoczyńska and Michał Marczak. Tomasz Wasilewski’s United States of Love also won a Silver Bear Award for Best Screenplay at the Berlinale in 2016 and was nominated for the European Film Awards.
Her independent spirit and strong commitment to European cooperation were highly appreciated by her colleagues in the European film agencies who had the pleasure to work with her. The support she gave to Agnieszka Holland’s “Pokot” (“Spoor”) - a Polish, German, Czech, Slovakian and Swedish co-production - to be Poland’s Oscar candidate, demonstrates the importance she attaches to cross-border collaborations.
The EFADs would also like to thank Sroka for her contribution to the association. Her opinions, input and dedication will be sorely missed and the EFADs hope that whoever will replace her will share the same values and spirit of collaboration towards promoting European independent audiovisual works.
About the EFADs
The EFADs brings together the Directors of European Film Agencies in 31 countries in Europe (EU, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). We represent government or government associated public bodies, in charge of national funding for the audiovisual sector and with the responsibility to advise or regulate on all aspects of audiovisual policies. In total, the EFADs members and their governments fund around three billion Euros every year through subsidies and tax reliefs with a view to fostering the creation, production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of European audiovisual and cinematographic works.