The FESTIVAL will take place from November 4th to the 7th, 2003.

The long history of Polish Jews is an inseparable part of history in Poland. The tragic events, murderous events, degenerate ideologies destroyed the prominent and unique Yiddish language culture existing until the 1940's. This rich cultural inheritance obligates us today as residents of this same country and community to remember this remarkable legacy.

It is no coincidence that Warsaw was chosen to be the place of our FESTIVAL. It is not only the place where we were born and have lived. Warsaw had the second largest concentration of Jews after New York until World War Two. Warsaw was a place of full-blown culture for Polish Jews, creating many avenues of creativity beside the Yiddish Polish language.

The former world of the Yiddish civilization is gone forever. We see however, that there is a great need for education; a growing need for learning about their similar past heritage is necessary for both the Polish and Jewish people. This is the new generation who will create the current Jewish Polish reality. So we believe that the FESTIVAL will be an awakening, bringing the present, traditional Jewish culture to all those interested, while remaining in a strong voice in multicultural family of European nations.

On October the 16th 2003 took place a press conference in the Traffic Club together with the opening of the exhibition of Donald Mayer` Posters Collection form NYC / - polish Jewish posters till 1968.
Not only foreign filmmakers (Erez Laufer - Israel, Dirk Szuszies - Germany, Mikhail Deghtiar - Russia) but also foreign guests, observers and journalists (including Prof. Jonathan and Connie Webber from Oxford, Renee Silberman - a journalist from Canada, Anatol Balaban - Israel, Leo Kantor - Chairman of the International Culture Forum in Sweden, Tuwia Friedman - Israel - the hero of the film 'The Nazis Hunter') came to the 2003 Festival.

The Festival was inaugurated with the Opening Evening in Jewish State Theater, which was well attended by the diplomatic corps: the Ambassadors of Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic; the representatives of the Ambassadors of the United States, France, United Kingdom. During the Ceremony the Ambassadors of Israel, Germany and France delivered their speeches. Many politicians, journalists, and celebrities from the world of art attended the event. During the Opening Evening the music concerts and film screening took place. At the Festival in the category of the documentaries 53 film were screened from the following countries: the Czech Republic, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Israel, Germany, Russia, Russia & Spain, Sweden, the USA, Hungary and Poland.

13 films had non-competition screenings, including two pre-war films in Yiddish, which were made available by Filmoteka Narodowa (National Film Collection). The Andrzej Brzozowski’s film „Next to the track” from the year 1963 had its cinema premiere.

In March 5-6-7 2004 we had the retrospective of awarded and important 16 Festival films, which will take place in the famous Center for Contemporary Art – Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, PL.

Daniel Strehlau
Director of The Festival