GDYNIA -- Poland's leading national movie showcase, the Gdynia Film Festival, kicked off Monday with a screening of "Papusza," Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze's elegiac depiction of the life of Papusza, a Polish gypsy poet.

The opening ceremony was held in Gdynia's Musical Theater, which has just been renovated and modernized. Polish cinema has also been rejuvenated, which is reflected in the lineup.

In his opening address, Michal Chacinski, artistic director of the festival, said that a few years ago Poland's movie output had been dominated by gangster movies and historical dramas, but this year there are no discernable trends, and the lineup of new Polish films is marked by a diversity of styles and subject-matter.

"This is a time when everything is possible because we have such talented filmmakers and such able producers," he told the audience, which included the leading lights of the Polish film biz. "We have a multitude of themes and subjects, and this is something we can be proud of."

The Polish movie biz is in a buoyant mood, with Polish films regularly appearing in major fests around the world, and popular at home. "Polish audiences are falling in love with Polish cinema again," Chacinski said.

The fest runs Sept. 9-14.


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