The First Reveals of Ars Independent 2018

It’s time to uncover the first programme cards of the multimedia festival Ars Independent 2018! Discounted festival passes are also now available for pre-order.

This year’s edition of Katowice’s festival of film, animation, video games and music videos will take place from September 25 to 30. Over 6 days and 40 events we will discover the various faces of contemporary audiovisual culture. As every year, we will visit: the Katowice City of Gardens building, the Rialto, Światowid and Kosmos cinemas, the Academy of Fine Arts and the festival club Drzwi Zwane Koniem.

Festival passes are now available for pre-order – until July 31 at the discounted price of 60 PLN. They can be purchased online at the Ars Independent shop and at Bilety24 platform.

Other festival events will be revealed on August 1; another passes pool will also launch then, priced at 80 PLN. The full programme will be announced on September 11 alongside regularly priced passes (100 PLN) and individual tickets (13 PLN).

We now can tell you about several out of competition events at the festival. What will await us this year in Katowice?


The Black Horse of Film will feature 6 debuting directors. The prize – title and statuette of the Black Horse and 500 EUR – in this and other competitions will be awarded by the festivalgoers. The nominated titles will be revealed in September.

“The characters change faces and names, with only one connective tissue in this cinematic patchwork: love” – reveals the festival coordinator Matylda Badera. What’s this all about? György Pálfi’s “Ladies & Gentlemen: Final Cut” (2012), a „found footage” masterpiece. Fragments of over 500 films – from “The Seven Samurai,” through “Airplane!” to TV’s “Twin Peaks” make up not only a cinephile’s impressive tribute, but also an unflinching implementation of mash-up culture. The film will be screened at Ars Independent with an original soundtrack, composed and performer live by the Katowice trio Bękarty Bacha.

This time in City of Music, the yearly section devoted to music documentaries and films, we will take a look at the classics. The programme includes Clint Eastwood’s “Bird” (1988), a portrait of the legendary saxophone player and the father of bebop Charles Parker. He fought his demons in a booze and drug-induced trance, on the one hand revolutionizing jazz, but on the other – marching straight into an early, inevitable death.


In the Black Horse of Animation’s three sets we will watch up to 30 short animated films. As always, it will be an original showcase of the minds and works of the latest generation of animators.

Stop!Motion! will remind us of, well, stop motion animation. Presumed dead in this new digital age, the technique is surprisingly lively, carving out its own niche. The characters in these shorts are “presented with the unexpected – we want to do the same to our audience,” as writes Gaba Palicka, the festival’s animation curator, extending an invitation to rediscover stop motion.


The galleries of Katowice City of Gardens will host the interactive exhibition of the Black Horse of Video Games. The 7 titles featured in this year’s competition will definitely flip our view of today’s games (and not-games).

We will also embark on a journey From Marienbad to Novigrad, through the history of Polish video games. “Marienbad” – considered by Bartek Kluska as the first Polish video game – will take us back to the year 1962. From Wrocław’s Elwro company (where Witold Podgórski wrote „Marienbad” for the Odra 1003 computer) to the streets of the Free City Novigrad (one of the major locations in “The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt”), we will take a relaxed stroll through over half a century of Poland’s electronic entertainment.

Once again, we’ll take a look “at what’s currently cracking in Polish indies and what’s going to be the talk of the oncoming months after the festival” – as described by video game curator, Jacek Wandzel – at the Video Games Night Market. The open showcase for young, independent studios will let us play the latest works of the indie scene: before release and with live commentary from the authors present.

The deadline for submissions to the Night Market is August 31: the entry form and rules and regulations are available at the Video Games Night Market subpage.


Up to 30 videos will be featured in the Black Horse of Music Videos competition. As in previous years, we will take a dive into the depths of YouTube to ask ourselves: are those still music videos?

Choked&Blind returns! Vol. 2, the second edition of the festival’s showcase of shocking music videos, will experiment with taboos of transhumanism and physical transgression. The screening is for adults only.

And now for something completely different – for the first time in Ars Independent’s history – a proposition for the youngest audiences and their close ones. The Black Ponies of Music Videos are a peculiar lesson about music video and the medium’s history, spun around a single question: “what is a cover?” Maciej Gryzełko, the festival’s music video curator, will help answer that question.

This is just the tip of the festival’s programme iceberg. The next batch – coming right up in August.
Ars Independent is organized by Katowice City of Gardens and the City of Katowice.