EnergaCAMERIMAGE Festival is brand worth investing in, says Dep PM

EnergaCAMERIMAGE is indisputably “the biggest Polish [film] festival, the most recognised in the world… a brand worth investing in”, Piotr Gliński, Polish Deputy PM, Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sports has told Poland’s public broadcaster TVP.

Born in 1993, the festival grew to become Poland’s biggest and “the most recognised in the world”, as Deputy PM Gliński put it himself. “Everybody agrees on that. It is a brand worth investing in,” he went on saying, stipulating that EnergaCAMERIMAGE “has often changed its venue — it started in Toruń, then there was Łódź, Bydgoszcz, and now Toruń again.”

Despite its nomadic comings and goings, the festival managed to survive the years of wander. Still, a cultural event of this standing deserves a place to call “home”.

“It would be worth investing in order to create a serious institution that will be the home of the EnergaCAMERIMAGE festival. It would also be a film centre, a centre of film production, film education, a centre of culture,” the official expounded.

Telling TVP that the cooperative comprising the Polish government, Toruń administration, the Marshal's Office and Tumult Foundation — the entity in charge of the festival — has just chosen a design of the investment, the Deputy PM said that “we had an opportunity to meet Prof. Dietmar Eberle from Vienna, the head of the architectural office that won the competition.” Expressing his hope that the investment would be carried out smoothly Mr Gliński said that “everything indicates that.”

The Austrian company, boasting previous cooperation with Polish partners, won the tender with a design that the official called “interesting”, “impressive in its scale” and “effective in terms of economic outlays and eco-friendliness.”

“I think it will meet the expectations,” Mr Gliński said.

It is always desirable to hear such statements, especially when they come from a representative of a key contributor to an investment.

“Two-thirds of the investment cost was assumed by the government,” recalled the Deputy PM, adding that “the basic argument was that this is the best Polish film festival known in the world, a sustainable festival where the things that are most important in film are appreciated — craftsmanship, teamwork. I think this is a wise approach to the art of filmmaking.”

With 2023 as the groundbreaking year for the construction of the European Film Centre CAMERIMAGE, the ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 2025.

The deadline “is realistic, although… difficult,” the Deputy PM said, adding that with the project already selected and once it was “adapted to the construction project, only then the tenders for contractors will be held. With a good organisation of the investment, there is a chance that by the end of 2025 the festival will take place in its own venue.”

Meanwhile, the Culture Ministry will also be focusing on other priority projects. “Maybe a dozen or so, but in total, we are implementing several hundred projects and investments all over Poland. The priority project is the construction of the Polish History Museum in the Warsaw Citadel. Apart from the European Film Centre, we are also building the European Music Centre in Żelazowa Wola. We are preparing to build the campus of the Bydgoszcz Academy of Music,” the official said.

With a number of other investments to be carried out under the Polish Deal, including monuments revitalisation, Mr Gliński stressed that “it is too early to talk about it” or whereto the money would go. “We are preparing… [an] offer for self-governments similar to the one that included strategic self-government investments,” the official said, adding that for self-government authorities it would amount to “around EUR 5 billion”. “There is also a similar monuments fund for local governments,” he added.