All Q&As are either in English or with an on-stage live interpreter

Sebastian Smoliński - festival MC

Thursday, November 8 - Sunday, November 11 and Sunday, November 18

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Mr. Smoliński, film and opera critic, comes to us from Warsaw, Poland for the second time. As the APFF 2018 MC, he will introduce festival films and will moderate Q&A sessions with the festival guests.

Sebastian is an award recipient of the 2017 Krzysztof Mętrak Competition for Young Film Critics and a frequent contributor to such Polish print and online media outlets like "Polish Film Magazine", "Filmweb", "Kino", "Ekrany", and "Tygodnik Powszechny". He works as catalogue editor and Q&A sessions moderator for the New Horizons International Film Festival in Wrocław (the biggest movie event in Poland), and additionally collaborates with other film festivals like Polish Film Festival in Gdynia or Octopus Film Festival in Gdańsk. He is a frequent guest at Polish radio and TV, including his regular video talks for Canal+, and at European film festivals (in 2018 he was a correspondent of "Tygodnik Powszechny" at Cannes). Sebastian co-authored several books, including the Spanish-language monograph "La doble vida de Krzysztof Kieślowski", book about African American cinema, and a recent bilingual monograph of David Lynch (the book was nominated for the Polish Film Institute Awards in 2018). Some of Sebastian’s US experiences include film studies at the Cleveland State University where he received a scholarship from the Polonia Foundation of Ohio, and interning at BAMcinématek in New York in 2016.


Bożena Stachura - actress

In attendance on Thursday Nov. 8th

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A film and theatre actress. She graduated from the Ludwik Solski State Scenic Art High School in Krakow. After her studies, since 1999, she has been employed by the National Theatre in Warsaw where she made her debut acting the part of Kate in “The Wedding” by St. Wyspianski directed by Jerzy Grzegorzewski. The next important role in her artistic work was the main female part in a play “On All Fours” by Tadeusz Rozewicz directed by Kazimierz Kutz.
She made her film debut acting a part of Solange in “Chopin: Desire for Love” directed by Jerzy Antczak (2002). She also performed one of the main parts in Wieslaw Saniewski’s “Bezmiar Sprawiedliwosci” (2006) and in television series: “Miodowe lata” and “Na dobre I na zle”. Now she is recognized by lots of TV viewers as Grazyna from a series “M jak milosc.”

Bozena Stachura comes to Austin with Janusz Kondratiuk’s film, "A Cat With A Dog" in which she plays the role of Beata, Janusz's Wife. 


Aleksander Pietrzak - director

In attendance on Thursday Nov. 8th and on Friday Nov. 9th

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Born in Płock (1992). He graduated from Music School on piano, and Warsaw Film School in the field of Directing. His diploma movie ‘Strong Coffee Is Not That Bad” (2014) has won many awards on various festivals in Poland and abroad. His next short movie "Me and my father" (2017) also travel the world on many various international festivals and was distributed in Poland with 3 other short movies in theaters. His feature debut "Julius" took part in the main competition of Gdynia Film Festival.
He gained his experience on the sets like “Obywatel” by J. Stuhr, “Bridge of Spies” by S. Spielberg, “Planet Single” by M. Okorn and “True Crimes” by A. Avranas. He is still a student of Liberal Arts at Warsaw University.

Pietrzak comes to Austin with his short movie "Me and my father", and his feature debut "Julius".


Roma King - author

In attendance on Sunday Nov.11th

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Roma King (Michniewicz) was born in Poland.  She lived with her Parents in eight countries before settling in the United States, in the Los Angeles area. Roma was an Academic Advisor for the Departments of Fine Arts and Design/Media Arts at UCLA.  She loved working with UCLA students for almost 30 years.  She now devotes all her time to her family, friends, travel, and volunteering for many community projects.
In addition to “Footsteps in the Snow”, Roma has written 3 children’s books: “Safari”, “My Guardian Angel” and “Grace Makes Potato Pancakes”.


Bartosz Nowacki - director

In attendance on Sunday Nov.11th

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Bartosz Nowacki was born in 1985, in Koło. In 2010, he graduated from the Philology Department of the University of Lodz, where he studied Film Studies and New Media. He received his master’s degree for his thesis on the work of Val Lewton and was also awarded with a diploma given by the Organization of Film and Television Production in Cracow Film School and Audiovisual Communication. During his studies he participated in screenplay classes where he made his first attempts at screenplay creation. There he was noticed by his lecturer Maciej Świerkocki (author of ”There and back”) and by his inspiration he decided to continue his adventure with film.
Bartosz Nawrocki started to work in the film industry as a member of a production department but he quickly moved to directing department as assisstant of such famous creators as Andrzej Wajda („Wałęsa. The Man of Hope") or Michał Rosa („Time of Honor”). As a director, he has had 190 commercials broadcast in Poland and abroad.

Nowacki comes to Austin with his short debut „On the Road”.