documentary, 109 min

poland 2016

Co-writers and co-directors: Leszek Gnoiński i Marek Gajczak

DOP and editing: Marek Gajczak i Wojciech Słota

Producers: Aneta Zagórska i Witold Bereś

Production: Stowarzyszenie Film Kraków

Co-production: Muzeum Regionalne w Jarocinie/ Narodowe Centrum Kultury/ Telewizja Polska SA

Executive Producer: "Barton Film"

In a small town, which no one in Poland heard of, a unique rock festival is born. This takes place in times of strong socialism in the 1980s. Tens of thousands of people arrive at Jarocin which becomes an island of freedom and rebellion.

Jarocin Festival

The most important music event of the 1980s in Poland. A unique place, identified with freedom, escape from everyday life, from dullness and hopelessness. The place of rebelling and fighting for young people's identity. One of the most important culture-creating places on the map of Poland. Perceived as the nest of evil and debauchery by the older generation. However, from a time perspective it can be seen as the only “normal” place in the Polish sea of abnormality and socialist greyness.

The festival was changing people, opening them for new experiences, music, culture and art. It became a living legend of the Polish rock scene, a cult festival. It existed in the communist time in Poland – since the 1970s to the early 1990s. The street riots in the 1990s caused it to be temporarily cancelled. When it returned in 2005, already in the new Poland, it became one of many festivals, only exploiting its former popularity.

About the film

The film is going to be made in  Cinemascope 2,35:1. The sound is going to be “transferred” to Dolby Surround so the viewer is able to fully experience the power of music. This will allow to fully use the cinematic spectacle's potential. A wide screen view and Dolby SRD sound, as well as fast and dynamic  editing, are to cause the viewer, at least to some extent, to feel what thousands of fans at Jarocin Festival felt.

The Music and Lyrics are not only supposed to be illustrations. Above all they are to be a commentary to the film, its main and specific  Character and Narrator. The film is going to combine present footage [colour], archival footage recorded on film reel [B/W], archival video footage [B/W, colour] and photographs [B/W, colour]. Many of the materials have never been published before.


 The film about Jarocin will be a film about freedom. Not just understood as freedom of the individual in a totalitarian world, but also artistic freedom, freedom to create and express oneself, freedom in every respect. What it meant during the 70’s and 80’s and what it means now for the contemporary man.

Jarocin Festival is and was an exceptional place on the Polish map. It especially had meaning during communism, in the 80’s. It was a meeting place for rebellious people, those going against the stream; a place where freedom was born. We would like to show a comprehensive history of Jarocin, using loud music, great archival materials, interesting anecdotes and remarkable stories to achieve this goal.

In our film we want to focus on the music of Jarocin, present it as the most important element of the festival. This is why it is one of the heroes of this film and the lyrics sung from the stage are the Narrator, a particularly significant part of the story about the history of the festival and the transforming Poland. They were the mirror which reflected the youth’s views, excellently showcased their frustrations, pursuits and expectations towards the world.

Rock described harsh times using a simple, often crude language, although the lyrics also had an abundance of accurate and curious metaphors. The songs tore down stereotypes, established bonds between the youth, allowed them to feel free, if only for a moment. They showed that apart from officially promoted entertainment there is also an underground scene which had a life of its own, was detached from the political cynicism of the authorities and exultations of the opposition. It had its own language and audience, and even its own publications (cassette tapes and fanzines), which constituted a third circulation of culture.




A music journalist, member of Akademia Fonograficzna ZPAV (The Phonographic Academy of The Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry). An employee of Super Express (1994-2003), vice-editor of Muza music magazine (2003), editor-in-chief of cgm.pl portal (2003-2004), presenter for Discovery Historia TVN (2007-2008). A collaborator of Tylko Rock (1992-1994), Machina (1998 and 2006-2007), Premier (2005-2006), Dziennik Polski (2005-2006), Dziennik (2005-2007). Editor of records published as part of Złota Kolekcja (John Porter, Urszula, Sztywny Pal Azji, Róże Europy) and a series of 30 albums added to Dziennik (Journal) as part of "Gwiazdy polskiej muzyki lat 80”, (the Stars of Polish Music of 80’s) among others.

Produced Films:

2008: Historia polskiego rocka (The history of Polish rock) – co-director, co-writer,

2009: Beats of Freedom - Zew wolności (Call of freedom) – co-director, co-writer,

2013: A series of films (8 episodes) about the history of Polish rock music and festivals in Jarocin – co-director, co-writer.



Cinematographer, editor, director. Łódź Film School's cinematography department graduate. He finished the Masterclass for DOP course in Budapest. During the last years he did camerawork for feature films: OSZUKANE (cheated) directed by Marcin Solarz, (2013), BOKSER directed by Tomasz Blachnicki (2012), GENERAŁ. ZAMACH NA GIBRALTARZE ( General the assassination on Gibraltar)  directed by Anna Jadowska (2009). In 2006 the film POD POWIERZCHNIĄ (Under the surface), his début as a director, was premièred. In 2003 he received the main prize at European Short Film Stuttgart Ludwigsburg for camerawork for the film ANTYCHRYST (directed by Adam Guziński). The film was up for a nomination to the 2004 Oscar Awards for Best Live Action Short Film. SZCZĘŚLIWY CZŁOWIEK (happy man) (directed by Małgorzata Szumowska) was the first feature film which he did camerawork for. He worked on documentaries such as BORIS DORFMAN – A MENTSH (2014) directed by Uwe&Gabriela von Seltmann, BARTOSZEWSKI. DROGA (road) (2012) and GORALENVOLK (2004) directed by Artur Więcek, OD POCZĄTKU DO KOŃCA I POCZĄTKU (from the beginning till the end and till beginning)… (2010-2014) and DEKALOG… PO DEKALOGU (2008) directed by Piotr Jaworski, GENERAŁ (2009) directed by Lidka Kazen and Anna Jadowska, MÓJ TATA MACIEK (my father Maciej) (2005) directed by Małgorzata Szumowska, among others.