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International short film festival from Poznań, Poland.

The official motto of 14th Short Waves Festival is here! Light a Spark / Wystarczy iskra

Every now and then, there comes a moment when we ask ourselves: what’s next? The patience is growing thin, humility and pride are being replaced with defiance and anger, while anxiety is taking hold. Anxiety about here and now, about the future. The need for change so burning that it only takes a spark to start a revolution. The number of contexts for such statement is countless – from the most profound one could think of, on political and ideological levels, through culture and society, to the ones that apply to ourselves, our everyday, the microlight of every human. Every now and then, there comes a moment, when we have to realize a certain fact about ourselves or the reality surrounding us: something has ended, it’s time for a new beginning.

Following this reflection, we have selected a motto for the 14th edition of Short Waves Festival: Light a Spark / Wystarczy iskra. It is our manifesto, our drive, our inspiration to move beyond the beaten path, a catalyst for change, or more so – a new beginning also in the context of film. It only takes a tiny spark to bring about a wave of processes that will guide us through the unknown, revealing immense amounts of cinematic expression and talent, which can be found beyond the literal, appreciating the abstract image, or depicting the tensions arising between what we see and feel.

Since we don’t shy away from being literal either, constantly intending to have a broad perspective, and notice not only the metaphors but also the universal truths and clichés, this year’s motto Light a Spark / Wystarczy iskra denotes both a metaphorical rebirth, as well as ignition and its unpredictability and capacity to devour everything, but also to give rise to something new. The experience of change is, or at least should be, an inseparable part of a film festival as a construct – the cinema constantly changes, as do the viewers and their needs, as well as the standards and formats of film event building, and so does the world that is being reflected by cinematic art on every level.

After almost two years of the pandemic, and a thorough examination of ourselves and our surroundings, we aim to change the reality and ignite a spark in others. We want to oppose stiff social norms, move beyond a conventional approach to the language of film, build new standards in the context of festival work, and most importantly – give voice to the ones who have been left voiceless for a variety of reasons. Because Short Waves Festival is a celebration of both cinema and its audience. A place where the medium of film, the artists and the viewers come together on a platform for mutual stimulation and dialogue – not only on the current state of cinematography, but also on the ever-changing world, accountability for decisions made, as well as their consequences. Because sometimes all you need is a flicker to inspire, build, create, let the sparks fly and CHANGE something.

The festival motto is going to be reflected in our program on multiple levels. We are going to start from the Opening Event and a film interpretation of the Light a Spark / Wystarczy iskra notion. We are also going to be more invested in experimental cinema present in the Polish Experimental Film Competition section and in our industry and education program. We intend to encourage our viewers to be more open towards experimental cinema which is often a fuel for change in the entire audiovisual sector.


Short Waves International Short Film Festival will be taking place for the fourteenth time from 14th to 19th of June in Poznań, as well as online. The festival’s 14th edition will be paired with a motto Light a Spark / Wystarczy iskra which after almost two years of the pandemic inspires a fresh perspective on reality, creative energy for change, as well as an inventive and experimental approach to film. The program, heavily influenced by the motto, is going to contain both the familiar favorites and new elements – stay tuned for more info!

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