8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 May 2014

Festival Neon

APRIL 17 - MAY 18
Dolnośląskie Centrum Filmowe
Free entry.

This year’s program includes the screening of “Neon”, a film about the great passion and sentiment to neons from the time of the People’s Republic of Poland. It was thanks to them that these plain times had their bright side – streets that were grey during the day were transformed at night thanks to the neon advertising banners and signs of the flower shops, hairdressing salons, pastry shops or drycleaners. Colorful and luminous neon signs in Wrocław with their characteristic lettering were designed by renowned graphic artists.

A historic neon signs has returned to the streets of Wrocław this year on the occasion of the PLANETE+ DOC FILM FESTIVAL. Tomasz Kosmalski, the founder of Neon Side, a collector of neon advertising banners, recreated it from historic Wrocław neon signs. Letters which have been known to Wrocław inhabitants for years, created together a totally new sign which every night illuminates the entrance to the Dolnośląskie Centrum Filmowe, wishing the audience a “Good Night in Wroclaw” just like the little man tipping his hat for decades to welcome passengers in front of the Main Railway Station. This again transfers the audience to the time when taxi drivers used to drive their big Fiats and people partied in clubs to bigbit music.

Neon Side – gallery of neons. Its collection contains over 40 neon advertising banners. They include, among others, “Rumcajs” and “Hanka” from Powstańców Śląskich Street, “Wrocławskie Zakłady Graficzne” from Oławska Street, “Moda Polska” from the Market Square, “Alliance Française” from Kazimierza Wielkiego Street, “Pranie Bielizny” from Młodych Techników Street, “Kino Dworcowe” and “Wrocław Główny” from the Main Railway Station, “Hermes” from Grabiszyńska Street, a neon the “Lalka” cinema which no longer exists or – the latest acquisition – “Grand Hotel” from Piłsudski Street. None of them had a chance to survive in their original locations. After dismantlement it was possible for some of them to be restored and lit again. Some of them were presented in exhibitions at Wroclaw clubs and galleries as well as during cultural events, while others found a temporary place for display in the Motors Museum at Topacz Castle. Yet others are still waiting to be restored whereas all of them are waiting for a permanent location, also outdoor, to be displayed in order for the Wrocław inhabitants to again feast their eyes.