The 1996 Law on Museums stipulates that free admission to the public must be guaranteed one day per week and that reduced tickets must also be made available (the amount to be determined by the museum directors). Museums have developed cultural education programmes for children and youth. A similar educational obligation is in the remit of public theatres, as one of their statutory aims, although it is rarely implemented.
Cultural centres also play a very special role in promoting participation in cultural life. First of all they provide facilities for amateur art activities and help to organise various events. There is also formal co-operation between schools and the cultural centres as part of a cultural education programme.
The “Polish regions in the European cultural space” (co-ordinated by the National Centre for Culture) is a programme inspired by the motto of the European Union – Unity in Diversity. It aims to increase professionalism in the cultural sector and promotion of the cultural potential of Polish regions. Realised since 2003, the programme has evolved together with the expectations of the beneficiaries (employees of cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations and entrepreneurs operating in this sector). The programme’s goal for the years 2008-2010 are: strengthening and promoting the cultural potential of Polish regions; stimulation of international cultural cooperation; supporting the development of the cultural sector; promotion of management standards in the cultural institutions; incorporation of culture into socio-economic activities; and active national heritage protection. The enriched web platform of the programme serves as an information source on e.g. cultural profiles of different provinces, studies on directions of interregional cooperation implemented in the national and international environment and important institutions and organisations operating in the sphere of culture in a given region.
The Academy of Polish Cinema is a 2 year long course on the history of Polish cinematography at academic level, implemented by the Polish Film Institute in cooperation with the Polish Film Foundation, the Polish Filmmakers Association and the National Film Archive.
The National Film Archive in Warsaw has operated since 1955. Since March 2009, it is a member of Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) – the European network of film archives aiming at preservation of European cinematography and security of European film collections. The National Film Archive has its branch in Lodz which is involved in the preservation of the archives of Polish films made between 1945 and 1989.
The Museum of Film Art – “Iluzjon” Cinema is the showpiece of the National Film Archive. Each year it screens about one thousand films representing the entire history of the cinema arranged in thematic and monographic cycles; it also stages many special film reviews together with foreign partners. The Iluzjon / Film Art Museum Section prepares a monthly cinema programme and special reviews featuring the achievements of world and Polish film art.
The Polish Film Institute leads following educational programmes:
- School Film Library (see chapter 5.2);
- 100 years of Polish cinematography. 1908-2008 – an exhibition and website on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Polish cinematography organised in cooperation with the Film Museum in Lodz (for more information see the website http://www.100latpolskiegofilmu.pl/);
- Academy of Polish Cinema (mentioned above); and
- Polish Film School – on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Polish Film School a virtual movie rental was created.
The Film Museum in Lodz exists since 1976 and aims at collecting, preservation and promotion of Polish film heritage. It also maintains educational and exhibition activities.
The Arthouse Cinemas Network is a programme aimed at disseminating film culture through the introduction of high artistic value films, including educational ones, to distribute in the Arthouse Cinema Network. The goal is to increase the amount of artistically valuable European films, including Polish ones, in our cinema repertoire, and supporting young audience repertoire. The cinemas voluntarily acceding to the Arthouse Cinemas Network commit themselves to grant 50% of their repertoire to European films (20% to Polish films). ACs are also obliged to fulfil the role of film culture dissemination centres. The programme’s executor – the National Film Archive – co-finances film distribution costs or the costs of running the ACs.
The promotion of Polish cinematography ensures also the Polish Filmmakers Association. The Association promotes Polish film domestically and abroad, supports talented young filmmakers, and produces debut films (for more information see: http://www.sfp.org.pl).