AKF Pętla

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Student Creative Film Club “Pętla”

Founded: 1958/59

Pętla (“the loop”) was established from the University Film Discussion Club (UDKF) in 1956. Its founders were Lech Dubikajtis and Sławomir Kalembka. The aim of UDKF was to raise the level of film culture by popularizing artistically valuable films. The Amateur Film Section emerged from UDKF, which then transformed into the Amateur Film Club (1958), and in 1959 it was renamed the Student Creative Film Club “Pętla”. Screenings of ambitious and hard-to-reach films were organized, but the main ambition of STKF “Pętla” was the implementation of its own ideas, i.e. fictional, educational, short films or film etudes. The first production was the film “Toruński piernik” (“Toruń gingerbread”) shot in the gingerbread factory of Toruń. The originators and founders of the “Pętla” were students of the Faculty of Fine Arts. In 1960, the team received the Golden Price (“Złota Iglica”) at the Student and School Film Festival in Wrocław for the film “Warmia”. In 1961, Józef Robakowski, then a student of art history and museology at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, took over the management of the club. Robakowski was one of the founders of the avant-garde photographic groups “Zero-61” (1961-1969), “Oko” and “Krąg” (1965-1967). Since the 1970s, he has been working in Łódź as an internationally recognized author of experimental films and video art. During the 10 years of the existence of “Pętla”, the club has made 37 films. In 1964, he received a special award from the Minister of Culture and Art for his activities.

– Artur Howzan: „Studencki twórczy ruch kulturalny”, w: Rocznik Toruński, t. II, Towarzystwo Miłośników Torunia, Toruń 1967.

Józef Robakowski:I was most interested in the fact that it was a creative student movement which was independent in principle, because it was considered amateurish by the authorities, that is, less important. Both in the 1960s and also in the 1970s, an artistic critical movement was born under the sign of “student culture” next to the typical student entertainment culture with music, cabarets, theaters, etc. Our movement was completely different, because it concerned the area of ​​art, which was, at least for me, synonymous with freedom. In Gdańsk, together with Jerzy Wardak and Ryszard Sobczak, we created a small informal film and photography group. In Toruń at the University in 1960, after the first photographic, film and theatrical activities, our main task turned out to be to break away from the typical student amateur movement. […]”

Never have our creative initiatives been steered by the university. It was a grassroots movement, and it was extremely important. When I came from Gdańsk to Toruń, I discovered at the University of Students Creative Film Club “Pętla”, where you could make your own films without any obstacles. At the same time, there was also an active Film Discussion Club run by Józef Rainbow, where ambitious cinema and historical cinema were preferred, where we were shown the entire interwar avant-garde. The important fact is that we were students at the Fine Arts. We had excellent teachers at this faculty, such as Jadwiga Puciata-Pawłowska, Stefan Narębski, Tymon Niesiołowski, who cleverly “distanced” us from socialist art. When we organized the “OKO” and “Zero-61” photographic groups, a group of various people involved in photography and art activities joined this film group “Pętla”, which had existed since 1958. In this way, a strong media arts community was created in Toruń, which was a phenomenon at that time. […]”

In the eyes of the «experts» we were amateurs.”

Source: Józef Robakowski in conversation with Adam Mazur, „fototapeta”.