Hollywood NIFF

Central

Central
"Central" is a captivating, short documentary based on never used material filmed in 2009 at the Central Railway Station in Warsaw, capturing the essence of transition and the search for identity amidst a changing world. As the outdated station prepares for modernization in compliance with European Union guidelines, we are introduced to our main character, a 17-year-old gay man struggling with personal issues and a reluctance to return home. The film artfully juxtaposes the stillness of travelers waiting for their trains against the protagonist's emotional turmoil. He expresses his fear of the rumored 2012 apocalypse and his desire to learn how to live like "normal" people in the limited time he believes he has left. Edited and released in 2023, "Central" is a poignant reminder of the continuous evolution of both society and the individual. With the end of the world having never come to pass, the documentary stands as a testament to the power of hope, adaptation, and personal growth.
Director Biography - Michał Biliński
I am a director, screenwriter, and editor with over 15 years of professional experience in the film industry. I began my journey as a scholarship recipient at the Warsaw Film School, focusing on directing, which has significantly shaped my career and artistic approach. Throughout my career, my films and music videos have consistently gained recognition at various film festivals. Among my notable works is "Teraz Polska" (Poland Now!), a powerful story of three neo-Nazis that was awarded at the Gdynia Polish Feature Film Festival. Another distinctive film, "Zły"(Evil One), which is based on my personal life experiences, won the first-place award in the "Social Prevention" category at FILMOWA GÓRA V, in addition to receiving the audience award. I received the first prize at the International Festival of Publicist Films "Publicystyka", the Grand PRIX at the Warsaw Young Cinema Festival "SKOFFKA 4", and was nominated for the independent cinema award "Offskar" in nine categories, including best film, best directing, best screenplay, best cinematography, and best editing. Beyond directing, my skills as an editor have also been acclaimed. I received the prestigious Jan Machulski Award for my editing work on "Teraz Polska". Additionally, I have edited four full-length theatrical films. Director Statement It's a tribute to transition, identity, and the timeless search for personal truth against the backdrop of an evolving society. My 15-year journey in filmmaking has taught me the power of authenticity and empathy. These are values I've tried to infuse into "Central," and they have shaped it into more than a simple narrative—it's an examination of human resilience in an ever-changing world. In this documentary, we revisit never-before-seen footage captured at the Central Railway Station in Warsaw in 2009. It's a testament to an era now past and a society that has since undergone immense change, driven by the adoption of European Union guidelines. A beautiful paradox emerges from this setting—while the station readies itself for modernization, our protagonist, a 17-year-old gay man, grapples with the very same concept at a deeply personal level. His struggle for identity, acceptance, and the understanding of what constitutes 'normal' in a world he feels is soon to end mirrors the station's own transition, as it bids goodbye to its former self. The image of commuters waiting patiently for their trains becomes a silent but poignant metaphor for his emotional journey. Our young man waits—for acceptance, for change, for a chance to live his truth. As I now share "Central" with you, I hope it will move you as profoundly as it moved me during its creation. It's a testament to the transformative power of time, the universality of personal struggles, and the relentless pursuit of identity in a world that never stops evolving. This film has served as a mirror to my own journey as a filmmaker, reinforcing my dedication to exploring different narratives and pushing the boundaries of creative expression. I invite you to join me in celebrating the beauty of transition and the enduring spirit of human resilience as we navigate through this captivating journey called "Central."