About the festival

Octopus Film Festival is the largest celebration of genre cinema in Poland, which has been held continuously in Gdansk since 2018. The goal of the festival is to showcase the best and most unique genre films from around the world and celebrate the film screening as a unique, community experience. All editions of Octopus are held stationary, and each year the program includes special screenings drawing on the idea of site specific, during which selected titles are presented in locations corresponding to the atmosphere and genre of the film in question.

The most important part of the program is the Main Competition, which has been organized since 2020 and showcases the most interesting films that combine genre inspirations with authorial vision. The festival’s Grand Prize is awarded each year by the audience.

During each edition, the program includes retrospectives of artists invited to the festival. Octopus guests included Sergio Martino, Richard Stanley, Marek Piestrak, Penelope Spheeris and Enzo G. Castellari. The latter was the first ever recipient of the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Inkous Tentacle.

Each year the program is complemented by thematic series developed by invited curators and special screenings, as well as lectures, talks, workshops and meetings with invited artists.

Starting in 2023, Octopus Shorts – the International Short Film Competition and a special Octopus Industry section – will join the program.

Octopus is a festival that is egalitarian and open to audiences. You won’t find red carpets and lavish banquets with us. Most of the screenings take place in the industrial halls of the Gdansk Shipyard, with the Electricians Street acting as the festival club. If you love cinema, you won’t find a better place.

In 2021, Octopus Film Festival was nominated for a Polish Film Institute award in the Film Event category.

Previous winners of the audience award in the festival’s Main Competition:

2020 – VHYes, dir. Jack Henry Robbins

2021 – Bloody Hell, dir. Alister Grierson

2022 – Final Cut, dir. Michel Hazanavicius

2023 – Robot Dreams, dir. Pablo Berger

Octopus Film Festival organizer: Velvet Spoon