CHM members are invited to explore the relationship between the city of Chicago and Polish film through a virtual panel discussion featuring:

  • Zbigniew Banas, instructor of Polish and European Cinema at Loyola University Chicago
  • Michael J. Kutza, filmmaker, graphic designer, and the founder of the Chicago International Film Festival
  • Jan M. Lorys, historian at the Polish Museum of America

A moderated Q&A follows the discussion.

Free; RSVP required. The program will be on Zoom, and participants will be emailed a link and a password.

Polish Film – ZB photo 2022
Zbigniew Banas

Zbigniew Banas is a film critic, teacher, and a radio and television journalist. He holds a BA from the University of Chicago and ScM from Brown University. His reviews have appeared in the Chicago Reader, Boston Phoenix, New City, and other publications. Banas was an associate producer of the Flavor of Poland TV series on PBS. He currently publishes film reviews in Chicago’s Dziennik Zwiazkowy (Polish Daily News) and is affiliated with WPNA (103.1 FM) and WEUR (1490 AM) in Chicago.   

Since 2009, Banas has been teaching International Film at Loyola University Chicago and in the past lectured at Columbia College Chicago. He has been accredited as a journalist at over 20 film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, and Sundance, and is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Polish Film – Michael Kutza Headshot.2
Michael J. Kutza

Michael J. Kutza is the founder and artistic director of Cinema/Chicago, as well as the Chicago International Film Festival, which he has directed since its inception in 1964 and is the oldest competitive film festival in North America. Kutza is a graduate of Archbishop Weber High School, Roosevelt University (BS), and the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology (postgraduate studies). With a career that’s spanned from Chicago to Italy, France, Iran, and the Philippines, Kutza’s accolades include the Chicago Sun-Times award for Exceptional Contribution to Chicago, Roosevelt University Alumni Award, Chicago Drama League Award, Chicago Venture Magazines Cultural Makers of Chicago Award, 2009 Legendary Landmark Award presented by Landmarks Illinois, and a Chevalier de lOrdre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture. His autobiography, Starstruck: How I Magically Transformed Chicago into Hollywood for More Than Fifty Years, was published in 2022.

Polish Film – Jan Loryś zuch
Jan Marcin Lorys

Jan Marcin Lorys was born in London to Polish parents who married in Italy after World War II. Arriving in the US in 1951, the family traveled around the Midwest, finally settling down in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community area. Lorys is a graduate of Gordon Tech High School and the University of Illinois Chicago (BA, MA). After careers with the federal government and Chicago Public Schools, he became the director of the Polish Museum of America (PMA), one of the oldest and largest ethnic museums in the US. For the last seven years, Lorys has worked part-time as the PMA historian. Besides being an avid filmgoer, he has done some practical film work, including preparing a video on Casimir Pulaski for schools when Illinois made it a state holiday in 1986 and writing scripts and acting in short movies for the PMA website.

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