The Society for the Promotion of Film Art (Stowarzyszenie Propagandy Filmu Artystycznego, START) became an important part of the Polish critical and, later, filmmaking scene before 1939. Established in Warsaw in 1930 by, among others, film historian Jerzy Toeplitz and filmmakers Wanda Jakubowska, Eugeniusz Cękalski, Jerzy Zarzycki, Aleksander Ford, and Stanisław Wohl, this dynamic cine club promoted ambitious, artistic cinema through screenings, lectures, and seminars, as well as articles published in almost all of the major Polish journals. Officially known since 1931 as the Society of Film Art Devotees (Stowarzyszenie Miłośników Filmu Artystycznego), the START members began their careers by attacking commercial Polish productions while promoting art cinema. Regarding cinema as more than just entertainment, they were united by "the struggle for films for the public good," which was the START slogan from 1932. After the disintegration of the START group in 1935, its former members attempted to make films that reflected their interest in socially committed cinema. In 1937 some of the START members, including Ford, Cękalski, and Wohl, established the Cooperative of Film Authors (Spółdzielnia Autorów Filmowych, SAF). Their two productions, The Ghosts (Strachy, 1938), directed by Cękalski and Karol Szołowski, and The People of the Vistula (1938), directed by Ford and Zarzycki, were among the finest achievements in prewar Polish cinema. After World War II, some START members, headed by Ford, entered Poland as members of the film unit Czołówka, which was affiliated with the Polish army from the Soviet Union. They immediately seized power, imposed their vision of cinema, which was in line with that of the Communist authorities, and practically controlled the nationalized post-1945 Polish film industry, both as decision makers and filmmakers.
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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