Rafał Kapeliński was born in 1971, in Toruń. He is a graduate in English Studies
at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, an MBA from the University of Washington in Seattle, the London Film School, and the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield. He is an academic teacher at the Central Film School in London and at the London Film School. In 2017, he was awarded the Crystal Bear Award at Berlinale.
In the years 1993-1994, he was the Director of the Camerimage Festival Office in Toruń. In 2006, he started the Aurora Film Production Company, together with Piotr Ledwig.
For quite some time, he was involved in making short films, exclusively. While living in London, he made the documentaries entitled Wzywam BH-Q/Calling BH-Q and Spitfire z Occoches/Spitfire from Occoches, and a number of other short films.
His greatest success came with Emilka płacze/Emily Cries. The film won a multitude of awards, for example the Grand Prix of the Independent Film Section at the Gdynia Film Festival, the Golden Angel Award at Tofifest IFF, the Main Prize in the Short Film Section at the New Horizons IFF, and awards at the film festivals in Austin (USA), Seattle (USA), Oberhausen (Germany), Brest (France), and many others.
Later on, he made Ballada o Piotrowskim/The Ballad of Piotrowski (2007 – then, in 2009, the film was re-edited and its title changed to Fundacja Kultura) and Konfident (2011). Both of the mentioned films were made in our region, in locations in Ciechocinek, Nieszawa, Toruń, and the village of Sierzchowo in Kujawy.
His international success came with the full-length début Butterfly Kisses, which was awarded the Crystal Bear Award at the prestigious film festival Berlinale, in 2017.
The film was made entirely in Great Britain. The main protagonist in the film was played by Theo Stevenson from In Bruges. Butterfly Kisses touches upon the delicate issue of paedophilia.
Many of the films made by Kapeliński has been in development for many years. In 2009, his full-feature project entitled “Na dachu/On the Roof” qualified for the Cinefondation Residency programme sponsored by Cannes IFF. The script for the short film “Grzebanie Konia” participated in the finals of the European Co-production Competition organised by the Bosch Foundation in Stuttgart, Germany.
He is currently working on his next full-length film entitled “Dziennik z wycieczki do Budapesztu/Budapest Diaries.”
The OFF CAMERA International Festival of Independent Cinema in Krakow – The Young Jury Award; “The Young and Cinema” Koszalin Debut Film Festival – The Stanisław Różewicz Award for Directing; Berlinale – The Crystal Bear Award for Best Film in the “Generation 14plus” section; the “Babie Lato Filmowe” Film Festival in Trzyniec – Students’ Award; “Prowincjonalia” All-Poland Film Art Festival in Września – “Jańcio Wodnik” Main Prize for the Best Short Film; The New Horizons International Film Festival in Wrocław – An award for a full-feature film in the Polish Short Film Competition; the Gdynia Film Festival – Special Award in the Independent Film Competition awarded by the organisers of the Polish Film Festival in Seattle for excellence in an independent film; and others.