Trenton’s very own award-winning filmmakers are having a screening in their hometown. Adam Nawrot and Sonia Szczesna, who run Sourland Studios with friends, have created a masterpiece titled Godspeed, Los Polacos! The lost story of the world’s greatest road trip.

From Sourland Studios
Promo picture for Godspeed, Los Polascos!

The documentary is about five university students on the edge of adulthood who skillfully pull the strings of the Soviet system and find themselves on a kayaking expedition in the Americas with a six-wheeled military truck, homemade equipment and little to no paddling skills. The story follows their epic two-year journey, which culminates in the record-breaking first descent of the world’s deepest canyon and finds the kayakers in Soviet crosshairs after they leverage their newfound fame to fight for democracy in the Eastern Bloc. 

I got a chance to chat with Sonia Szczesna, producer of Godspeed, Los Polacos about the process of making the film. “It took us about four years to make this film and it’s created from a mix of archival footage and photographs, interviews, and animation,” said Sonia Szczesna. “We traveled across the country to interview each of the five members of the Cannonades ’79 expedition and made trips to both Poland and Peru to gather new and archival footage. Much of the archival footage and photographs are from the expedition itself. However, some of the footage was destroyed after the expedition team disobeyed the Communist government, and therefore, we needed to supplement them with animations.”

She continued, “We were fortunate that we had gathered most of our materials just as the pandemic hit and we spent our days editing this in our home in Trenton at the height of the pandemic. After taking the film around the world, we’re excited to finally bring it home to the City of Trenton.” 

The film was premiered at the 2020 Banff Mountain Film Festival, where Sourland Studios took home their first award for the film. They received nine major awards on the film festival circuit that also included the Grand Prix at the 2021 Moc Gor Film Festival and both Best Adventure Film and People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Boulder International Film Festival.

FThe film was limited to festivals for a while, but Godspeed, Los Polacos theatrical release happened on August 6, and will be available via online platforms this fall. The screening on Friday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m. will be their New Jersey premiere, in addition to the film’s homecoming. The screening will be at the Mill Hill Playhouse (205 E Front St, Trenton, NJ). More information is available about the film. Interested viewers can watch the trailer and buy tickets to the screening on their website.   

Sourland Studio 

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