Andrzej Wajda's MAN OF IRON, presumed to be the front-runner for the next Academy Award as best foreign-language film, returns this Friday in pre-Oscar engagements at the K-B Studio in Washington and the New Playhouse in Baltimore. Another strong contender in a strong category, Francesco Rosi's THREE BROTHERS, now appears definite, after several postponements, for April 16, at the K-B Cerberus and Outer Circle.

The Aurora, yet another enterprising revival theater in Baltimore, has scheduled a series of EIGHT FILMS DIRECTED BY WAJDA from April 30 through May 12. The programs will consist of "Man of Marble"; a double bill of "Landscape After Battle" and "Without Anesthesia"; a triple bill of his first features -- "A Generation," "Kanal" and "Ashes and Diamonds"; and a double bill of "Everything for Sale," his reflection on the career of the Polish star Zbigniew Cybulski, and "Land of Promise," his most dubious undertaking, a historical melodrama about turn-of-the-century industrialism in Poland that provoked accusations of anti-Semitism.

y Recently revived at the Biograph, Wajda's KANAL and ASHES AND DIAMONDS will also turn up later this summer on the Circle repertory. Those who admire the German film "Das Boot" should find "Kanal," a suspense classic about a group of partisans seeking to elude the Germans in the sewer system of Warsaw, an indispensable forerunner.

Karen Page begins a course in beginning ANIMATION FOR CHILDREN eight to 10 this Saturday under the auspices of the Smithsonian Resident Associates. Call 357-3030 for details.

y VICTOR, VICTORIA, Blake Edwards' musical farce about inversion and mistaken identity in a Parisian cabaret, circa 1934, is this weekend's principal preview attraction. It will be shown at several area theaters this Friday night and will openat the same locations next Friday.

y Independent filmmaker MIDGE MacKENZIE will introduce and discuss excerpts from her work Wednesday at 7 in the fifth-floor auditorium of the National Archives. Best known for the six-part documentary series on the suffrage movement, "Shoulder to Shoulder," MacKenzie has assembled a compilation film, "Women and Courage," which incorporates material from a number of her projects, "Shoulder to Shoulder" included. Her appearance is co-sponsored by Women in Film and Video, Inc. and the Washington chapter of American Women in Radio and Televison. Admission is free, but seating is limited and it will be first-come, first-served.

y David Michael Petrou, currently director of special projects at the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, will recall his tour of duty as resident chronicler of "Superman" during its stormy production -- an experience documented in part in the book THE MAKING OF SUPERMAN -- at a program sponsored by the Washington Film Council, Wednesday at 7:30 in the third-floor screening room of the American Film Institute at Kennedy Center.

y A seven-part series called ROCK'N'CINEMA will begin April 9 at the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College with "Let the Good Times Roll." The time machine backtracks a bit the following Friday with "Monterey Pop" and then retrieves the chronology on subsequent weekends with "Let It Be," "Gimme Shelter," "The Last Waltz," "The Kids Are Alright" and "The Decline of Western Civilization." Admission is free, and the screening site is Room 107.

CRITIC JOHN SIMONwill be at the Baird Auditorium April 15, at 8, to introduce and discuss a showing of Terrence Malick's "Badlands." Tickets are at $5 for Smithsonian Associates and $6.50 for non-members.

TICKET TO HEAVEN, which won three of the major "Genies" at the third annual awards ceremony of the Academy of Canadian Cinema -- best film, actor (Nick Mancuso) and supporting actor (Saul Rubinek) -- is now scheduled to open April 30 at the K-B Janus.