Every year the third day of the Krakow Film Festival ends with the ceremony devoted to the most important festival award – Dragon of Dragons – awarded for an exceptional contribution to the development of the world cinema. This time the Krakow Film Foundation Programme Council decided to honour an outstanding documentary filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa. The 21st winner of this prestigious prize is also the youngest one in the history of the award.
“I can say that Krakow Film Festival is my festival. I came here with my first film and since then each of my documentary films has been shown here. So in this sense Krakow is my city” – said Sergei Loznitsa.
The head of the Programme Council, film critic and scholar Prof. Tadeusz Lubelski said that “despite the variety of genres Loznitsa’s films are very coherent. First of all, in the stylistic sense: they are easily recognized by the distinctive minimalism, infinitely extended shots (as if he was waiting to extract from reality a hidden truth), carefully counted rhythm and precisely created soundtrack. It produces a certain archaic effect as if the director was going back to one of the previous eras in the history of cinema to reformulate its language, with a complete absence of the author’s commentary neither as voiceover nor non-diegetic music”.
The official Dragon of Dragons ceremony took place on May 29th, 2018 during the 58th Krakow Film Festival. What is more, thanks to the retrospective included in the festival programme, we will see various extraordinary films made by the director and among them his latest documentary “Victory Day” (“Den’ Pobedy”), which will have in Krakow its Polish premiere. The traditional winner’s master class will take place on May 30th at 3 PM in Małopolski Ogród Sztuki.
The ceremony ended with the screening of three films personally introduced by the director: “The Letter”, “The Train Stop” and “The Old Jewish Cemetery”.
Sergei Loznitsa was born on September 5th, 1964 in Baranovchi in today’s Belarus which was at the time a part of the Soviet Union. He was growing up and studying in Kiev where he graduated from Kyiv Polytechnic Institute as an engineer and mathematician. For a few years he was doing research in the Institute of Cybernetics and worked as a Japanese translator. In 1997 he graduated with honours in film production and directing from Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. He lives in Berlin.
During his 20-year-old career Loznitsa made a lot of films that turned out to be an international success. His three feature films “My Joy” (2010), “In the Fog” (FIPRESCI Award) (2012), “A Gentle Creature” (2017) and one documentary “Maidan” had their world premieres at the Cannes Film Festival and this year he received the best director award in the Un Certain Regard competition for his feature film “Donbass”. His other feature documentary “The Event” premiered in Venice in 2015. His films won numerous awards at film festivals around the world.
Loznitsa’a documentary debut “Today We Are Going to Build a House” was awarded at KFF the Bronze Dragon award. In the following years he received in Krakow the main festival awards three times: in 2006 the Golden Dragon for “Blockade”, in 2008 the Golden Horn for “Revue” and in 2013 once again the Golden Dragon for “The Letter”. Last year, as a part of the Focus on Germany section, we presented his film “Austerlitz”. In 2007 he was a member of the International Short Film Competition jury with Andrzej Żuławski as the head of the jury.
The Dragon of Dragons award, awarded this year for the 21st time, is the highest accolade of the Krakow Film Foundation Programme Council, the organizer of the Krakow Film Festival, and is a proof of recognition of the contribution to the development of the documentary and animated world cinema. A lot of outstanding filmmakers were among its winners including Werner Herzog, Kazimierz Karabasz, Bohdan Kosiński, Bogdan Dziworski, Allan King, Albert Maysles, Jonas Mekas, Helena Trestíková, Stephen and Timothy Quay, Raoul Servais, Jerzy Kucia, Paul Driessen and Priit Pärn who is also a festival guest this year taking part in the Focus on Estonia section.
The 58th Krakow Film Festival takes place May 27th – June 3rd, 2018.
More information about the 58th Krakow Film Festival: https://www.facebook.com/events/214610089105300/