“Far Eastern Golgotha”, “The Hangman at Home” and “Walk with Angels” are the golden winners of the 61st Krakow Film Festival. On Saturday, 5 June at the Kijów cinema, the international jury awarded the best documentaries, shorts and animated films that had been competing for experts’ and audiences’ attention both in Krakow cinemas and online throughout the festival week.
The awards ceremony of the 61st Krakow Film Festival, hosted by Łukasz Wojtusik, was attended by representatives of the film industry and cinema lovers from all over the world. One of the most important awards of the festival – the audience award granted by the Film Magazine of the Polish Filmmakers Association went to Anna Kokoszka-Romer and Mateusz Kudła’s film “Polański, Horowitz. Hometown”.
Tomasz Wysokiński was the undisputed winner of the festival with his film “Walk with Angels” receiving the highest award – the Golden Hobby-Horse “for being an honest guide through the heart of darkness, professionalism in storytelling, conscious narration through a ruthless, distant world and a film that is hard to stop thinking about”. The documentary was also recognised for its music by Paweł Mykietyn, for its production – the Polish Producers Alliance Award for Piotr Kobus and Agnieszka Drewno (Mañana) – and received the Krakow Film Festival’s recommendation for the European Film Award.
The jury chaired by Jan P. Matuszyński awarded the Silver Hobby-Horses in the national competition to Tomasz Wolski for the feature-length documentary “1970”, Andrzej Cichocki for the short documentary “A Little Bit of Paradise” (also winning the Polish Society of Cinematographers award for best cinematography), Michalina Musialik, author of the animated film “Dog’s Field”, and Nastazja Gonera for the short film “First Last Summer”.
The award of the President of the Polish Filmmakers Association for best film editing went to Zbigniew Czapla for “On Time”.
The documentary film “Far Eastern Golgotha” (dir. Yulia Sergina) won the International Documentary Competition, thus receiving the opportunity to compete for an Oscar nomination. The jury consisting of Mark Cousins (UK) – Chairman, Radu Ciorniciuc (Romania), Peter Kerekes (Slovakia), Margreth Olin (Norway), and Anna Wydra (Poland) “unanimously loved the vitality of this film and the mature talent of its young director. The film shows us a socially desperate but charismatic man using disobedience to fight for democracy”.
The Silver Horn for the director of the best film on social issues went to Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh for “Writing with Fire”. “A film full of bravery and the unstoppable energy of Indian women questing for truth and justice. Inspiring, and should be shown everywhere.” The Silver Horn for the director of the film with high artistic values was awarded to Oan Kim and Brigitte Bouillot for “The Man Who Paints Water Drops” – “A beautiful, meditative essay film about a traumatised man and his precise art seen through the eyes of his fascinated, thoughtful son. Precise editing which captures shifting states of mind. Haunting.”
The winners of the oldest festival competition – the International Short Film Competition – were Michelle and Uri Kranot for the film “The Hangman at Home” (Denmark, France, Canada). The jury composed of Anca Damian – Chairwoman (Romania), Maciek Bochniak (Poland), Darya Bassel (Ukraine), Laura D’Asta (UK), Felipe Montoya (Colombia) appreciated the film “for beautifully intertwining the stories of five apparently unrelated characters with Carl Sandburg’s poem (The Hangman at Home), to an almost apocalyptic conclusion. An animation with powerful detailed design, cinematography and sound, that provokes the audience’s shifting experience, and raises questions about social habits”.
Silver Dragons are prizes awarded to the best short films representing all film genres of the competition. The Silver Dragon for the best documentary went to Raluca Lupascu for “God Was Here!” (Romania). The Italian “Bad Mood” (dir. Loris Giuseppe Nese) was named best animated film, and the Silver Dragon for the best short live action film went to Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson for “Rough” (Ireland).
Krakow’s candidate for the European Film Award in the short film category is “Hide” by Daniel Gray (Hungary, France, Canada).
The Maciej Szumowski Award for Remarkable Social Awareness funded by Medicine went to Marek Gajczak for “Nature is My Homeland” for “broadening the field of social sensitivity to include a deep coexistence with nature and for bringing out the importance of poetry and art in building modern ecological awareness”.
The Award of the Student Jury was given to “Inside the Red Brick Wall” (dir. Hong Kong Documentary Filmmaker) “for constructing a gripping narrative based on direct observation of the revolution of our time, where the struggle leads from a musical skirmish with the police to an exhausting siege and escape through the sewers. Focusing on a single, closed event, it records the universal emotions of young people – their courage, but also their fear in the struggle against an oppressive system”.
Gorki Glaser-Müller received the International Federation of Film Critics Award for the film “Children of the Enemy” (Sweden, Denmark).
The Industry Gala was held on Friday evening, 4 June, during which the first festival winners were announced, including special mentions and the winners of extra awards. Prizes were also awarded to the participants of Doc Lab Poland – Poland’s largest programme aimed at documentary filmmakers, whose next session has just ended as part of the 61st Krakow Film Festival.
The winning films will be screened on Sunday, June 6 at the Małopolska Garden of Arts and online.