Festival award winners at the 59th Krakow Film Festival

Sundance, SXSW, IDFA – the winners of the most important film festivals in the world are coming to cinema screens in Krakow as part of a speciel „Festival award winners” section. The KFF audience will have a chance to see twelve film productions that have already been recognized by international juries.

– You do not need to get on an airplane or train, just need to go to any of the films from the section “Festival award winners” to embark extremely exciting journey that will take you into two directions. One will transfer you to the most important festivals in the world, and the other to distant film lands. It is a lot of fun to check what has delighted other viewers and jurors in the last 12 months and let yourself be seduced by excellent, award-winning cinema – says Magdalena Walo, coordinator of the “Festival award winners” section.

Two loveable dogs, Chola and Football are the heroes of the documentary “Los Reyes”, awarded at the IDFA festival. Quadrupeds living in the skate park are random listeners of conversations of young people, who are wat too familiar with drugs, quarrels with their parents or threats of being thrown out of the house.

The motels in the suburbs can also be involuntary witnesses of not always legal business dealings. They are hiding places for murderers, pit stops for lost travelers and hide-aways for surreptitious lovers. In the “Vacancy” awarded in Jihlava, viewers will get to know their real inhabitants – people who dream less and less of an American dream.

In search of his own place on earth, the hero of the documentary “Life Is But A Dream”, the laureate of the Italian festival Dei Popoli, travelled from the United States to Israel and finally he went to the orthodox Jew Gedalia. Living with his family in the areas occupied by Palestinians, he tries not to worry about the political situation. However, an unexpected lack of electricity exposes hidden fears and prejudices…

The heroine of the movie “Honeyland” – the best international documentary of the Sundance festival, is also worried about the future. A woman living in the Macedonian countryside with her sick 85-year-old mother, gets by with selling her own honey. The appearance of a large family in the neighborhood may threaten their modest farm.

In addition to documentaries, the “Festival award winners” section also includes short feature films. The “Patision Avenue” will come to Krakow from the Hollywood Film Festival. Made in one shot, it is a tense movie about an actress who suddenly discovers that her son was left home alone. She must stop a crisis situation using only a telephone. In turn, “Nefta Football Club” is a comedy in which the audience of the festivals in Clermont-Ferrand and Aspen fell in love. On the border with Algeria, brothers Abdallah and Mohammed encounter a lonely donkey – with headphones on and bags full of white powder on the back. The boys decide to bring the load home …

In contrast, “My Branch So Thin” is a moving, subtly filmed story about the last farewell of a daughter and her mother, a lesson of humility, and above all acceptance of the order of life and death gained through the intimate ritual of washing the body of the deceased. The film will appear in Krakow as the winner of a Polish event – the Warsaw Film Festival.

There is no shortage of Polish productions this section “In Touch”, recognized at the IDFA festival is the history of the Masurian village, from which half of the population went in search of a better life for Iceland over 30 years ago. With the help of new technologies and Skype, they try to maintain family relationships at a distance.

The IDFA festival also awarded the short documentary “Dancing For You”. The protagonist is twelve-year-old Wiktor, student of a ballet school. He lives with his grandmother who supports him and accompanies him in an attempt to make an important performance. Wiktor, however, dreams that a father, who is living abroad, will appear at the final spectacle …

The next Polish film in this section will be the “Year”, an animation honored at the Etiuda & Anima festival. It is a diary made up of paper waste like labels, stickers or old tickets presented against the background of cigarette packages. The film is devoted to the memory of Marek Serafiński, director and animation producer.

Two animated films have been invited to this year’s festival award winners section. Awarded at Aspen Shortfest, “Sister” is a sad and moving animation about the Chinese politics allowing only one child, told by charming characters made of felt, “Guaxuma” is an animated documentary in which the director returns to the land of her childhood, recreating dramatic events. Combining many animation techniques, the film was appreciated at the SXSW festival in the USA.

– The films presented in this section are the crème de la crème of world cinema. This is a section for people who are curious about what’s fresh and new in the cinema. We confront the Krakow viewers with award-winning and appreciated titles from Sundance, Jihlava or IDFA – encourages Magdalena Walo.

Festival award winners

Guaxuma, reż. Nara Normande, anim, 14’, Francja, Brazylia, 2018

In Touch, reż. Paweł Ziemilski, dok, 62’, Polska, Islandia, 2019,

Kraj miodu / Honeyland, reż. Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, dok, 85’, Macedonia, 2019

Los Reyes, reż. Bettina Perut, Iván Osnovikoff, dok, 78’, Chile, 2018

Moja cienka gałąź / My Branch So Thin, reż. Dinara Droukarova, fab, 14’, Francja, Rosja, 2018

Motel Ameryka / Vacancy, reż. Alexandra Kandy Longuet, dok, 81’ Belgia, 2018

Nefta Football Club, reż. Yves Piat, fab, 17’, Francja, 2018

Patision Avenue, reż.Thanasis Neofotistos, fab, 13’, Grecja, 2018

Rok / Year, reż. Małgorzata Bosek – Serafińska, anim, 12’, Polska, 2018

Siostra / Sister, reż. Siqi Song, anim, 8’, Chiny, 2018

Tańczę dla ciebie / Dancing For You, reż. Katarzyna Lesisz, dok, 18’, Polska, 2018

Życie jest tylko snem / Life Is But a Dream, reż. Margherita Pescetti, dok, 72’, Włochy, 2018