Festival Documentaries Nominated for the European Film Awards

The KFF competition entry Motherland by Hanna Badziaka and Alexander Mihalkovich, as well as Apolonia, Apolonia by Lea Glob, shown in the special section, have been nominated for the European Film Awards. The winning title will be announced on 9 December.

The European Film Awards were established in 1988 and are considered the most prestigious awards honouring European films. Considered the equivalent of the American Oscar, it is awarded by the members of the European Film Academy. The current head of the academy is Agnieszka Holland, who replaced Wim Wenders in this position. The first winner of the award was Krzysztof Kieślowski for A Short Film About Killing. Several Polish films had received these nominations – and often won.

Motherland by Hanna Badziak and Alexander Mihalkovich captivated audiences at the 63rd Krakow Film Festival. It was presented in the international documentary competition.

Motherland, dir. Alexander Mihalkovich, Hanna Badziaka

Brutal hazing customs in the Belarusian military have much in common with the political terror prevalent in the country. That is why Svetlana does not believe that her son had committed suicide in the barracks. As the determined mother travels across the country in search of justice, somewhere else another young man is just putting on the uniform. Their parallel fates, interwoven with letters from the son, create a striking picture of post-Soviet reality. We wait in suspense for the next act of the drama – during the protests against the rigged elections, the young soldier will have to face his comrades.

The Polish co-production Apolonia, Apolonia by Lea Glob was screened in Kraków out of competition during the “Illumination” section. 

Apolonia, Apolonia, dir. Lea Glob

When director Lea Glob first approached Apolonia Sokol in 2009, she seemed to be leading a fairy tale life. The talented Apolonia was born into an underground theatre group in Paris and grew up among its bohemian community. At the age of 20 she was studying at Beaux-Arts de Paris – one of the most prestigious art academies in Europe. Over the years, the film’s director kept returning to film the charismatic Apolonia – and a special bond was formed between the two young women. The result is a fascinating portrait that covers 13 years from the life of a young woman trying to find her place in the art world. Apolonia is confident in her talent, but her path is not always easy. Life is not a fairy tale; one of the lessons Apolonia learns is that women painters have to make sacrifices and overcome more obstacles than their male colleagues. This also applies to her friend and long-time roommate, Oksana Shachko, one of the founders of the feminist action group Femen. Apolonia’s resilience is put to the test.

Krakow Film Festival is on the exclusive list of qualifying events for the Oscars® in the categories of short film (live action, animated, documentary) and documentary feature, as well as a recommending event for the European Film Awards in the same categories.

The 64th Krakow Film Festival will be held in cinemas from 26 May to 2 June and online across Poland on the KFF VOD platform from 31 May to 16 June 2024.

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