Winners of the 58th Krakow Film Festival

On Saturday, June 2nd, in the full house of the Kijów.Centrum theatre, the winners of the 58th Krakow Film Festival were announced. The international jury awarded the best documentary, short and animated films, which during the whole festival week were trying to woo the experts and the audience in 6 cinemas in Krakow.


The event, hosted by the well-known in Krakow journalist and presenter Brain Scott, was attended by Radosław Śmigulski, General Director of the Polish Film Institute.


The outright winner of this year’s edition of the Krakow Film Festival is an acclaimed film “Over the Limit”, directed by Marta Prus, who was noticed by the Variety magazine. The film received the Silver Horn for the best feature film in the International Documentary Film Competition and the Silver Hobby-Horse for the director of the best documentary film in the National Competition. The film about the remarkable Russian gymnast Margarita Mamun and the emotional costs of professional sports, received also the award for the best producer of Polish short and documentary films funded by the Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce (KIPA) and the Best Cinematography Award under the patronage of The Polish Society of Cinematographers funded by Coloroffon Film.


The winner of the International Documentary Film Competition is Talal Derki’s film “Of Fathers and Sons”. The 2014 winner of the Silver Horn once again confronted Krakow audience with the sheer terror of the Syrian war. Four years after the horrifying, successful and widely discussed “Return to Homs” – the opening film of the 54th KFF – the director visited a family of a radicalized ISIS member and followed the process of forming of jihadist fighters. In “Of Fathers and Sons” the camera focuses on little boys who are being prepared the join the ranks of ISIS by their beloved fathers, for whom family is especially important. The film received this year an award for best documentary at Sundance. Jury led by Péter Forgács (Hungary) handed out the prestigious Golden Horn award for “the director’s courageous penetration into the world of extremism”. What is more, the film was also awarded by the International Federation of Film Critics Jury (FIPRESCI).


The Silver Horn for the director of the best medium-length documentary went to Pablo Aparo and Martin Benchimol for their film “The Dread” (Argentina).


The winner of the oldest festival competition – International Short Film Competition – is Armelle Mercat for her film “Keep Your Hair On, Oliver” (France).


The jury, whose chairman was Iranian director and screenwriter Merhard Oskouei, gave the French director the Golden Dragon award emphasizing that the story presented in the film was only possible to tell through animation.


Silver Dragons are the awards given to the best short films representing all three competition genres. The Silver Dragon for the best documentary film went to Michał Hytroś for his film “The Sisters” (Poland). The film received also the special mention in the National Competition. The best animated film is “Obon” (dir. André Hörmann, Samo (Anna Bergmann)). Silver Dragon for the best short fiction went to Emmanuelle Fleytoux for her film “Release the Dogs (France/Belgium). The Krakow Film Festival also gave this film the nomination for the European Film Award in the short film category (PRIX EFA KRAKOW 2018 for the best European film).


The best music documentary and the winner of the Golden Heynal award, chosen by the Jury led by Marcin Borchardt (Polska), is an American-Japanese documentary Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” (dir. Stephen Nomura Schible). In this moving documentary a story about the roots of music turns into a film meditation, which talks about the human fight with inhibitions. The protagonist, an Academy Award winner for his original score for the film “The Last Emperor”, this time shows his other faces: as a music experimenter, an activist fighting against environmental degradation and a man struggling with serious illness. The film received also the Student Jury award.


The Golden Hobby-Horse in the National Competition went to “Unconditional Love” by Rafał Łysak (Poland). The Jury led by Tadeusz Sobolewski appreciated the film for a story about an intimate reality of people from different generations, which escapes a stereotypical judgment. If we watch the world so closely it can actually be tolerant as love is unconditional”.


The best Polish animation is “III” by Marta Pajek (Poland). It is the second Silver Hobby-Horse in the artist’s career. After two years Pajek came back to the idea of an impossible figure, which this time in a sensual and full of eroticism way portrays relations between men and women.

The award for the best Polish short fiction was handed out “for an accurate, comedic attempt to encapsulate the madness of the contemporary world” to Maciej Kawalski for his film “Atlas” (Poland).


The special mention went to the last year’s winner Damian Kocur for his film “1410”.


The audience award went to the Polish director Marta Prus for her film “Over the limit”


For the fourth time the Krakow Film Festival, being among Europe’s most important film festivals, recommends feature documentary films for the European Film Award. This year the official recommendation was given to “White Mama” (Zosya Rodkevich, Evgeniya Ostanina).


For the third time an important part of the Krakow Film Festival was DOC LAB POLAND section, which belonged to the KFF Industry – a programme of events devoted to the film industry. Awards for documentaries in development and in postproduction were handed out.


The screenings of the awarded films will take place on Sunday, June 3rd in Małopolski Ogród Sztuki from 12 PM.

The detailed programme can be found on the website: www.krakowfilmfestival.pl


The 59th Krakow Film Festival will take place May 26th – June 2nd, 2019.