2020 Krakow Film Festival winners

2020 Krakow Film Festival winners

 The Self Portrait (Norway) Margreth Olin, Katja Hogset, Espen Wallin



THE GOLDEN HORN for the director of the best film – 

Radu Ciorniciuc for Acasa, My Home (Romania, Finland, Germany)

‘Acasa, My Home’, is awarded the The Golden Horn for its remarkable and complex storytelling that is presented from the children’s perspective of a Roma family. This extraordinarily intimate and authentic film artfully captures the multiple layers of the social, emotional and political realities the family wrestles with as they struggle to maintain their way of life, dignity, sense of self-determination and cultural identity. It is highly unusual when a single documentary film, such as this one, is able to successfully examine and explore so many important aspects of the human condition within one beautifully crafted story. 

THE SILVER HORN for the director of the film with high artistic value  

Maciej Cuske for The Whale from Lorino (Poland)

‘The Whale of Lorino’ is awarded The Silver Horn for its immersive experience where metaphorical imagery and sound let us plunge into the reality of a native Siberian village located in a distant, forgotten corner of Russia. The film at times makes us uncomfortable and disturbed, while at other times we feel deeply connected. The director uses a circular narrative structure that challenges the audience to interpret their experience of the community and confront their own prejudices. In the end, this extraordinary film beautifully captures the cultural relationship between man and the environment, and paradoxically shows us that the men who hunt endangered whales for subsistence, are also living lives that are on the edge of extinction. 

THE SILVER HORN for the director of the film on social issues

Mehrdad Oskouei for Sunless Shadows (Iran, Norway)

‘Sunless Shadows’ is awarded the Silver Horn for being an outstanding cinematic piece of work on an important social issue. With precision, authenticity, sensitivity and creative elegance the director presents dramatic stories of domestic violence, hidden traumas, and the collective responsibility of a patriarchal society for the crimes committed by its young female individuals who are in prison for having committed murder. As great art often finds a way to combine the laughter and the tears, we find ourselves both crying and laughing in the company of these remarkable girls who courageously face death sentences while living in an Iranian prison. 

SPECIAL MENTION for Hey! Teachers! directed by Yulia Vishnevets (Russia)

For the richness of a multi-faceted story set in a seemingly ordinary backdrop, and for the insightful, bitterly ironical take on how the Russian public education system can sometimes break down the idealism of certain teachers whose altruistic goal is to educate and improve the lives of their students. 

The FIPRESCI International Film Critics Prize 

The Self Portrait (Norway) Margreth Olin, Katja Hogset, Espen Wallin  

‘The Self Portrait’ is the kind of movie that hits you from the beginning and stays with you. It’s a perfect example of real-life cinema boasting both authenticity and aesthetic vision. Heart-breaking and relevant, both brave and emotional, it is a powerful documentary about illness and art where photography can change our vision of life.

The Krakow Film Festival recommendation to the European Film Award in a documentary category: 

The Self Portrait, dir. Margreth Olin, Katja Hogset, Espen Wallin (Norway)

Punta Sacra, dir. Francesca Mazzoleni (Italy)

DRAGON OF DRAGONS AWARD for the contribution into development of the world documentary film:




GOLDEN DRAGON for the director of the best film 

Shoko Hara for Just a Gay (Germany)

Raw and straight-forward animation used in the documentary ‘Just a Guy’ strongly contributes to an overall awkwardness quality of an exceptional story being told from the perspective of three obviously misfit female characters. Absolutely aware of their unusual obsession, mostly based on sexual excitement and fascination with a notoriously famous mass murderer Richard Ramirez, on a death row, while recalling their meetings and correspondences, those three characters underline an interesting question of many different perspectives on the terms love and phantasm. 

SILVER DRAGON for the director of the best documentary film 

Alex Evstigneev for Golden Buttons (Russia)

For its harrowing depiction of how tyranny does not spare the souls of the most vulnerable amongst its citizens. Using minimalist style from fragments of footage, clandestinely obtained, the film depicts fragments of moments telling the story of how autocracy indoctrinates its youth, and its devastating effect on the emotions and psyche of its future generations.

SILVER DRAGON for the director of the best animated film

Konstantin Bronzit for He Can’t Live Without Cosmos (Russia)

Classical narrative animated short dealing with the familiar subject of growing-up and cutting the archetypal ties between mother and son – breaking with the past (mother) in order to be free and open to the future. Konstantin Bronzits’ film ‘He Can’t Live Without Cosmos’ stands out with its undeniable mastery of purely visual storytelling. The high degree of clear and precise visual language supported by the author’s distinct style gave us a beautiful visual meditation on an overall feeling of human universal loneliness, or so to say, the well-known feeling of being left on our own in the „cosmic adventure“ of growing-up.

SILVER DRAGON for the director of the best short fiction film 

Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli for Chubby (Canada)

‘Chubby’ stands out not just because of the exceptional performance of the main female character playing the young girl Jude (Maya Harman), but for choosing and mastering the most appropriate cinematic language for evoking all the layers of the clumsy uncertainty of big dramas as they happen in everyday life. Be it about children and young adults pushing boundaries while exploring sexuality, or the complex uneasiness of an ordinary event such a Christmas family gathering.


Dad You’ve Never Had directed by Dominika Łapka (Poland)

For a daring act of filming a painful and long-awaited family confrontation which goal is to search for truth, dignity but most importantly proof of love. For allowing us to look into what is usually hidden and perceived as shameful but quickly becoming familiar in the most unsettling way.


for Nina directed by Hristo Simeonov (Bulgaria)

An intimate portrait of a young girl trapped in a life of poverty and crime, and her encounter with a middle-class woman who is in the midst of dealing with her own bourgeois misfortune. Beautifully acted, sensitively written, understated and authentic, Nina tells the story of those in society who go unseen, while the rest of us go about our daily lives, with no judgement or over-dramatization, but simply as life unfold, for millions of people around the world, every single day.

Jury Award for the Best European Film (Krakow Candidate to the European Film Award 2020 in the short film category) 

Golden Buttons directed by Alex Evstigneev (Russia)

The International Federation of Film Societies (FICC) Don Quixote Award 

Innocence directed by Ben Reid (Great Britain).

This was a unanimous decision by the jury for a film that stood out amongst an impressively strong selection of films. The film is on the surface a tense crime film but it uses this as a starting point to explore an often ignored section of society and in cinema, those who are born with Down syndrome. The jury commented on the lead actor Tommy Jessop, who has Down syndrome, with his presence and central performance rising above the traditional cliché to be the proactive force that propels the film forward, not as a victim but as a fully formed and rounded character. We wish to commend the filmmakers for their resolve in bringing a marginalised group of people to the fore, displaying a decidedly humanistic outlook which is very much in keeping with the spirit of this award.

Special Mention 

I Need the Handshakes directed by Andriej Kuciła (Poland).

This film also stood out for the jury in showing the central relationship of a mother (Valiantsina) and daughter (Taссiana) living in extraordinary and trying circumstances. Taссiana has been paralysed since birth but has been cared for all her life by Valiantsina, now in her 90’s. It’s a startling expression of unconditional love and devotion by a mother for her child despite a life of sacrifice. The beautiful cinematography of the filmmaker brings the story to life, as does Taссiana’s moving poetry which she has created despite her physical disability. 




GOLDEN HEYNAL for the director of the best film 

Pushpendra Singh for Pearl of the Desert  (India, South Korea)

For its lyrical, cinematic celebration of musical heritage and the human voice. With conscientious camerawork and deliberate directing the film, which combines raw observational footage with highly dramatized scenes, reads like a coming-of-age fairy tale about a young man blessed with desire, determination, and vocal depth and dexterity.


Rubika Shah for White Riot (Great Britain)

For capturing a fan-based movement’s success in harnessing the potential of music (and musicians) to impress social awareness upon listeners, and for its precise, crafty interplay between form and content. By highlighting a certain moment in history, the film calls attention to present-day political and cultural crises wherein we could all learn a thing or two about audience-performer dialectics and racial/ethnic justice — in art and in life.



GOLDEN HOBBY-HORSE for the director of the best film funded by the President of the Polish Filmmakers Association 

Tomasz Wolski for An Ordinary Country (Poland)

For the technical excellence of the film that – avoiding the trap of opinion journalism – shows how imperceptibly evil can creep into our everyday life and how observation can become the invigilation of citizens living in an authoritarian state. 

SILVER HOBBY-HORSE for the director of the best documentary film 

Paweł Chorzępa for Sonny (Poland)

For a poignant story about the relationship between the father and the son captured with extraordinary visual sensitivity.

SILVER HOBBY-HORSE for the director of the best animated film 

Daria Kopiec for Your Own Bullshit  (Poland)

For the courageous, full of meaning and expression, combination of various techniques as well as the world of theatre and animation.

SILVER HOBBY-HORSE for the director of the best fiction film 

Damian Kocur for Beyond Is the Day (Poland)

For the mastery of the short form, which – at the human microscale – presents global problems blurring the boundary between fiction and documentary.

The Award of the Polish Filmmakers Association for the best film editing  

Katarzyna Orzechowska for The Whale from Lorino

Maciej Szumowski Award for remarkable social awareness 

leksandra Potoczek for xABo: Father Boniecki (Poland)

The Award for the best short and documentary film producer in Poland (Polish Producers Alliance 

Mikołaj Pokromski i Aldona Pokromska from Pokromski Studio for The Whale from Lorino (Poland)

Best Cinematography Award under the patronage of the Polish Society of Cinematographers funded by Coloroffon Film and Naima Film  

Kamil Małecki for Last Days of Summer (Poland)

SPECIAL MENTION for documentary film 

Pollywood directed by Paweł Ferdek

For a multi-colour journey into the world of film dreams and the hope that everything is possible. 

SPECIAL MENTION for animated film 

I’m Here directed by Julia Orlik

For the creative idea of capturing the final minutes of life, for tenderness and subtlety. 

SPECIAL MENTION for feature film 

Noamia directed by Antonio Galdamez

For a successful attempt at genre cinema



Julia Kuzka for Last Days of Summer and Alice and the Frog



Sunless Shadows directed by Mehrdad Oskouei (Iran, Norway)

For bringing us closer to the world, in which religious fundamentalism and male culture lead to the crime and regulate its punishment; the world that is a worse prison for multidimensional women than a correctional institution.





HBO Award – 10 000 PLN in cash 

Debut, dir. Aleksandra Maciejczyk, prod. Marta Gmosińska, Lava Films

ColorOffOn Award – image post-production services worth of 25 000 PLN 

Don’t Mess with Gienek, dir. Grzegorz Szczepaniak, prod. Joanna Popowicz WF Anagram

DOK Leipzig Special Mention – invitation to Co-pro Meetings in Leipzig 

Gypsy Gadji, dir. Dasa Raimanova, prod. Rafał Sakowski, Story Vehicle

FIPADOC Special Mention – invitation to pitch the project at FIPADOC Industry Days 

Easy Rider Behind the Iron Curtain, dir. Andrzej Miękus, prod. Olga Bieniek, FilmIcon

Władysław Ślesicki Film Foundation Special Mention – invitation to key European documentary industry event 

Nina Gets Married, dir. Andrzej Szypulski, prod. Anna Reichel, Fine Day Promotion

Polish Docs Pro Special Mention – support of international promotion and invitation to one of the key world documentary industry event 

When Harmattan Blows, dir.  Edyta Wróblewska, prod. Marta Dużbabel, With Passion Production


ColorOffOn Award – image post production services worth of 25 000 PLN 

Until the Wedding, dir. Daniel Stopa, prod. Małgorzata Staroń, Joanna Tatko, Staron-Film

Institute of Documentary Film Special Mention – invitation to East Doc Platform Workcenter, dir. Aniela Gabryel, prod. Agnieszka Dziedzic (Koi Studio)

Władysław Ślesicki Film Foundation Special Mentions – invitations to key European documentary industry events:

I am one of them, dir. Nadim Suleiman, prod. Jacek Bławut, Luiza Pietrzak, Palmyra Films

Lesson of Freedom, dir. Tadeusz Chudy, Bartosz Łuniewski, prod. Rafał Sakowski, Story Vehicle