Polish documentaries have performed well in December 2019 with prizes at Macau, Athens and Barcelona… and there’s Slamdance to come.
The short film Dam by Natalia Koniarz won Best Documentary at the Sound & Image Challenge International Festival in Macau. In the film a father and his son meet to spend time together in the countryside after they had previously cut off contact. However, a pleasant and cdrefree weekend it isn’t. They must build a dam together…
Emilia Śniegoska’s 19:91 won a Special Mention from the Kids and Docs jury at the 22nd Olympia International FF for Children and Young People. The film charts the relationship between a German volunteer carer, Jette (19), and Mrs Zosia, a 91-year-old Polish woman who spent her teenage years in Auschwitz.
The short doc Leocadia’s Dream by Krzysztof Nowicki won the Audience Award at the Barcelona Planet Film Festival. The film tells the story of Leocadia who runs a soon-to-be shut down vinyl shop in the centre of Barcelona. When she dies, what will become of the ephemera that she has gathered all her life, and which nobody needs?
Meanwhile, Michał Bielawski’s The Wind about the violent and transformative halny wind, experienced in the Polish mountains, is selected for Slamdance Breakout Features Competition in January 2020. The festival describes The Wind as a multi-thread story on a clash between people and the forces of nature, woven into a documentary thriller.
Bielawski’s film follows hot on the heels of fellow countryman Marcin Borchardt’s The Belsińskis: A Sound and Picture Album which played in Documentary Features Comp in 2019.