THREE POLISH FILMS WINS AT IDFA
On November 21, the award ceremony at the IDFA - International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam was held. Three Polish documentary films: "Dancing for You" by Katarzyna Lesisz, "In Touch" by Paweł Ziemilski and "Summa" by Andrei Kutsila return from the festival IDFA with awards.
The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA is the largest and one of the most important documentary film festivals in the world. Every year, it attracts almost 250 000 viewers, is visited by over three thousand people from the most important organisations in the documentary film industry, and the films shown at IDFA are often festival favourites later on. This year, IDFA is held from November 14 to 25, but the festival awards were presented on November 21.
A strong representation of Polish documentary films was invited to the festival, six of them was in the competition, and during the closing ceremony, three Polish productions won the awards.
The film directed by Katarzyna Lesisz "Dancing for You" won the IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary in the Kids & Docs Competition. The documentary tells about twelve-year-old Wiktor, who is a pupil at a renowned ballet school. He’s preparing for an event of enormous importance in school life; the ‘promo show’, which decides whether or not he’ll be ‘promoted’ and move up to the next grade. All the teachers and all the pupil’s parents take part in the occasion. His grandmother is his companion as he practices for the performance, but his dream is that his father, who lives abroad, will come to the show.
The Polish-Belarus co-production "Summa" directed by Andrei Kutsila, received the IDFA Award for Best Mid-Lenght Documentary. The film tells story about a young Belarusian artist, who leaves her husband behind in Minsk to visit her friend, the elderly painter Andrzej Strumillo, in his idyllic manor house in Poland. For her, the trip offers a welcome diversion from city life; for him, it’s a break from a lonely existence marked by old age. The pleasant routine of drawing, talking, horse-riding and chores around the house is interrupted only by calls from the artist’s husband, who wants her to come home. But she wants to stay longer—she isn’t finished here yet…
In the same competition The IDFA Special Jury Award for Mid-Length Documentary went to "In Touch" by Paweł Ziemilski. "In Touch" is a film about people from Stare Juchy, a village located in north‑east Poland, where one third of the inhabitants emigrated to Iceland. In a visual journey, the film allows those families divided by huge distance a chance for a vague moment to reunite and become one again. By using sound from everyday Skype conversations In Touch also explores the relations between those who migrated and those who are left behind.
Nine another Polish films were presented in this year’s festival’s program: "Diagnosis" by Ewa Podgórska at IDFA First Appearance Competition, “Unconditional Love” by Rafał Łysak at IDFA Competition for Short Docs, “Connected” by Aleksandra Maciejczyk at IDFA Competition for Student Docs, "Compulsory Figures" by Ewa Kochańska and "Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski" by Irek Dobrowolski. at Luminous Section, "Home Games" by Alisa Kovalenko at Bests of Fests, “Father and Son” by Paweł Łoziński and “Father and Son on a Journey” by Marcel Łoziński – in the section ME. All the filmmakers attended festival and introduced their films to the audience.
In the special section Top Ten by Helena Třeštíková the documentary from 1974 "First Love" by Krzysztof Kieślowski was screened.
The full list of award-winning films is on the website of the festival IDFA.