"Viva Bel@rus" Wins in Vienna

Żywie Biełaruś, a film directed by Krzysztof Łukaszewicz and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, won the Grand Prize at the 7th Gaffa International Film Festival for Young People in Vienna.

Grand Prize and Audience Award

Żywie Biełaruś (Viva Bel@rus) received the Grand Prize and Audience Award at the 7th Gaffa International Film Festival for Young People, which closed on October 5. The awards received in Vienna mark yet another form of recognition for Krzysztof Łukaszewicz’s feature; to date, Żywie Biełaruś (Viva Bel@rus) has won awards in Brussels (Best Screenplay), Istanbul (Grand Prize), at the 38th Gdynia Film Festival (audience award in the festival’s Panorama section), and at the 14th International Historical and Military Film Festival (Golden Sabre Award for Best Feature Film).

Żywie Biełaruś (Viva Bel@rus)

The film’s main protagonist is a rock musician named Miron; his story is based on the real-life opposition activist Franak Viachorka. At first, this young man tries to steer clear of politics, and views opposition activists as a bunch of dreamers. Until one fateful day when a concert by his band becomes the venue for an anti-regime rally. As a result, Miron is forcibly drafted into the army, where he comes face to face with inhumane treatment and brainwashing. As a form of protest, he starts writing a blog entitled ‘The Life of a Soldier’, with help from his girlfriend Vera. The blog soon causes a scandal, showing the army as a miniature form of contemporary Belarus. Miron pieces together excerpts from his blog into songs, which quickly become popular hits. So the authorities decide to hit this rebellious young man where it hurts most.

A Film Supported by the Polish Film Institute

Żywie Biełaruś (Viva Bel@rus) was directed by Krzysztof Łukaszewicz, director of Lincz (Lynch) and co-author of Generał Nil (General Nil). The screenplay was co-written by Franak Viacharka, Belarusian youth leader, journalist and cultural activist. The lead roles were played by first-time actor, Belarusian musician Dzmitry ‘Vinsent’ Papko, and Karolina Gruszka. The film was lensed by Witold Stok, while original score was composed by Lawon Wolski. Żywie Biełaruś (Viva Bel@rus) was produced by Wytwórnia Filmów Fabularnych i Dokumentalnych (WFDiF), co-produced by Canal+ and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.


Further details about the Gaffa Film Festival are available at gaffa-filmfestival.at.


Paulina Bez


Translated by Karolina Kołtun