Nadejdą lepsze czasy (Something Better to Come), a feature documentary by Hanna Polak, received the Special Jury Recognition Award in Hot Springs.

Special Jury Recognition Award for Hanna Polak

Hanna Polak received the Special Jury Recognition Award at the 24th Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival for her feature documentary Nadejdą lepsze czasy (Something Better to Come), a film co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Another International Award

The Hot Springs award is only the latest addition to the long winning streak of Hanna Polak’s latest film. Nadejdą lepsze czasy (Something Better to Come) has previously received the Special Jury Prize at IDFA, the Grand Prize at the Art Doc Festival in Moscow, the Grand Prize in the Foreign Film Competition at the Dok.Fest in Munich, the Special Jury Prize at Zagreb Dox, the Alpe Adria Cinema Award for Best Documentary at the Trieste IFF, and the award for Best Documentary Film at the Valetta Film Festival.

Kickstarter Oscar Campaign

The film is in the running for an Academy Award nomination, and the Oscar campaign is open to public support through its Kickstarter campaign, which runs through the end of October. In 2005, the previous film by Hanna Polak and Andrzej Celiński, Dzieci z Leningradzkiego (The Children of Leningradsky), was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary — Short Subject category.

Nadejdą lepsze czasy (Something Better to Come)

The film is set in Europe’s largest landfill, which is 17 stories high and over two kilometres long. This walled area is closed off; nobody is allowed in, except for the garbage trucks that come in and out with the terrifying clockwork precision of a robot. This place, or Svalka as it is called, is ‘forbidden land’ — vast and endless. And yet there is more to this place than just the in-and-out garbage trucks. There is almost a thousand people living here; the poorest social group in Russia, those who have nothing. Svalka is their final destination, their only shelter, their final stop before the last and only solution: death.

Eleven-year-old Yula, the film’s protagonist, is one of these people. Cut off from the outside world by the concrete walls of Svalka, she officially does not even exist. Yula grows up in a world of poverty and decay. But, like any teenage girl, Yula has dreams. She laughs, she falls in love, she dyes her hair and puts on make-up to look pretty. She makes jokes, listens to music, reads magazines she has pulled out from the pile of trash to learn about the outside world; a world that she can only dream of, a world she can only see from a distance — from the enormous pile of garbage that is her home. The beautiful city, full of colourful lights, beckons to her from a distance. The lights and blinking ads of Moscow shine in all their splendour, winking with impudence at the destitute inhabitants of Svalka. People on this side of the fence can only dream of a normal life. And they do. They dream of happiness and normality, which seem to be just around the corner, just beyond that fence. Yula has only one dream: to get out of that landfill.

A Film Supported by the Polish Film Institute

Nadejdą lepsze czasy (Something Better to Come) is a Polish-Danish co-production. The film was produced by Hanna Polak Films and Danish Documentary Production, co-produced by HBO Europe, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, and was presented at the first edition of Docs to go! in Krakow.

Polish Theatrical Release on November 27

Hanna Polak’s Nadejdą lepsze czasy (Something Better to Come) will be released theatrically in Poland on November 27, 2015. Distribution in Poland is handled by Against Gravity.

The film’s official website is available at:

The film’s Kickstarter campaign is available at:

Translated by Karolina Kołtun