Awards at International Film Festivals for "Birds are Singing in Kigali"

Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali), a film co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, received the Award for Best Director and Acting Awards in Chicago, as well as the Grand Prize in Luxembourg.

Awards in Chicago and Luxembourg

The Main Competition Jury at the 53rd Chicago IFF, comprised of Anne Zohra Berrached, Nick Davis, Leticia Dolera, Daniel Dubiecki and Tzi Ma, awarded the Best Director title to Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze for Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali). The film also received the Grand Prize at the CinEast 2017 Festival in Luxembourg.

Best Director and Best Actress

Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze received the prestigious Silver Hugo award for Best Director at this year’s edition of the Chicago International Film Festival, while Jowita Budnik and Eliane Umuhire received the awards for Best Actress.

The jury statement for the Silver Hugo Best Director award reads as follows: “This film sets itself a huge challenge, both artistic and ethical, of evoking a tragedy without simply re-staging its events or relying on sentimentality to move its audience. The tough, inventive direction allows such risks to pay off, alternating between realist and poetic styles in ways that achieve a tremendous emotional force, expanding the boundaries for how trauma can be commemorated on screen. The jury acknowledges with sorrow the many places around the globe where this story remains relevant, and honours Joanna Kos-Krauze as well as, posthumously, her late husband and co-director, Krzysztof Krauze.”

The jury statement for the Silver Hugo Best Actresses award presented ex aequo to Jowita Budnik and Eliane Umuhire reads: “The only way to honour these two performances, so dissimilar in style yet perfectly in sync, is to award a joint citation. Each actress brought depth and power to the scenes that emphasised her character, making Anna and Claudine accessible to the audience without divulging all their secrets. When acting together, they conveyed a unique symbiosis, sometimes painful, sometimes comforting, that will bond these women forever.”

Grand Prize

In Luxembourg, at the tenth edition of the CinEast International Film Festival, the jury led by French director Anne Fontaine, announced that “the CinEast 2017 Grand Prix has been unanimously awarded to the film Birds Are Singing In Kigali by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze. A moving film whose great mastery never stifles the emotion. The Jury particularly appreciated the exceptional performances of the actresses.”

The top prize of the 53rd Chicago IFF and the Gold Hugo Award went to Rodzina na sprzedaż (A Sort of Family), a film directed by Diego Lerman, lensed by Wojciech Staroń, and made as a co-production between Poland, Argentina and Brazil. At the CinEast 2017 festival, the Audience Award in the Documentary Competition went to Zofia Kowalewska’s short documentary Więzi (Close Ties).

Marta Sikorska 

Translated by Karolina Kołtun