Awards of the 28th Warsaw Film Festival

28 Warsaw Film Festival
Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, Polish Film Institute


October 20 brought the awards ceremony of the 28th Warsaw Film Festival. The Warsaw Grand Prix was awarded to Tango Libre by Frédéric Fonteyne. The Warsaw Film Festival is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.


The audience and festival guests were welcomed by Stefan Laudyn, director of the Warsaw Film Festival. “Our lineup featured 130 feature films and 70 short films from 53 countries. This year’s festival was visited by 120 filmmakers from 37 countries. Thank you for coming to Warsaw, and I hope that this won’t be your last visit here,” said Stefan Laudyn. The awards gala focused on the presentation of twelve film awards and two special mentions.

Best Documentary: Fuck For Forest

Among award-winning films are several productions co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The Documentary Competition jury (Jana Cisar, Thymaya Payne and Mariusz Szczygieł) decided to give the Best Documentary Award to Fuck For Forest by Michał Marczak. Fuck For Forest screened in the Documentary Competition alongside 18 films from around the world. The award was accepted by director Michał Marczak and producer Mikołaj Pokromski. “Thank you very much for this award. This is actually the first festival where we showed this film […]. An award like this is really uplifting. I would like to thank my crew: Łukasz Grudziński, Dorota Wardęszkiewicz, Marcin Masecki, Mikołaj Pokromski. And everyone who supported us: Against Gravity, the Polish Film Institute. Thank you all,” said Michał Marczak at the ceremony. Special mention in the Documentary Competition went to The World Before Her, directed by Nisha Pahuja.

Best Director: Andrzej Jakimowski

The International Competition jury members (Katja Fillipowa, Et Hu, Jozsef Berger, Ahmet Boyacioglu, and Greg Zglinski) awarded three films among the 18 titles that screened in competition. The Special Jury Prize went to Of Snails and Men by Romanian director Tudor Giurgiu. The award for Best Director went to Andrzej Jakimowski for his feature Imagine. “I would like to thank the jury for this Best Director Award. In reality, this award should go to my wife, because she is always telling me what I should do. Unfortunately she is not here with us now, because she is watching a film in another screening room. I am sure she will join us after the screening,” said director Andrzej Jakimowski in his acceptance speech.

Warsaw Grand Prix for Tango Libre

The Warsaw Grand Prix, the main award of the 28th Warsaw Film Festival, went to the film iTango Libre, directed by Frédéric Fonteyne. The award was presented by Włodzimierz Paszyński, deputy mayor of Warsaw. “Dziękuję! [Thank you]. I learned this word because, as you may know, I filmed part of my film here in Poland, in Kalisz. We shot the film in a prison, and every time the guard opened the gates for me, I would say ‘dziękuję’. I also said it every time I left the prison. Twice a day. I would like to thank the festival and the jury. I would also like to shar this award with all the inmates at that prison, as well as with the guards and the prison warden. What they allowed us to do during the making of this film was true madness. I want to thank all the mad people who worked on this production!” said Frédéric Fonteyne, the Belgian director of Tango Libre. 

Tango Libre, a film made in co-production between Belgium, Luxembourg and France, was filmed last year in Kalisz. Lava Films served as the film’s executive producer, and was responsible for the preparation of the shooting period in Poland. Tango Libre previously screened in the Orrizonti section of the 69th Venice International Film Festival, winning the Special Jury Prize.

Audience Award: Imagine

On October 21, the winners of the Audience Award of the 28th Warsaw Film Festival were announced. The winning film in the feature category was Imagine by Andrzej Jakimowski. In the documentary category, the Warsaw audience decided that the best film of the year was Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story by Brad Bernstein. The winning film in the short film category was Kolona by Ujkan Hysaj. As for the category focusing on films for children, the winner was Twigson in Trouble, directed by Arild Ostin Ommundsen


Further details about the awards of the 28th Warsaw Film Festival available at:


Marta Sikorska


Translated by Karolina Kołtun