Więzi (Close Ties), a film directed by Zofia Kowalewska produced by the Polish Filmmakers Association’s Munk Studio and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, has been shortlisted for this year’s Academy Awards and will compete for an Oscar nod in the Best Documentary Short Subject category.

Więzi (Close Ties) Shortlisted for the Oscars

Zofia Kowalewska’s Więzi (Close Ties) is the only Polish short documentary to be shortlisted for this year’s Academy Awards. The film is eligible to be one of five short docs to receive a nomination in the Best Documentary Short Subject category. The film was produced by the Polish Filmmakers Association’s Munk Studio and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

“It is a true honour. I am very happy and touched. I would like to thank my grandparents for their trust, courage and openness in sharing their story. I would like to thank my crew and everyone who helped in the making of this film. It is our joint success,” said Zofia Kowalewska after the shortlisted titles were announced.

The Oscar qualification for Więzi (Close Ties) was brought by its win of the Silver Dragon award at the 56th Krakow Film Festival in June 2016. The jury recognised the film as a heart-warming and humorous documentary and a touching rumination on love, devotion and forgiveness. The Krakow screening marked the film’s world premiere.

Nine other documentaries have been shortlisted for the Academy Awards, out of a total of 61. The complete list is available at www.oscars.org/news/10-doc-shorts-oscars-2016-shortlist#disqus_thread

Zofia Kowalewska’s Debut

Więzi (Close Ties) marks Zofia Kowalewska’s debut. She began working on the film when she was in her last year of high school. It is the story of Barbara and Zdzisław, a couple who has been married for 45 years. Eight years ago, Zdzisław left Barbara and moved in with his mistress. But he decided to come back to his wife, and Barbara took him in. But returning to their shared life proves to be a difficult task. Zdzisław suggests organising an anniversary celebration.

To date, the film has screened at eight film festivals, winning awards at three. In addition to the 56th Krakow Film Festival, the film has also received the Amber Award for Best Short Documentary at the 35th “Young and Cinema” Festival in Koszalin, and Third Prize in the Polish Competition at the 16th T-Mobile New Horizons IFF in Wrocław. Więzi (Close Ties) has also received the audience award at film festivals in Opole and Świdnica.

Oscar Nominations Announced January 24, 2017

Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 24, 2017. Before that, Więzi (Close Ties) will be competing for awards at the DOK Leipzig festival, which begins next Friday, and at the IDFA festival in Amsterdam in mid-November.

Więzi (Close Ties) was lensed by Weronika Bilska, with sound design by Krzysztof Ridan. The film was edited by Jerzy Zawadzki. Katarzyna Zariczny Produkcja Filmowa is executive producer and co-producer.

One of the films shortlisted for the Academy Awards last year was Michał Szcześniak’s Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point), a documentary co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and produced within the framework of the “First Documentary” programme at the Polish Filmmakers Association’s Munk Studio.

The official website for Więzi (Close Ties) is available at: closeties-film.com/.

Based on the press release

Translated by Karolina Kołtun