First Look Awards 2016

This year’s First Look, Locarno’s special section for works-in-progress showcasing films currently in post-production, was dedicated to Polish cinema.

First Look Awards

The sixth edition of First Look – the Festival del film Locarno initiative aiming to showcase films in post-production – has presented six polish films. Each one was introduced by its producer to various world sales agents and festival programmers attending the Industry Days.

The jury for First Look 2016, comprising Kerem Ayan (Istanbul International Film Festival), Cameron Bailey (Toronto International Film Festival) and Bero Beyer (International Film Festival Rotterdam) handed out the First Look Awards:

  • to Birds are Singing in Kigali by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze an award worth 65 000 Euros in in post-production services sponsored by Cinelab Bucharest: for its exploring complexity beetwen host and guest and its intimate tentions between two women after the Rwanda Genocide.
  • to Zgoda by Maciej Sobieszczański an award worth 5 500 Euros in advertising, donated by Le Film Français: a 1st time director with the ability to take a new lens on an overlit historical background with the support of talented cinematographer Valentyn Vasyanovych.

Birds are Singing in Kigali

Birds are Singing in Kigali (Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali). Press materials

Beginning in 1994, in the days immediately preceding the beginning of genocide, and ending in 1997, the film tells the story of a Polish ornithologist researching the decline in the population of vultures in Rwanda. When the genocide begins, she – somewhat accidentally – saves the life of a young Rwandan girl, the daughter of her Tutsi co-worker. She brings her to Poland. But after arriving in Poland, the two women are distraught and incapable of leading a normal routine life. They try desperately to get past their horrific experience. A story about friendship, forgiveness, and the power of nature.


Zgoda. Press materials

1945. Communist secret police forces in Silesia build a labour camp for Germans, Silesians and Poles on the site of a former auxiliary camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The secret police use punishing traitors as a pretext for purging the country of enemies of the system. Franek gets a job at the camp to save the woman he loves – a Polish woman named Anna. What Franek doesn’t know is that Erwin, a German man and Franek’s friend, who has long had feelings for Anna, is also an inmate at the camp. Franek joins the communists, deluding himself that he will be able to trick the system. Zgoda is the story of a love triangle, in which two young men compete for the affection of one woman.

The full list of the 2016 selected films:

  • 13 Summer Under The Water by Wiktoria Szymańska, produced by Wiktoria Szymańska, Izabela Igel (Luna W) and Edher Campos (Machete Producciones)
  • Birds Are Singing in Kigali (Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali) by Joanna Kos-Krauze & Krzysztof Krauze, produced by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Aleksandra Bielska (KosFilm)
  • The Butler (Kamerdyner) by Filip Bajon, produced by Olga Bieniek and Mirosław Piepka (Film Icon)
  • Day of Chocolate (Dzień czekolady) by Jacek Piotr Bławut, produced by Anna Bławut-Mazurkiewicz (Aura Films)
  • I’m a Killer (Jestem mordercą) by Maciej Pieprzyca, produced by Renata Czarnkowska-Listoś and Maria Gołoś (Re Studio)
  • Zgoda by Maciej Sobieszczański, produced by Zbigniew Domagalski and Monika Błachnio (Studio Filmowe Kalejdoskop)

This year the partners of First Look were the Polish Film Institute and the Polish Audiovisual Centre Foundation.

Further details are available at:

Based on the press release