"Ida" Wins in Warsaw and London

The past weekend has brought two grand prizes for Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida, a film co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Ida won the top awards at the 29th Warsaw Film Festival and the 57th London Film Festival.


Ida, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, is the story of two women: a novice nun who learns of her Jewish roots, and her only surviving relative – a Communist activist. The film stars Agata Kulesza and first-time actress Agata Trzebuchowska, with supporting performances from Joanna Kulig and Dawid Ogrodnik.


Warsaw Grand Prix at the 29th Warsaw Film Festival

At the closing ceremony of the 29th Warsaw Film Festival, Ida received the festival’s grand prize: the Warsaw Grand Prix. International Competition jury members Iulia Rugină (Romania), Yariv Horowitz (Israel), San Fu Maltha (Netherlands), András Muhi (Hungary), and Krzysztof Varga (Poland) justified their choice in the following words: “From this superb combination of script, directing, cinematography, acting and music comes a beautiful and delicate film that portrays a 1960s post-war Polish society, trying to get past its demons.” Ida also received the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Warsaw Film Festival. Ecumenical jury members included Lukas Jirsa (Czech Republic), Jarosław Szoda (Poland) and Professor Dr Jean-Michel Zucker (France).

Grand Prize at the 57th London Film Festival

Jury members Philip French (film critic), Lone Scherfig (director), Miranda Richardson (actress), Deborah Moggach (screenwriter) and Rodrigo Prieto (cinematographer) selected Ida as the winner of the Grand Prize in a competition that featured a total of 13 films from around the world. “The jury greatly admired Ida, the first film made in his native Poland by a director who came to prominence while living in Britain. We were deeply moved by a courageous film that handles, with subtlety and insight, a painfully controversial historical situation – the German occupation and the Holocaust – which continues to resonate. Special praise went to his use of immersive visual language to create a lasting emotional impact,” reads the jury statement.


Further details about the awards of the 57th London Film Festival are available at: www.bfi.org.uk.

“A Small Gem”

Ida also gained acclaim among film press at the London Film Festival. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw stated in his review that Pawlikowski’s feature is “a small gem, tender […] and sad, superbly photographed […].” Bradshaw compares Ida to the classic Polish film school and references the works of Truffaut, Béla Tarr, and Aki Kaurismäki.

“A Particular Sense of This Period”

In a review for Cineuropa.org, Charel Muller emphasizes that Ida “has a particular sense of this period, in which the shadow of the war was still ubiquitous.” Muller also praised the film’s cinematography: “Every shot seems meticulously composed, frequently using unusual camera angles and framings. Furthermore the […] black and white contrast, the different shades of grey, are gorgeous and make Ida a cinematic experience which ought to be seen on the big screen. TimeOut’s reviewer Tom Huddleston writes that the film shows “incredible beauty and mounting discomfort: a direct reflection of how sheltered Ida views the strange, terrifying world she’s thrust into.”


More reviews of Ida are available here.


Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida, which to date has received awards in Gdynia, Toronto, Warsaw, and London, will be released theatrically in Poland on October 25. Distribution in Poland is handled by Solopan.


Translated by Karolina Kołtun