"In Darkness" Wins Gdynia FF
Juliusz Machulski and Agnieszka Grochowska. Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, Polish Film Institute
The winners of the 37th Gdynia Film Festival have been announced. With a total of nine awards including the Golden Lions Award for Best Film, this year’s undisputed winner of the festival is W ciemności (In Darkness) by Agnieszka Holland. The Silver Lions Award went to Obława (Manhunt) by Marcin Krzyształowicz. The jury also gave a special prize to Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic – the Path to Beyond) by Anca Damian. The Platinum Lions Award for lifetime achievement went to cinematographers Witold Sobociński and Jerzy Wójcik.
Agnieszka Holland’s Second Golden Lions Award
The Golden Lions Award for In Darkness is the second Gdynia top prize in Agnieszka Holland’s career as a director. In 1981, she received the Golden Lions Award for her feature Gorączka (Fever). As Holland was unable to appear at the awards ceremony, actress Agnieszka Grochowska read a letter of thanks from the director. “We are deeply grateful and very happy to receive such recognition for our work. We owe the final outcome of this film to the true heroes of this story, and to the passion and dedication of our screenwriter. I am happy to share this day with my friends from the ‘Zebra’ film studio, Juliusz Machulski and Wojciech Danowski. I would like to dedicate this award to my mother. It was she who taught me to be sensitive and full of empathy towards other people’s suffering. She taught me that the tragedy that befell Jewish people really affects us all: Jews, Poles, all of mankind. It poses fundamental, and ever so valid, questions about human nature. We have no right to forget it,” wrote Agnieszka Holland.
Platinum Lions for Witold Sobociński and Jerzy Wójcik
The Platinum Lions Awards for lifetime achievement went to acclaimed Polish cinematographers Witold Sobociński and Jerzy Wójcik. Their awards were presented by Andrzej Wajda, Janusz Majewski and Jacek Bromski. “I would like to thank the jury for this fantastic award. I would like this award to become a way of thanking all the filmmakers I have worked with over the years. I would like to thank everyone from the film studios, members of the film industry, and audiences […] for noticing my images […] images seen by millions of viewers in Poland and many countries around the world,” said Jerzy Wójcik in his moving acceptance speech.
Best Photography by Jolanta Dylewska
Jolanta Dylewska received the Best Photography award for her work on Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness. “I am touched by the jury’s verdict, I am very moved and extremely happy to be receiving this award in the presence of my two masters: Jerzy Wójcik and Witold Sobociński. I was lucky and privileged to be able to learn from them. […] I would like to thank the whole crew […]. You have given me excellent working conditions. […] To make the type of film images for which you receive the Golden Frog, the Eagle Award, and now the Lions, you must really stand next to a director who is truly an artist and a visionary; a director who loves cinema. I owe this award to Agnieszka, because […] she was able to bring me into this darkness,” said Jolanta Dylewska as she accepted the award presented to her by jury member Caroline J. Libresco.
Special Mention of the Jury
The jury also decided to recognize the creators of Sekret (Secret) and Pokłosie (Aftermath) “for [their] courage in grappling subject matter that had not been previously addressed in Polish filmmaking, but that we feel is important.”
Fantastic Year of Polish Cinema
“I would like to congratulate all winners. And a special thanks to Polish filmmakers for the many wonderful films this year. Polish cinema has had a fantastic year, with over 11 million admissions to Polish films. […] I sincerely hope that this excellent result is repeated this year. I would also like to thank audiences for increasingly choosing to watch Polish films,” said Agnieszka Odorowicz, General Director of the Polish Film Institute, at the festival’s closing ceremony.
The 37th Gdynia Film Festival Winners List:
- Grand Prize of the 37th Gdynia Film Festival – Golden Lions Award for Best Film: director Agnieszka Holland and producer Juliusz Machulski for W ciemności (In Darkness);
- Silver Lions Award: Marcin Krzyształowicz and producers Małgorzata Jurczak andKrzysztof Grędziński for Obława (Manhunt);
- Special Jury Prize: Anca Damian for Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic – the Path to Beyond);
- Platinum Lions for Lifetime Achievement: Witold Sobociński andJerzy Wójcik
- Best Director: Agnieszka Holland for W ciemności (In Darkness);
- Best Screenplay: Wojciech Lepianka and Piotr Trzaskalski for Mój rower (My Father’s Bike);
- Best Actress: Agnieszka Grochowska in W ciemności (In Darkness);
- Best Actor: Robert Więckiewicz in W ciemności (In Darkness);
- Best Photography: Jolanta Dylewska for W ciemności (In Darkness);
- Best Film by First- or Second-Time Director: Leszek Dawid for Jesteś bogiem (You’re a God);
- Best Acting Debut: Marcin Kowalczyk in Jesteś bogiem (You’re a God);
- Best Make-up: Janusz Kaleja for W ciemności (In Darkness);
- Best Sound: Piotr Witkowski and Sebastian Włodarczyk for Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic – the Path to Beyond);
- Best Editing: Wojciech Mrówczyński and Adam Kwiatek for Obława (Manhunt) and Michał Czarnecki for W ciemności (In Darkness);
- Best Supporting Actor: Dawid Ogrodnik and Tomasz Schuchardt in Jesteś bogiem (You’re a God);
- Best Supporting Actress: Joanna Kulig in Sponsoring (Elles);
- Best Costume Design: Katarzyna Lewińska for W ciemności (In Darkness) and Sponsoring (Elles), and Jagna Janicka for W ciemności (In Darkness);
- Best Production Design: Erwin Prib, Katarzyna Sobańska, and Marcel Sławiński for W ciemności (In Darkness);
- Best Score: Piotr Dziubek for Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic – the Path to Beyond);
Translated by Karolina Kołtun