Janusz Mrozowski Wins in Belfast

On April 21, the grand prize in the documentary film competition at the 13th Belfast Film Festival went to Bad Boy – cela dla niebezpiecznych (Bad Boy. High Security Cell), directed by Janusz Mrozowski. This marks the latest recognition for Bad Boy, a film that has received support from the Polish Film Institute.

Janusz Mrozowski’s Film Awarded in Belfast

This year marked the eighth edition of the Documentary Panorama section of the Belfast Film Festival, where documentary films from around the world competed for the Maysles Brothers Award. Among the 20 films screening in this section, six were competition films. In addition to Mrozowski’s Bad Boy, the Documentary Panorama lineup featured such films as the Oscar®-nominated The Gatekeepers by Dror Moreh, or the IDFA award-winning Pablo’s Winter by Chico Pereira.

“An Extraordinary Feat”

The prize for Bad Boy. High Security Cell was awarded by jury members Fionola Meredith (journalist) and David Barker (documentary filmmakers). “Bad Boy is an extraordinary feat. Set in the solitary confinement wing of a high security prison, it features only one man: Damian, a convicted […] bank robber. The stark context provides the condition for a compelling meditation on selfhood, powerlessness and the hope of a new life,” reads the jury statement.

Film Supported by the Polish Film Institute

The director accepted the award in person. “I dedicate this award to the Polish Prison Service (Służba Więzienna), which gave me complete freedom in the making of this film. This is also an award for the protagonist of my film, Damian, who trusted me. I want to thank my French editor Karine Olivier for her very professional attitude in our cooperation, and the Polish Film Institute for its support,” said Janusz Mrozowski in Belfast.

The Story of Damian

Bad Boy – cela dla niebezpiecznych (Bad Boy. High Security Cell) tells the story of Damian, who is currently in a Tarnów prison, serving a 10-year prison sentence for armed robbery. For two weeks, the director accompanied the protagonist in his cell, observing his experience of complete isolation. Bad Boy. High Security Cell has to date screened at a number of film festivals, including the Warsaw Film Festival, IDFA, ZagrebDox, and DocPoint Helsinki.


Marta Sikorska


Translated by Karolina Kołtun