Kyoto Grand Prix for Kuba Czekaj

The Grand Prize of the 13th edition of the Kyoto International Student Film and Video Festival went to Ciemnego pokoju nie trzeba się bać (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Room) by Kuba Czekaj.


The director was present to accept the award in person. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Room uses a unique childlike style in both the visual and sound areas to tell the story of an eleven-year-old girl’s boundless love for her father. The film also tackles the issue of the condition of men in the contemporary world.


Kuba Czekaj, who wrote and directed the film, told us in an interview: “I’ve had this idea for a long time to tackle the issue of the condition of the father within a family. For a while I thought about how to express it; then I realized that the most genuine image would be that presented from the point of view of a small child. That’s one thing, and the other is that years later I came across a book from my childhood, featuring poems by Ewa Szelburg-Zarembina, including her popular poem “Idzie niebo ciemną nocą”. I thought it would be an excellent juxtaposition of a naive interpretation of the world with the brutal reality of adult life. That was the starting point for writing the script and later directing the film.”


Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Room had previously received awards at a number of film festivals, including those in Tirana, Kosovo, Portugal, and Vancouver. Kuba Czekaj also won the “Talenty Trójki” award of the Polish Radio Programme 3.

The Kyoto award marks another recognition for the film, which was produced by Munk Studio within the 30-Minute programme framework.


Press release


Translated by Karolina Kołtun