Jurek, a documentary film directed by Paweł Wysoczański and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, received the Grand Prize at the 23rd Poprad International Mountain Film Festival.

Another International Award for Paweł Wysoczański’s Documentary

The Poprad International Mountain Film Festival is Slovakia’s largest mountain film festival. The competition films were judged by jury members Krzysztof Kokoryn (Poland), Eberhard Jurgalski (Germany) and Jakub Zipser (Slovakia). The festival’s Grand Prix of the jury went to Paweł Wysoczański’s documentary Jurek. The film was recognized for its detailed and complex portrayal of one of the most prominent mountain climbers in history. The award in Poprad marks the latest addition to the list of international awards for Paweł Wysoczański’s film. This documentary about Jerzy Kukuczka has previously received the Grand Prize at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, as well as awards at film festivals in Bratislava and Tegernsee.

A Film About Jerzy Kukuczka

Jerzy Kukuczka dies on October 24, 1989 during an expedition to Lhotse. This was his first expedition to the Himalayas with funding and proper equipment; by then, he was a mountain climbing celebrity. His death was brought on by a mixture of unfortunate circumstances, even coincidence — an almost unavoidable tragedy. However, Paweł Wysoczański’s documentary does not focus on the mystery of Kukuczka’s death. Instead, it is a portrait of a man climbing his way up — in the literal as well as the metaphorical sense. From a zero to a hero. From communist blue collar worker to internationally-acclaimed star. From a man climbing with no money or equipment to Reinhold Messner’s full-fledged rival in competing for the Crown of the Himalayas and Karakorum. An exceptional and modest man who simply loved the mountains.

This collection of interviews with friends and family, archive footage, photographs, recordings, excerpts from television interviews make for a portrait of the entire mountain climbing community of the 1980s. It is also a portrait of the times they lived in — a time that was as colourful as it was difficult; a time when ideals were valued more than fame.

A Film Supported by the Polish Film Institute

The film was written and directed by Paweł Wysoczański, director of Kiedyś będziemy szczęśliwi (We Will Be Happy One Day), lensed by Jacek Kędzierski, and scored by Michał Lorenc. Jurek was produced by Black and White Productions and co-produced by Instytucja Filmowa Silesia Film and Telewizja Polska S.A. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, the City of Katowice, and the Silesian Film Fund.

The official website of Jurek is available at:

Source: Polish Docs