Polish Documentary Film in 2010

The creators of the polishdocs.pl website created a summary of the past year, focusing on festival screenings and awards for Polish filmmakers around the world. Polish Docs is a joint project of the Polish Film Institute and the Krakow Film Foundation, which was launched in 2007 at the Sunny Side of the Docs film market in La Rochelle (France). The project is aimed at promoting Polish documentary films abroad.


The article “2010: Polish Documentary’s Successes Abroad” is a summary of the past year in Polish documentary filmmaking. As it states, the outcome of 2010 is impressive: over 300 screenings of Polish documentaries abroad, including approximately 160 competition screenings. Polish documentary films were screened at over 140 international film festivals, including some of the key events for documentary films, such as Hot Docs in Toronto, IDFA in Amsterdam, and DOK Leipzig. And that’s not all: Polish documentaries received a total of over 50 awards. Paweł Łoziński and his documentary Chemia (Chemo) received a record seven top prizes in 2010, including the Anasy Documentary Awards, the DOXA Feature Documetary Award, and the Gold World Medal at the New York Festival.

The numerous accomplishments of Polish documentary films last year include the Oscar nomination for Królik po berlińsku (Rabbit a la Berlin) by Bartek Konopka, the Golden Dove award at DOK Leipzig for Kawałek lata (A Piece of Summer) by Marta Minorowicz, an IDFA Grand Prize for Student Films nomination for Seans w kinie Tatry (A Screening at the Tatry Cinema) by Igor Chojna, the Grand Prize at the Aye Aye Film Festival in France and Best Short Documentary award at the Los Angeles FF for Szczęściarze (The Lucky Ones) by Tomasz Wolski, the award for Best Short Documentary at Estonia’s Pärnu film festival for Smolarze (Charcoal Burners) by Piotr Złotorowicz, the Little Stamp award at ZagrebDox for Otchłań (Chasm) by Wojciech Kasperski, the Grand Prize at FIDMarseille for Praca maszyn (The Work of the Machines) by Michał Mądracki, Maciej Mądracki, and Gilles Lepore, the Grand Prize for Matka (Mother) by Jakub Piątek, the award for Best Mid-Length Documentary at the Cinema Verite International Documentary FF in Iran for Chemia (Chemo), two Silver Eye awards for Koniec Rosji (At the Edge of Russia) by Michał Marczak and Takie życie… (That’s Life…) by Daniel Zieliński respectively, the award for Best Documentary Film at Italy’s Cortopotere festival for Tam, gdzie słońce się nie spieszy (Where the Sun Doesn’t Rush) by Matej Bobrik, the Best Documentary Film award for Poza zasięgiem (Out of Reach) by Jakub Stożek at the DOCSDF in Mexico, awards at Portugal’s FIKE for Mother (Best Short Film) and The Lucky Ones (Best Documentary), the Silver Nanook at the Flahertiana International Documentary FF in Russia for Chemo, the Best Short Documentary award for Cyrk ze złamanym sercem (A Heart-Broken Circus) by Marek Tomasz Pawłowski, the Prix Italia award for Lech Majewski. Świat wg Bruegla (Lech Majewski. The World According to Bruegel) by Dagmara Drzazga, the Grand Prize at the Batumi International Art-House FF in Georgia for Mother, the Best Short Film Award at the Monterrey International FF in Mexico for Sześć tygodni (Six Weeks) by Marcin Janos Krawczyk, and the Best Documentary Award at the Bangkok Indiefest in Thailand for 10 lat do Nashville (10 Years to Nashville) by Katarzyna Trzaska. Two further awards, while received in Poland, were top prizes in international competitions: the Golden Dragon award for Out of Reach at the Krakow Film Festival, the Golden Frog for Koniec lata (The Last Day of Summer) by Piotr Stasik at Camerimage and Magic Hour Award for Koniec Rosji (At the Edge of Russia) by Michał Marczak during Planete Doc Review. This is merely a selection of the top awards for Polish films in the past year.


The creators of polishdocs.pl also prepared a list of Polish documentaries most frequently screened at film festivals abroad. According to polishdocs.pl data, the top of the list looks as follows: Szklana pułapka (Glass Trap) by Paweł Ferdek, Sześć tygodni (Six Weeks) by Marcin Janos Krawczyk, and Chemia (Chemo) by Paweł Łoziński, followed by Królik po berlińsku (Rabbit a la Berlin) by Bartek Konopka, Szczęściarze (The Lucky Ones) by Tomasz Wolski, Matka (Mother) by Jakub Piątek, and Tam, gdzie słońce się nie spieszy (Where the Sun Doesn’t Rush) by Matej Bobrik.

Another fact worth mentioning is the number of retrospective screenings, presenting the achievements of Polish documentary filmmaking in recent years. Last year brought a total of approximately twenty such screenings, in places like Helsinki, Tehran, Toronto, Zagreb, Damascus, Istanbul, Thessaloniki, Kiev, Nice, Belo Horizonte in Brazil, Lublana, Perm in Russia, Neubrandenburg in Germany, and Madrid.

The source article along with a complete list of Polish documentaries screened at film festivals abroad is available at: www.polishdocs.pl.


Translated by Karolina Kołtun