Polish Films Awarded in Chicago

Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei (Wałęsa. Man of Hope) by Andrzej Wajda and Chce się żyć (Life Feels Good) by Maciej Pieprzyca have received awards at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival.

Main Competition – Award for Robert Więckiewicz

Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei (Wałęsa. Man of Hope) screened in Main Competition at the Chicago Film Festival as one of 18 films from around the world. Jury members Sarah Bouyain (France), Burghart Klaussner (Germany), Lúcia Murat (Brasil), Donald K. Ranvaud (Italy/United Kingdom), and Robert Teitel (USA) decided to present the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actor to Robert Więckiewicz, who played the role of Lech Wałęsa. “With the extraordinary direction of the great master Andrzej Wajda, Więckiewicz achieves a complete symbiosis between and actor and his interpretation of a world personality of great impact,” reads the jury verdict. The film had also been featured as one of TimeOut Chicago‘s top festival picks.

Chce się żyć (Life Feels Good) Awarded in New Directors Competition

Among the 13 films screening in the New Directors Competition for first and second films, the jury decided to award the Silver Hugo Award to the Polish feature Chce się żyć (Life Feels Good). Jury members Jonathan Howell (USA), David Robinson (United Kingdom) and Ryan Werner (USA) said the following about their verdict: “[This film] fearlessly portrays a young victim of cerebral palsy, and all the frustrations of a keen intelligence incapable of communication with the outside world. Its triumph is to remain affirmative and uplifting, without recourse to contrived happy endings. It is, above all, remarkable for the performances of Dawid Ogrodnik and Kamil Tkacz, capturing the two ages of the central character.”

Polish Films in Chicago

The lineup of the 49th Chicago IFF, which ran from October 10 through October 24, featured a total of seven films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. In addition to the two awarded films, this list included Płynące wieżowce (Floating Skyscrapers) by Tomasz Wasilewski, W imię… (In the Name Of…) by Małgorzata Szumowska’s, Papusza by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze, Nieulotne (Lasting) by Jacek Borcuch, and the short animated film Ziegenort by Tomasz Popakul.


Further details about the Chicago IFF awards are available at: www.chicagofilmfestival.com.


Marta Sikorska


Translated by Karolina Kołtun