"Rosa" Wins in Warsaw
The awards ceremony of the 27th Warsaw Film Festival.
Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, Polish Film Institute
The winners of the 27th Warsaw Film Festival, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, were announced on October 15. Three out of the four Polish features screening in Main Competition were recognized by the Jury. The Warsaw Grand Prix, the main prize in the International Competition, founded by the City of Warsaw, went to Róża (Rosa) by Wojciech Smarzowski. Rosa also won the Audience Award of the Warsaw Film Festival. The Special Jury Prize for Best Actor went to Robert Więckiewicz for his performance in Wymyk (Courage) by Greg Zglinski. Courage also received the Ecumenical Jury Award. Two awards also went to Crulic. Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic), directed by Anca Damian. These were awards of the International Competition Jury and the Ecumenical Jury.
Winners of the International Competition
The Warsaw Grand Prix, the top prize in International Competition, founded by the City of Warsaw, went to Róża (Rosa), directed by Wojciech Smarzowski.
“It makes me very happy to know that our film can move audiences not only in Poland, but also abroad,” said Smarzowski in his acceptance speech.
The award for Best Director went to Santiago Amigorena for Another Silence (Argentina / Canada / Brazil / France).
The Special Jury Prize for Best Actor went to Robert Więckiewicz for his performance in Wymyk (Courage) by Greg Zglinski.
“For me this is an unbelievable surprise, because as far as I know, this festival does not have acting awards. Anyway, I would really like to thank Greg Zglinski who sort of did this for me,” said Robert Więckiewicz.
The Polish-Romanian co-production Crulic. Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic), directed by Anca Damian, received Special Mention of the Jury.
Films in International Competition were judged by jury members: Christa Saredi (Switzerland), director Bogdan George Apetri (Romania / USA), director Alvaro Brechner (Uruguay), director Milcho Manchevski (Macedonia), and producer Artem Vassilev (Russia).
Jury members Sitora Alieva, director of the Sochi film festival (Russia), Mira Staleva, director of the Sofia Meetings film market (Bulgaria), and director Paweł Sala (Poland), awarded the film Portret v Sumerkakh (Twilight Portrait) by Angelina Nikonova (Russia).
Free Spirit Competition
Jury members Jane Schoettle, programmer of the Toronto film festival (Canada), director Paweł Borowski (Poland), and director Auraeus Solito (Philippines), decided that the Free Spirit Award should go to Pompeya, directed by Tamae Garateguy (Argentina).
The jury recognized two other films: Gordo, Calvo y Bajito (Fat, Bald, Short Man) directed by Carlos Osuna (Columbia), and El Alma de las Moscas (The Soul of Flies) directed by Jonathan Cenzual Burley (Spain).
Documentary Film Competition
Jury members: Liat Benhabib, head of the audiovisual department of the Yad Vashem Institute (Israel), director Christian Frei (Switzerland), and director Janusz Mrozowski (Poland / France), voted A Bitter Taste of Freedom by Marina Goldovskaya (Sweden / Russia / USA) as Best Documentary Feature.
Special Mention of the Jury went to Buck by Cindy Meehl (USA).
Short Film Competition
Jury members: Anne Parent, coordinator of the Clermont-Ferrand film market (France), director Grzegorz Jaroszuk (Poland), and director Sergio Oksman (Spain) awarded the following prizes:
- Best Short Film – Short Grand Prix: The Making of Longbird, directed by Will Anderson (United Kingdom)
- Best Animated Short Film: Brandt Rhapsodie, directed by Francois Avril (France)
- Best Live Action Short Film: Silent River, directed by Anca Miruna Lazarescu (Romania)
The FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) jury members: Carmen Gray (New Zealand / United Kingdom), Ola Salwa (Poland), and Dean Kotiga (Croatia), awarded the prize for best Eastern European debut. The winning film was Avé, directed by Konstantin Bojanov (Bulgaria).
Ecumenical Jury Award
Jury members: Guido Convents (Belgium), Hans Hodel (Switzerland), Marek Kotyński (Poland) granted the award to Wymyk (Courage) by Greg Zglinski (Poland).
The jury statement reads: “In an excellent and sophisticated cinematographic language Courage deals with the issue of moral courage and the sense of guilt. It appeals for more personal responsibility. The film is set in today’s Poland and the drama can be perceived as a kind of Abel and Cain story.”
The jury also gave special mention to two films: Crulic. Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic) by Anca Damian (Romania / Poland), and Matiere Grise (Grey Matter) by Kivu Ruhorahoza (Rwanda / Australia).
The jury statement reads: “Crulic is based on the true story of a Romanian emigrant named Crulic in Poland who is accused of having robbed a Polish judge. This animated feature-length documentary, using mixed animation techniques, [reveals] the often discriminatory attitude of authorities towards foreign migrants. It gives a voice to a man who died in an inhumane way, without being heard; a man who had been deprived of his most elementary human rights.”
Arkadiusz Wojnarowski, the film’s Polish producer, dedicated both awards to Claudiu Crulic, the film’s protagonist.
The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) jury members: film promoter Amaia Torrecilla Olasolo (Spain), director Jeffrey Jeturian, reżyser (Philippines), and film critic/journalist Konrad Wągrowski (Poland), awarded the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film in the competition sections of the Warsaw Film Festival to No. 89 Shimen Road, directed by Haolun Shu (Hong Kong / Netherlands).
Audience Awards of the 27th Warsaw Film Festival
- feature film category: Róża (Rosa), directed by Wojciech Smarzowski
- documentary film category: Buck, directed by Cindy Meehl
- short film category: North Atlantic, directed by Bernardo Nascimento
- children’s film category: A Cat in Paris, directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
The 27th Warsaw Film Festival was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The Polish Film Institute also co-financed several of the awarded films: Róża (Rosa), Wymyk (Courage), and Crulic. Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic).
Jury member Christa Saredi summarizes the verdict of the Main Competition Jury:
Christa Saredi. Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, Polish Film Institute
“It was a very difficult choice – our five-member jury watched a total of 20 competition films. The selection of winning films was made in a democratic and public majority vote […]. Rosa is made with a great attention to detail, and deals with very important subject matter. Personally, I believe that this film will surely gain acclaim in the region, as well as among Polish audiences. Rosa focuses on the past, on ways of registering and discussing past events. Greg Zglinski’s Courage, the other Polish film in competition, is a contemporary and extremely universal story […]. Courage is a very convincing film, with a great dose of psychological probability. The film is excellent in terms of acting, and with fantastic dialogue. Zglinski expresses himself through images, which makes it easier to understand the reactions of the protagonist’s family. Although the two Polish films screening in competition are so different from one another, we decided to give recognition to both.”
Further details about the 27th Warsaw Film Festival available at www.wff.pl.
Translated by Karolina Kołtun