Silver Eye Awards for Polish Films
October 27 brought the closing ceremony of the 16th edition of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in the Czech Republic. The festival’s winning films in the Silver Eye Awards section include several projects by Polish filmmakers.
Best Short Documentary
The winning film in the Short Documentary category was Wytnij wklej (Cut Paste) by Rafał Samusik. Jury members Thierry Detaille (Belgium), Jukka-Pekka Laakso (Finland) and Georgy Molodtsov (Russia) justified their decision in the jury statement: “Our decision was unanimous. While discussing the importance of donating organs for transplants, the film avoids obvious narrative solutions and the point of view of the donor. We decided to award a film that honours the best traditions in documentary filmmaking.”
Marta Sikorska of the Polish Film Institute accepted the award on behalf of the director. “On behalf of Polish filmmakers and the Polish Film Institute I would like to thank the Institute of Documentary Film and East Silver for promoting Polish documentary filmmaking. This year’s Silver Eye competitions featured a total of nine Polish films. Thank you for this recognition,” said Marta Sikorska.
The official website for Wytnij wklej (Cut Paste) is available at www.arkanastudio.pl/films/cut-paste.
Best Mid-Length Documentary
The winner in the Best Mid-Length Documentary category was Kiedyś będziemy szczęśliwi (We Will Be Happy One Day) by Paweł Wysoczański. Jury members Terry Stevens (United Kingdom), Laurien ten Houten (Netherlands) and Anna-Lena Bytröm (Sweden) said the following in the jury statement: “In our case, the jury was also quick to come to a decision. The more we discussed the award, the more our choice became obvious. We are greatly impressed by the personalities depicted in the film and the beautiful relationship between them. The story told in this film shows the power of dreams.”
The award was accepted by the film’s producer, Krzysztof Stasiak. “I would like to thank the jury and the festival for recognizing our film. I also thank the Polish Film Institute for co-financing our project,” said Krzysztof Stasiak.
The Best Feature Documentary Silver Eye Award went to Sofia’s Last Ambulance, directed by Ilian Metev. The film was made in co-production between Bulgaria and Croatia.
The Silver Eye Awards are not only a form of appreciation for the films’ artistic merit, but also an obligation to assist their creators in finding a world sales agents, ensuring that these films will be promoted at various film festivals.
We interviewed producer Krzysztof Stasiak to discuss the awards for the creators of the documentary Kiedyś będziemy szczęśliwi (We Will Be Happy One Day).
Krzysztof Stasiak: I am quite surprised by this award. It is very nice to receive it. I believe that this award is well-deserved, because the film is really quite interesting. We Will Be Happy One Day has received many awards to date, at many different festivals. The Silver Eye award is an award for the whole film – not just for the director, but for the film as a whole. So in fact it is an award for the production, for the Polish Film Institute as well, because the Institute helped produce this film. It is an award for the whole crew, but above all, it is an award for the protagonists – Daniel and his grandmother. This film is about them, but in reality it was they who made this film.
Do you keep in touch with the protagonists of your film?
We are in everyday contact. As the producer, I am practically living in the same city where they live. I temporarily moved to Świętochłowice, because I am producing other projects there as well. I am very close with the protagonists of our film, we meet occasionally, even at family events or birthdays.
How and where did Paweł Wysoczański find his protagonists?
The director met Daniel during the making of the feature film Świnki (Piggies) by Robert Gliński. Paweł was Robert’s assistant, he was responsible for casting the film, and that’s how he met Daniel. Daniel played a supporting role in Piggies, that is how they met. They spent 40 shooting days together, and that’s when the idea came up. After the end of the shoot, Daniel would phone Paweł and say: “Let’s make another film, I want to do something.” And that is how, a bit under pressure from Daniel, Paweł wrote the script; together they came up with the idea of showing Daniel wanting to make a film. Then, of course, the whole process of finding funding began. And we succeeded.
After the Jihlava Film Festival, at what other film festivals will your film be screened? What festivals are you planning to visit?
To be honest, I have lost track. There are so many festivals. Two weeks ago, the film received an award in Hollywood, at the Polish Film Festival. This was another nice surprise. That award was accepted by the director in person. I hope that this award will help to continue the film’s festival circuit, because according to the festival team, this award really serves to promote the film at other festivals. The film is available at the video library. It will also be shown in Amsterdam at the IDFA Docs for Sale market. It is also available in the libraries of East Silver and the Krakow Film Festival, where audiences can enjoy it for a full year.
The producer of Kiedyś będziemy szczęśliwi (We Will Be Happy One Day) was interviewed by Marta Sikorska.
Translated by Karolina Kołtun