Winners of the 29th WFF

Laureaci 29. WFF. Fot. Marcin Kułakowski, PISF
Winners of the 29th WFF. Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, Polish Film Institute


The awards ceremony of the 29th Warsaw Film Festival was held on October 19 at Warsaw’s Multikino cinema. The Warsaw Grand Prix went to Ida, a film directed by Paweł Pawlikowski and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.


International Competition jury members Iulia Rugină (Romania), Yariv Horowitz (Israel), San Fu Maltha (Netherlands), András Muhi (Hungary), and Krzysztof Varga (Poland) justified their choice in the following words: “From this superb combination of script, directing, cinematography, acting and music comes a beautiful and delicate film that portrays a 1960s post-war Polish society, trying to get past its demons.”


Ida also received the Award of the Ecumenical Jury; jury members included Lukas Jirsa (Czech Republic), Jarosław Szoda (Poland) and Professor Dr Jean-Michel Zucker (France).

“A Simple Story”

The award for Best Director went to Zaza Urushadze for his film Tangerines. “The director of the film succeeded in telling a simple yet very powerful story in a manner that created a warm, delicate, sweet and sour world,” reads the jury statement.


The Special Jury Award went to Uljana Kim and Roberts Vinovskis, producers of The Gambler, a film directed by Ignas Jonynas.

First-Time Filmmakers

1-2 Competition jury members Sára Cserhalmi (Hungary), Adrian Panek (Poland) and Stefan Valdobrev (Bulgaria) presented the award ex aequo to two films: Japanese Dog by Tudor Cristian Jurgiu “for tenderness in showing the characters and the world” and to Alienation by Milko Lazarov “for the unadorned and poetic narration of a fundamental theme.”


Special Mention went to Seduce Me, a film by Marko Šantić, “for the cleverly formulated story-telling and the outstanding performance of the main character.”

Free Spirit Competition

Jury members Mira Fornay (Slovakia), Arkadiusz Jakubik (Poland) and Bojan – Vuk Kosovčević (Serbia) gave the Free Spirit Award to Much Better than You, a film directed by Ché Sandoval. The jury appreciated the simplicity of storytelling in this film and its free spirit in a comedy genre film about the important topic of the transformation of intimacy and gender roles in modern society, told from the male anti-hero’s point of view.


Special mention went to Rites of Passage, a film by Phillip Crawford. The jury statement focused on the director’s interesting approach to filmmaking based on his social work experience.

Documentary Films

Jury members Cathy Pearson (Ireland), Dagne Vildziunaite (Lithuania) and Michał Marczak (Poland) gave the Award for Best Documentary Film to Dirty Wars, a film by Richard Rowley.


“We [chose] Dirty Wars because of its outstanding filmmaking and also for its courageous line of questioning. There is humanity to this film which values a single life above and beyond any governing system. It provokes thought and leaves us moved well after it is over,” reads the jury statement.

Short Films

Jury members Lendita Zeqiraj (Kosovo), Paweł Maślona (Poland) and Benjamin Parent (France) presented the following awards:

  • Short Grand Prix (Best Short Film): Pandas, directed by Matúša Vizár, for a “cynical, sad, dark, horrible but yet again hilarious reminder of what humanity has become. Pandas is an original masterpiece of storytelling.”
  • Best Animated Short: Hasta Santiago, directed by Mauro Carraro, for a “beautifully art directed visual choreography and emotional story; excellence in animation [reminiscent of] the greatest masters of animation.”
  • Best Live Action Short: Whale Valley, a film directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, for its “outstanding cinematographic expression of a human relationship, with [an] externally perceptive direction and remarkable […] performances.”


FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) jury members Alison Frank (United Kingdom), Gideon Kouts (France) and Dejan Trajkoski (Macedonia) presented the award for Best Eastern European Debut. The winner of this award was Yozgat Blues by Mahmut Fazila Coskun for “its moving and full of humour portrait of human relations in a well adapted cinematographic language.”


The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) jury members Magdalena Bartczak (Poland), Yelena Larionova (Kazakhstan) and Andreas Ungerböck (Austria) gave the award for Best Asian Film in WFF Lineup to the Kazakh film Harmony Lessons by Emir Baigazin for “the depiction of a highly sensitive subject matter […] in a striking visual manner, for its perfect casting and its amazing feeling of mise-en-scene.”


The 29th Warsaw Film Festival was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.


Aleksandra Różdżyńska


Translated by Karolina Kołtun