Magazine article Screen International

'Silent Night' Wins Big at 42nd Polish Film Festival

Magazine article Screen International

'Silent Night' Wins Big at 42nd Polish Film Festival

Article excerpt

Piotr Domalewski’s drama takes the festival’s Grand Prix, and further prizes.

Silent Night

Piotr Domalewski’s Silent Night won the top prize at the 42nd Polish Film Festival (Sept 18), the Grand Prix Golden Lions, which came to a close in the Baltic port of Gdynia on Saturday (Sept 23).

Accepting his statuette, producer Jacek Bromski said that this was the first time that the Polish Filmmakers Association’s production arm Studio Munk - which was set up in 2008 to support the production of short and feature-length debuts - had ever received the Golden Lions award.

The main competition jury, which was headed by veteran director Jerzy Antczak, awarded the prize for best actor to Silent Night star Dawid Ogrodnik for his central performance as an economic migrant planning to finally break ties with his homeland.

In addition, Domalewski’s debut had already received another five awards ahead of the festival’s closing ceremony including the Journalists Award and prizes from the Arthouse Cinemas Network and the Polish Federation of Film Discussion Clubs.

This year the new generation of Polish feature filmmakers made a strong impression at the festival. The Grand Prix winner was one of eight feature film debuts in the Main Competition’s 17-title line-up including Bosnian-born Denijal Hasanovic’s Catalina, Pawel Maslona’s Panic Attack, and Konrad Lecki’s The Damned One.

Women filmmakers

Women filmmakers were also out in force at Gdynia this year.

As jury member Pawel Pawlikowski observed when presenting the best director award to mother and daughter directing team Agnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik for Spoor, it had been ”surprising” how many of the screened films had been made by women - from Kasia Adamik’s thriller Amok to Maria Sadowska’a box-office hit The Art Of Loving.

Indeed, the achievements of 11 women working in various categories - from direction through to editing and costume design - were recognised on the stage of Gdynia’s Musical Theatre on Saturday evening.

The Silver Lions Award went to Joanna Kos-Krauze for Birds Are Singing In Kigali which had premiered in July at the Karlovy Vary International Festival. …

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