Five Polish films have been awarded at the 59th DOK Leipzig, one of the most important documentary festivals in Europe.
The documentary Close Ties by Zofia Kowalewska received a Golden Pigeon Award at the 59th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film. This story about a 45-year-long marriage with a turbulent past is the only Polish film that will compete for the Academy Award for short documentary. Zdzisław left Barbara, moved out, and started a new life with his lover. After some years, he falls ill and returns to his wife to repair their marriage.
Close Ties is the documentary debut of Zofia Kowalewska, a 21-year-old student of directing at the National Film School in Łódź. The presentation of the film in Leipzig was its world premiere.
A Golden Pigeon was also given to Filip Jacobson, director of the film Lesson of Patriotism (Lekcja Patriotyzmu), a short, black-and-white documentary which tells the story of a patriotic song competition in a school in provincial Poland. Jacobson’s subtle short film turns out to be horrifying story about nationalism coming to life and about how martyrdom becomes the only commonly accepted version of patriotism.
Communion (Komunia) by Anna Zamecka was also awarded at the Leipzig competition. It’s the story of a teenage girl who wants to use the ceremony of her brother’s communion to unify her family, separated since her mother moved out. Zamecka’s film, which was awarded at Locarno Film Festival last year, received the Young Eyes Film Award at DOK Leipzig.
The MDR Award for the best film from Eastern Europe went to the Polish-Russian film Convictions by Tatyana Chistova and the animated film by Renata Gąsiorowska entitled Cipka received the Audience Award from Mephisto Radio 97.6.
DOK Leipzig is one of the most important documentary and animated films festivals in Europe. Over 300 films, including over 40 Polish productions, were presented over the duration of the 59th edition of the festival.