Accolades for Polish Filmmakers in Canada
small, Accolades for Polish Filmmakers in Canada, Still from Kacper Czubak's "18kg", photo: Polish Shorts, dox main 21 05_6944670.jpg
At Vancouver’s Doxa Documentary Film Festival, awards go to Kacper Czubak’s film on AIDS in Zambia and Adam Palenta’s short insight into swimming championships for the disabled.
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"The story of AIDS in Africa has been depicted many times on screen", the festival jury said on giving the DOXA Short Documentary Award to Kacper Czubak for the documentary 18 kg. They chose Czubak's depiction, they said, as "this film's focus on an abandoned boy and the Sister who cares for him puts an intimate and authentic lens on an oft-told story".
A 2012 production of 24 minutes, 18 kg is set in the Kasisi orphanage in Zambia, home to children who no one else wants. Staffed and operated by Polish nuns, it is the last resort for children who are sick and dying from malnutrition and disease. One little boy named Francis is fighting for his life. If he can reach his goal weight of 18 kg, the sisters promise him that he will have new pencil crayons and the chance to go to school. But it is not a fair fight between one little boy and HIV.
"The film deals with large themes of faith, terminal illness and desperation", , the jury added, "but always stays centered in the heart. 18 kg is exceptionally well crafted, with understated dignity, verité filmmaking at its best. While we admired all the nominees, surprisingly, this small and simple film had lasting impact".
The screening of the film in Canada and the award have helped recruit new volunteers and physicians at the orphanage inZambia, as the Polish filmmaker said upon receiving the award, "Francis will be very happy to hear that! Thanks to the good news he is quickly gaining weight!"
Kacper Czubak (born 1980) is a cinematographer and film director, and a graduate of the Radio and Television Faculty at Silesia University in Katowice. He is a holder of the scholarship of the Faculty of Film and TV at the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague. As a cinematographer he has made several documentaries in Africa and Asia. He also shoots short feature films. The film Hermits is his directing debut.
A film capturing the warm-up of the competitors at the Swimming World Championship for the Disabled, Adam Palenta’s Freestyle Life received the Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming Mention. The 10-minute production from 2012 underlines the other face of competition – competing with one’s own limitations.
Adam Palenta is a director and cinematographer. He graduated from the faculty of Television and Cinema Image Realization and the faculty of Photography at the Krzysztof Kieślowski Radio and Television Department at the Silesia University. He also graduated from the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing.
Sources: DOXA Documentary Film Festival website, Polish Shorts, Polish Docs, Kraków Film festival website, Sophisti.pl, sfp.pl
editor: MJ 21.05.2013