small, Starting Point on Oscars Documentary Shortlist, punkt-wyjscia-1-fot-studio-munka.jpg, A still from Starting Point directed by Michał Szcześniak, photo: Munk Studio
On 26th October The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a list of ten contenders in the field of Documentary Short Subject, of which five will earn Oscar nominations. One of the chosen films is Starting Point by Michał Szcześniak, a debut documentary produced by Munk Studio. The final ten has been chosen out of 74 films that qualified for the Oscars longlist.
Starting Point tells the story of Aneta, a woman sentenced to prison at the age of 19 for murder. After nine years in confinement, she began working as a carer for the elderly. Every day she goes from the prison to a nursing home and looks after an old lady suffering from rheumatism. Meeting Helena is an important life lesson for Aneta.
Przemysław Niczyporuk was responsible for the film’s cinematography. It was produced by Munk Studio-SFP together with co-producer Studio Filmowe N. Michał Szczęśniak’s film has already received many awards including a Jantar at the 33rd "Młodzi i Film" Festival for Best Documentary Short and in 2015 it got an award at the Documenta Madrid Festival. The film was also screened at Kameralne Lato Festival, Opolskie Lamy Festival, NURT Documentary Film Festival and the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Kiev. In 2014, Starting Point received The Golden Frog Award for Best Documentary Short at the Camerimage International Film Festival, and in June 2015 an award for Best Documentary Short at the Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015.
The ten films shortlisted in the race for Oscar nomination are:
- Body Team 12 by RYOT Films and Vulcan Productions
- Chau, beyond the Lines by Cynasty Films
- Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah by Jet Black Iris America
- 50 Feet from Syria by Spin Film
- A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness by SOC Films
- Last Day of Freedom by Living Condition
- Minerita by Kanaki Films
- My Enemy, My Brother by Fathom Film Group
- Starting Point by Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association
- The Testimony by Atria Film in association with Escape Artists
The chosen five films for the Oscar nominations will be announced on 14th January 2016. The 88th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on 28th February 2016.
Source: Polish Docs, edited by BS, translated by ND, October 2015