They have traveled far and wide, reaching audiences on across the continents - from the Americas to Taiwan - their deep humanist message convincing juries to award them top prizes
Magdalena Berus, Klaudia Bułka, Nikodem Rozbicki and Michał Trzeciakowski in Katarzyna Rosłaniec's "Baby Blues", photo: Łukasz Niewiadomski/ Kino Swiat
They have traveled far and wide in 2013, reaching audiences on across the continents - from the Americas to Taiwan - their deep humanist messages convincing juries to award them top prizes
Małgorzata Szumowska - In the Name of...
The film revolves around a priest who initiates a small, creative meeting group for difficult youth in his parish. The good rector is very much liked by his people, from whom he is nonetheless hiding his complicated past. In an interview, Szumowska explained that she portrayed her protagonist as a man struggling with loneliness. According to the director, the themes of the film are faith, doubt and the longing for feelings.
"A very up-to-date commentary about the present situation in the Church", as the director of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival Dieter Kosslick, where the film had its world premiere. "Małgośka Szumowska’s visually powerful film, charged with striking imagery from Christ’s Passion, dares to broach the still-taboo topic of homosexuality in the priesthood", the Berlinale synopsis stated.
The screenplay was written by Szumowska in cooperation with Michał Englert, the cinematographer for In the Name of... The lead is played by Andrzej Chyra and the accompanying cast includes Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Maja Ostaszewska, Łukasz Simlat, Tomasz Schuchardt, Maria Maj, Olgierd Łukasiewicz and amateur actors.
Top Awards in 2013:
- Best Feature Film at the 27th Mix Milano Film Festival, a festival dedicated to LGBT cinema
- Grand Prix at the International Feature Film Award of the Dortmund Festival of Women’s Films
- Teddy Award for best film on LGBT topics at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival
- Award at the 10th edition of the Neisse Film Festival
Katarzyna Rosłaniec - Baby Blues
Equating pregnancy with ordering a meal at a fast-food restaurant, Katarzyna Rosłaniec’s film takes a hard look at 21st-century aberrations. The director portrays challenges faced by teenagers in a world driven by imitation and illusion. The film’s protagonist is 17-year-old Natalia whose role models - Britney Spears and Nicole Richie - have kids, and she gets pregnant to "have someone to love". Natalia roller-skates the sidewalks of Warsaw, pushing a pram in front, wearing a perfectly matched outfit.
The film is praised for the "pleasingly raw" acting of amateurs Magdalena Berus and Nikodem Rozbicki, and for "attention to costumes, which are more carefully designed than a Lady Gaga appearance", as Boyd van Hoeij writes for Variety. "Far more than just another in the long line of films about teen pregnancy", Robert Bell says in his review for Exclaim, the director "establishes a disturbingly realist vision of modern society, where teenage girls think nothing of offering up their bodies for the opportunity to work in low-end retail establishments or casually snort cocaine while holding an infant. [...] an unflattering quotidian where morality and self-respect are secondary to fleeting modes of validation."
Top Awards in 2013:
Grzegorz Zariczny - The Whistle
Screened at over 20 international film festivals to date, The Whistle is the Polish winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2013. "A very honest story about a young man who tries to make something of his life", as the film's director, Grzegorz Zariczny, puts it. Thirtysomething Marcin is from a small town near Kraków. He is in no hurry to enter adult life. His reluctance meets with his mother’s disapproval. She expects him to make decisions and take action, specifically to find a better job and a wife.
Marcin is trying to make it as a football referee. Every week at amateur matches he has to listen to rough comments and opinions about his work from players and fans. Zariczny tells Lech Moliński in an interview for the Portal Filmowy website:
I wanted to talk about someone normal. It seems to be the norm that there are movies about doctors, lawyers, very educated people, and so few about normal people. […] I also want to give something to the protagonists, similarly to [the work of director] Jacek Bławut. […]. I didn’t want the director or the film crew to be the most important figures of the film, because that leaves the protagonist at the far end.
Top Awards in 2013:
- Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2013
- Best Short Documentary Film Open City Docs Fest in London
- Main prize of the Kino Pavaris Short Film competition, Lithuania
- Best Short Film of the 10th edition of the International Festival of Documentary Films in Madrid - Documenta Madrid
- Best Short Film Award at the Slovak Febio Fest Festival
Editor: MJ 09.07.2013
Sources: culture.pl, PISF