Andrzej Seweryn has won the Best Actor Award at the 69th Locarno International Film Festival. Elsewhere, Anna Zamecka’s Communion has been awarded first prize in the Critics’ Week section of the competition.
Andrzej Seweryn received the Leopard for Best Actor for his role as Zdzisław Beksiński in The Last Family. The film is the debut of 32-year-old director Jan P. Matuszyński. It tells the story of the Beksiński family: Zdzisław, one of the best known Polish painters of the last few decades, his wife Zofia (Aleksandra Konieczna) and their son Tomek (Dawid Ogrodnik), a famous music journalist. The film will be screened in Polish cinemas from 30th September 2016.
This is how Andrzej Seweryn described his role in an interview given to the Polish Film Institute:
When I first saw Beksiński's paintings in the 1960s and 70s, I was very impressed. Having now revisited them years later, as originals and reproductions, when I entered that world, I was reminded of those years, and I am very glad that we will, in a sense, be showing these incredible artworks.
I have a screenplay written by Mr. Bolesto. It is a fantastic screenplay. I have an excellent director, Janek Matuszyński. I have cinematographer Kacper Fertacz. And I have my excellent acting partners Aleksandra Konieczna and Dawid Ogrodnik. All these elements, and I do apologise for using the word 'element' with regard to people, create the role. My knowledge of Beksiński supplements that, often being the determining factor but not always. All I want to say is that many people contribute to the creation of this role.
Andrzej Seweryn competed for the award with artists representing 16 other films from all over the world. The jury included Arturo Ripstein, Kate Moran, Rafi Pitts, Rodrigo Teixeir and Wang Bing. Seweryn is one of Poland’s best-known actors. He has played unforgettable film and theatre roles in both Polish and foreign productions. In 1993, he was taken on by the Comédie Française, becoming the third non-French actor in the history of the famous theatre.
Zamecka's Communion wins Critics' Week prize
This year’s Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique) prize went to Anna Zamecka’s documentary Communion. The film tells the story of a teenage girl who dreams of reconciliation with her family. Her mother moved out when she was 14, and from then on, she had to care for her dysfunctional father and autistic brother. She dreams that the family will reunite one day. Her small brother’s first communion is a chance to re-establish a relationship with her mother.
Communion is Zamecka’s full-length documentary debut. The artist graduated from the University of Warsaw in cultural anthropology and journalism, and from the University of Copenhagen in film and media studies.
This year’s competition also featured another Polish film: Monk of the Sea by Rafał Skalski. The Critics’ Week is a section of the Locarno International Film Festival devoted to documentary films. 15 Corners of the World, a documentary about the composer Eugeniusz Rudnik directed by Zuzanna Solankiewicz, and Brothers by Wojciech Staroń both won in previous recent editions.