At this year's Flickerfest Short Film Festival in Sydney Szczęściarzy / The Lucky Ones by Tomasz Wolski was declared the best documentary in the competition. The Jury of the Best Documentary section of the 20th Flickerfest Festival unanimously awarded the main prize - a National Geographic Award.
"Szczęściarze", dir. Tomasz Wolski, photo by docalliancefilms.com
At this year's Flickerfest Short Film Festival in Sydney Szczęściarzy/ The Lucky Ones by Tomasz Wolski was declared the best documentary in the competition
The Jury of the Best Documentary section of the 20th Flickerfest Festival unanimously awarded the main prize - a National Geographic Award - to Tomasz Wolski for the film Szczęściarzy, identifying the documentary as an unparalleled example of fantastic craftsmanship. Szczęściarzy observes the process of registering births, marriages and deaths in the Polish Office of Civil Status, each registration seems to be one of the most important moments in the life of the participant. Bureaucracy, the ordinary everyday life of individuals is intertwined with emotions and feelings, revealing a universal content.
This year, the Australian festival dedicated a section to the Eastern European country, entitled "Spotlight on Poland". Festival director Bronwyn Kidd told 'The Australian' daily newspaper that she is:
"always really keen to discover films from countries that are not traditional short film countries"
and some of the latest Polish work has an unusual strength in being:
"uncompromising, mature drama that's not often seen in the short film format."
Short films, she observed, tend to be dominated by comedy, lighter drama and coming of age stories, the latter:
"obviously because short filmmakers are younger and making films based on their life experience."
The newspaper quoted Kidd as saying that the country's short film energy more likely reflects a diffuse spirit of freedom rooted in a strong film culture, as represented by earlier, internationally recognised directors of the heft of Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polański and Krzysztof Kieślowski, and a strong national film school in Łódź. Kidd points out that not all of Poland's contemporary shorts are dark.
"The films are often very beautiful and moving", she says.
Other short films from Poland were Laska / The Chick by Michał Socha, Zietek by Bartosz Blaschke, Nowa / Newbie by Tomasz Olejarczyk, Millhaven by Bartek Kulas, Poste restante by Marcel Łoziński and Echo by Magnus Von Horn.
More on the festival at: www.flickerfest.com.au.