Poland’s Golden Lions roar for the animation Kill It and Leave This Town
by Ola Salwa
- Mariusz Wilczyński’s film, which premiered in the Berlinale’s Encounters section earlier this year, is the first animation ever to win the Polish Film Festival
The Polish Film Festival usually takes place in September and kicks off the autumn slate of local theatrical film releases. This year, owing to the pandemic, it moved to early December and made use of virtual screening rooms. However, not all of the competition titles were available to holders of industry and press badges, including Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert’s Oscar entry Never Gonna Snow Again [+see also:
interview: Małgorzata Szumowska and Mi…
film profile] and the eagerly awaited Magnesia [+see also:
interview: Maciej Bochniak
film profile] by Maciej Bochniak, which premiered at the (on-site) Warsaw Film Festival in October.
The jury, headed up by Lech Majewski (Valley of the Gods [+see also:
interview: Lech Majewski
film profile]), watched all 14 films in cinemas, though, and deliberated for about seven hours before they reached an unprecedented, but very well received, verdict: the main award, the Golden Lions, roared – just like on the MGM reel – for the amazing, melancholic animation Kill It and Leave This Town [+see also:
interview: Mariusz Wilczyński
film profile], which director Mariusz Wilczyński spent 14 years making. Franciszek Kozłowski, who worked on it a little less, was also lauded in the Best Sound category.
The runner-up was Sweat [+see also:
interview: Magnus von Horn
film profile], previously stamped with the Cannes label, which took home the Silver Lions, Best Director (for Magnus von Horn), both Best Actress in a Leading and a Supporting Role (respectively Magdalena Koleśnik and Aleksandra Konieczna), Best Cinematography (Michał Dymek) and Best Editing (Agnieszka Glińska). Piotr Domalewski’s second feature, I Never Cry [+see also:
interview: Piotr Domalewski
film profile], a Polish-Irish co-production, earned him the Best Screenplay Award, and his leading lady, Zofia Stafiej, was crowned Best Professional Acting Debutante. Emerging Polish composer and pianist Hania Rani took home Best Music for working on Domalewski’s film. Magnesia also triumphed: Maciej Bochniak won the Golden Claw for the so-called “Visions Apart”, which was previously the name of a festival sidebar. Additionally, his visually spectacular western snagged Best Costumes (Dorota Roqueplo), Best Production Design (Marek Warszewski) and Best Make-up (Waldemar Pokromski and Agnieszka Hodowana). Last but not least, Jan Houloubek, an experienced DoP and first-time film director, won Best Directorial Debut for 25 Years of Innocence. The Case of Tomek Komenda [+see also:
film profile], and Piotr Trojan was named Best Actor in a Leading Role. Thesp Tomasz Włosok was deemed to be Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in How I Became a Gangster, directed by Maciej Kawulski.
The newly introduced Microbudget Film Competition saw the triumph of the hypnotic Love Tasting [+see also:
film profile] by Dawid Nickel, while in the Short Film Competition, established actress-turned-director Olga Bołądź took home the main prize for Alice and the Frog. Since the festival programme wasn’t available for the general public, the Audience Award was cancelled, as was that of the journalists, who were not able to watch the entire slate of Main Competition films.
The 45th Polish Film Festival, with new artistic director Tomasz Kolankiewicz at the helm, wrapped on 12 December.
Here is the full list of award winners:
Magnus von Horn – Sweat
Michał Dymek – Sweat
Hania Rani – I Never Cry
Best Production Design
Marek Warszewski – Magnesia
Franciszek Kozłowski – Kill It and Leave This Town
Agniezka Glińska – Sweat
Waldemar Pokromski, Agnieszka Hodowana – Magnesia
Best Costume Design
Dorota Roqueplo – Magnesia
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Aleksandra Konieczna – Sweat
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Tomasz Włosok – How I Became a Gangster (Poland)
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Magdalena Koleśnik – Sweat
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Piotr Trojan – 25 Years of Innocence. The Case of Tomek Komenda
Best Professional Acting Debut
Zofia Stafiej – I Never Cry
Alice and the Frog – Olga Bołądź (Poland)
Platinum Lions for Lifetime Achievement
Feliks Falk (director)
Andrzej Barański (director)
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