Polish Golden Lions tremble in Fears
by Ola Salwa
- Moving LGBT drama Fears by Łukasz Ronduda and Łukasz Gutt is the big winner of the Polish Film Festival, while the first runner up is Leave no Traces by Jan P Matuszyński
After COVID-19 caused the 2020 edition to be a virtual one, the 2021 Polish Film Festival unspooled in the city of Gdynia between September 20 and 25. The atmosphere of the national gathering, led for the second time by Tomasz Kolankiewicz as artistic director, was positive; some voices even argued that finally, a young generation of filmmakers is taking over Polish cinema. However, this statement has been repeated many times over the past few years already, and so far, the revolution in Polish cinema hasn’t happened yet. And yet, evolutionary changes towards making the industry more open, diverse and professional are constant.
The verdict of the jury, headed by Polish veteran director Andrzej Barański, was quite a surprise, although in a good way – the Golden Lion went to Fears directed by Łukasz Ronduda and Łukasz Gutt. The film is loosely based on the life of visual artist Daniel Rycharski, who is both gay and a devout catholic, with the story revolving around his life in a provincial town, capturing its homophobic atmosphere and the complete rejection of the LGBT community by the church.
Łukasz Gutt, who is also an experienced DOP, left Gdynia with a Best Cinematography Award. Silver Lions roared for Venice main competition runner up Leave no Traces [+see also:
interview: Jan P Matuszyński
film profile] by Jan P. Matuszyński, which also won a Best Production Design award (for Paweł Jarzębski).
Polish-American drama with body horror notes Mosquito State [+see also:
film profile] got its director Filip Jan Rymsza the Golden Claw for Vision Apart – an award handed to the most experimental film of the selection. Additionally Mateusz Adamczyk, Sebastian Witkowski and Zofia Moruś won Best Sound awards. Visual extravaganza Other People [+see also:
interview: Aleksandra Terpińska
film profile], a Polish Warner Bros. coproduction, snagged the Best directorial debut award (Aleksandra Terpinska), Best Actor in Leading role (Jacek Beler) and Best editing award (Magdalena Chowańska). Łukasz Grzegorzek was named Best Director for his dramedy My Wonderful Life [+see also:
interview: Łukasz Grzegorzek
film profile], while other individual awards went to Marcin Ciastoń (Best Screenplay for Operation Hyacinth), Teoniki Rożynek (Best music in Prime Time [+see also:
interview: Jakub Piątek
film profile]), Daria Siejak (Best Make up for Operation Hyacinth), Marta Ostrowicz (Best Costume Design for The Getaway King), Sławomira Łozińska (Best Actress in a Supporting Role), Maria Dębska (Best Actress in a Leading Role), Andrzej Kłak (Best Actor in a Leading Role), Michał Sikorski (Best Professional Acting Debut). Additionally, Agnieszka Holland as a first female director received the Lifetime Achievement Award – Platinum Lions. In a moving speech, she also addressed the Polish government’s decision not to allow Afghan refugees and urged Polish citizens not to be indifferent to that tragedy.
Full list of awards:
Fears – Łukasz Ronduda, Łukasz Gutt (Poland)
Marcin Ciastoń – Operation Hyacinth (Poland)
Łukasz Gutt – Fears (Poland)
Best Production Design
Paweł Jarzębski – Leave No Traces (Poland)
Mateusz Adamczyk, Sebastian Witkowski, Zofia Moruś - Mosquito State (Poland/USA)
Magdalena Chowańska – Other People (Poland)
Daria Siejak – Operation Hyacinth (Poland)
Best Costume Design
Marta Ostrowicz – The Getaway King (Poland)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Sławomira Łozińska – The Tenant. You Can’t Burn Us All (Poland)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Andrzej Kłak – Prime Time (Poland)
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Maria Dębska – Autumn Girl (Poland)
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Jacek Beler – Other People (Poland)
Best Professional Acting Debut
Michał Sikorski – Sonata (Poland)
Short-film competition winner
Brother the Fisherman – Alicja Sokół (Poland)
Platinum Lions for Lifetime Achievements
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