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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Poland

Quo Vadis, Aida? voted Best Film at the Polish Film Awards

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- Jasmila Žbanić’s movie, a minority co-production with Poland, has won an impressive haul of prizes, also including Best Director, Best Script and Best Editing

Quo Vadis, Aida? voted Best Film at the Polish Film Awards
The winners of this year's Polish Film Awards (© Piotr Molęcki/East News)

The Polish Film Awards (also known as the Eagles) are as international as it gets this year, as the top three awards – Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay – have gone to Quo Vadis, Aida? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jasmila Žbanić
film profile
]
by Jasmila Žbanić. The film was co-produced by ten countries, including Poland – established producer Ewa Puszczyńska (Ida [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
, Cold War [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
) was on board as the Polish partner of the project. In her moving acceptance speech, she said that she has noticed that people are getting used to the war in Ukraine, just like at a certain point they got used to war in the former Yugoslavia, and this should not happen. She pleaded for people not to grow accustomed to the evil being perpetrated in the world.

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The Polish crew of Quo Vadis, Aida? included editor Jarosław Kamiński, who nabbed the award in his category. While there is no dispute over the artistic value of Žbanić’s film, the decision of the Polish Film Academy members did raise a few eyebrows, since the local stake in the other hopefuls was strong across all of the categories. Previously, only one film not in the Polish language has taken home the top award – The Pianist [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Roman Polański. This historic win by Quo Vadis, Aida? could be a good pretext to talk about the international impact and significance of the Polish industry and Polish filmmakers in the European market.

Another international angle, which recurred at the Polish Film Awards gala, was the support for Ukraine voiced by many presenters and winners. The Polish Film Academy also paid tribute to Ukrainian filmmakers who have lost their lives during the war, and a special video message from Oleh Sentsov, whose two recent films Rhino [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Numbers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Oleg Sentsov
film profile
]
were co-produced with Poland, was shown. Additionally, costume designer Dorota Roqueplo, who took home an Eagle for her work on Magnesia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maciej Bochniak
film profile
]
, reminded those present about the refugee crisis that has been going on at the Polish-Belarusian border since autumn 2021.

Magnesia also snagged the Best Make-up Award (for Waldemar Pokromski and Agnieszka Hodowana), while two Eagles went to Back to Those Days, for Best Actor (Maciej Stuhr, giving, as he put it, his most important performance) and Best Music (Marcin Masecki). Wojciech Smarzowski’s drama The Wedding Day [+see also:
film review
interview: Wojciech Smarzowski
film profile
]
earned him the Audience Award and Best Cinematography (for Piotr Sobociński Jr, who won an Eagle last year for his work on I Never Cry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Piotr Domalewski
film profile
]
).

Aside from these, all films nominated snatched one prize apiece: My Wonderful Life [+see also:
film review
interview: Łukasz Grzegorzek
film profile
]
scooped Best Actress (Agata Buzek), Back Then [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Best Supporting Actress (Ewa Wiśniewska), Sonata [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
Best Sound (Artur Kuczkowski, Tomasz Sikora), The Balcony Movie [+see also:
film review
interview: Paweł Łoziński
film profile
]
by Paweł Łoziński Best Documentary, and Autumn Girl Best Production Design (Wojciech Żogała). Seasoned cinematographer Łukasz Gutt was voted Best New Talent for co-directing Fears [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, and Jan Holoubek’s Netflix-produced Mire’97 snagged the Best TV Series Award.

The Leave No Traces [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan P Matuszyński
film profile
]
crew probably had the most bitter pill to swallow because out of 13 nominations, the film only won one – for Best Supporting Actor (Jacek Braciak). Additionally, Jerzy Skolimowski, who recently won the Cannes Jury Prize for Eo [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Małgorzata Szumowska, which also contributed to the international feel of the gala.

Here is the full list of award winners:

Best Film
Quo Vadis, Aida? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jasmila Žbanić
film profile
]
- Jasmila Žbanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Austria/Germany/France/Netherlands/Norway/Poland/Romania/Turkey/Montenegro)

Best Director
Jasmila Žbanić – Quo Vadis, Aida?

Best Screenplay
Jasmila Žbanić – Quo Vadis, Aida?

Best Actress
Agata Buzek – My Wonderful Life [+see also:
film review
interview: Łukasz Grzegorzek
film profile
]

Best Actor
Maciej Stuhr – Back to Those Days

Best Supporting Actress
Ewa Wiśniewska – Back Then [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

Best Supporting Actor
Jacek Braciak – Leave No Traces [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan P Matuszyński
film profile
]
(Poland/France/Czech Republic)

Best Sound
Artur Kuczkowski, Tomasz Sikora – Sonata [+see also:
film review
film profile
]

Best Cinematography
Piotr Sobociński Jr – The Wedding Day [+see also:
film review
interview: Wojciech Smarzowski
film profile
]
(Poland/Latvia)

Best Editing
Jarosław Kamiński – Quo Vadis, Aida?

Best Music
Marcin Masecki – Back to Those Days

Best Costumes
Dorota Roqueplo – Magnesia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maciej Bochniak
film profile
]

Best Make-up
Waldemar Pokromski, Agnieszka Hodowana – Magnesia

Best Production Design
Wojciech Żogała – Autumn Girl

Audience Award
The Wedding Day - Wojciech Smarzowski

Best Documentary
The Balcony Movie [+see also:
film review
interview: Paweł Łoziński
film profile
]
Paweł Łoziński

Discovery of the Year
Łukasz Gutt – co-director of Fears [+see also:
film review
film profile
]

Lifetime Achievement Award
Jerzy Skolimowski

Best European Film
Another Round [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands)

Best TV Series
Mire’97 – Jan Holoubek

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