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59th Film Festival - Award Winners

Festivals 2019-06-03

"Advocate", "Portrait of Suzanne", "My Country So Beautiful" and "Once Aurora" are the golden winners of the 59th Krakow Film Festival. On Saturday, June 1, in the Kijów.Center, in a room that was filled to the brim, the international jury awarded prizes to the best documentary, short and animated films that competed for the praise of experts and audience in Krakow cinemas throughout the whole festival week.

- The evening that we have before us will be full of joy, emotions and surprises - said Patrycja Wanat, who is the host of the closing gala of the 59th Krakow Film Festival while launching the evening. The award ceremony was attended by representatives of the film industry and cinema lovers from around the world. The evening was graced with a recital by Mikołaj Trzaska, who was also a member of the jury of the DocFilmMusic competition.

The documentary film "Advocate" (directed by Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaiche) secured the victory in the International documentary film competition, and thus the opportunity to apply for an Oscar nomination. Leah Tsemel, the protagonist of the film, has been defending cases deemed for failure for fifty years. Being an Israeli activist for human rights, she became famous mainly as a judicial defender of the Palestinians, including those accused of terrorism. The jury, chaired by Jacek Petrycki, which also included Talal Derki (Germany), Marja Pallassalo (Finland), Shane Smith (Canada) and Ágnes Sós (Hungary), recognized that this film was created with precision, insight and humor, that not only shows a heroic woman struggling against adversities, but also a person who inspires us with her unwavering conviction that justice can and ultimately will win. The film also received the KFF recommendation for the European Film Award.

The Silver Horn for the medium-length documentary was given to David Ofek and Tal Michael for the film " Around the Bed of a Dying Collaborator" (Israel), while the second Silver Horn, for the best full-length documentary, went to Adán Aliagi and Àlex Lora for "The Fourth Kingdom" (Spain, USA) , Mexico). The documentary has also received the award of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI).

The winner of the oldest festival competition - International Short Film Competition - was Izabela Plucińska for the film "Portrait of Suzanne" (Poland, Germany, France). The jury, led by Polish director Xawery Żuławski, awarded the director with the Golden Dragon award for mastery in shaping matter and a brilliant balancing between surrealistic vision and reality. According to the jury, this work is complete and delightful.

Silver Dragons are prizes awarded to the best short films representing all film genres of the competition. The Silver Dragon for the best documentary was awarded to Aleksandra Maciejczyk for the production of "Connected" (Poland). The best animated film has been recognized as the French-Belgian “Under The Rib Cage" (directed by Bruno Tondeur), and the Silver Dragon for best short feature film went to Dekel Berenson for the film "Ashmina" (Great Britain, Nepal). The Macedonian animation "Edna" directed by Vuk Mitevski has been chosen the KFF candidate for the European Film Award in the short film category.

The Norwegian documentary "Once Aurora" (directed by Stian Servoss, Benjamin Langeland) was chosen by the Jury chaired by Brett Morgen as the best documentary musical film and at the same time the laureate Golden Heynal.

The main character of the film Aurora Aksens is called the wonderful child of Björk and is one of the most charismatic singers of the young generation. In the film, the artist opens the door to her magical world . The jury awarded the film for raising the genre, which is a musical document, to a higher level. The film also received the student jury award.

The Golden Hobby-Horse in the Polish Competition was awarded to Grzegorz Paprzycki's "My Country So Beautiful". The jury, under the leadership of Maciej Karpiński, awarded the prize for taking up the current topic, following the tradition of the Polish documentary film participating in public life.

The best Polish animated film was "Acid Rain" by Tomasz Popakul. This is the second Silver Hobby-Horse in the artist's career - the first one he received for the film "Ziegenort" in 2013. This time, the jury appreciated the director for proving that the visually attractive animation language can be a tool for understanding important phenomena of the present day.

The Silver Hobby-Horse for the director of the best documentary film went to Andrea Kutsila for the film "Summa", which according to the jury  has a humanistic message, expressed in a mature, harmonious form.

The third Silver Hobby-Horse, for the best feature film, went to Helena Oborska for the film "Bitten" for a different approach to interpersonal relationships and for the search for the original language in film.

The Norwegian documentary "The Men’s Room" directed by Petter Sommer and Jo Vemud Svendsen was recognized by the festival audience as the best film of  59.KFF.

At the end of the Krakow Film Festival, the awards of KFF Industry and DOC LAB POLAND were also presented.

The screenings of the awarded films will take place on Sunday, June 2 in the Małopolska Garden of Arts starting from 12:00.

A detailed program can be found at: www.krakowfilmfestival.pl

The 60th Krakow Film Festival will take place from May 31 to June 7, 2020.