Vita Maria Drygas won for her film “Piano” the Grand Prix and the White Cobra statuette at the 25th “Man in Danger” Festival which finished on 28 November.
The jury – documentary film artists: Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz, Paweł Łoziński and Wojciech Kasperski – unanimously awarded the main prize. “We appreciate how the drama of the Ukrainian revolution was narrated in a simple way with the use of a metaphor” was the justification of the jury’s choice.
The protagonist of Vita Drygas’s film – a student of the Kiev Conservatory – saved a piano which was being transported to the barricades. We learn about the instrument, which became a symbol of a peaceful revolution in Ukraine, thanks to four protagonists: Antonetta, the first performer of Chopin’s music and the national anthem on the Maidan, Lyudmila Chichuk, a world-famous composer, Volodimir, a soldier, and Bohdan, a masked man who finds in himself the love for the amazing piano.
The Award of the Polish Filmmakers Association went to Karolina Bielawska for the film “Mów mi Marianna” (‚Call me Marianna’) whose protagonist was born a man. After 43 years she decided to leave all the people she loved and to sue her parents because that was the only way for her to change the data in her birth certificate.
Monika Pawluczuk received the “Patient Eye” Award named after Kazimierz Karabasz) by the National Centre for Culture (Narodowe Centrum Kultury) for her film “Koniec świata”. The film comprises a few stories that intertwine during the night which was prophesied to bring the end of the world. Listeners call the radio and talk about issues that are tragic, painful, sometimes petty or even hilarious; we can see that there is a great need to talk and to be heard.
The Award of Aleksander Kamiński for overcoming dangers was granted to Mohammed Almughanni for a documentary entitled „Shujayya” showing a conflict in the Gaza Strip through the eyes of a Palestinian family which suffered in the war.
The Award of the Monumentum Iudaicum Lodzense Foundation for the best film covering the Jewish subject matter went to Tomasz Pawłowski for his “Dotknięcie Anioła” while the Award of the University of the Third Age named after Helena Kretz was given to Ewa Żmigrodzka for “Chcę żyć”. 29 documentaries chosen out of 60 candidates competed in the 25th Media Festival. The festival showed 47 films during the competition as well as during special screenings, inter alia such films as: „Nadejdą lepsze czasy” by Hanna Polak, „Królowa ciszy” by Agnieszka Zwiefka, „Mój tata Gene Gutowski” (original title: “Dancing Before the Enemy: How a Teenage Boy Fooled the Nazis and Lived”) by Adam Bardach and „Mediterranea” by Jonas Carpignano.
– I am happy that the audience, especially young audience, turned up in great numbers at a festival of difficult films. The films evoked intense emotions, which was reflected in heated discussions with the documentaries’ authors after the screenings – says Jakub Wiewiórski, the Festival director.
– This festival has a profound meaning. A documentary film is a genre that is really needed as it touches on both reality and the world that surrounds us, as well as on history and tells about fears and dangers they entail – stresses Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz.
An exhibition “Człowiek w nieskończoności zapisu” was opened during the festival. It reflects a dialogue of Andrzej Różycki – a winner of the 1st “Man in Danger” – with the works of Zofia Rydet. The exhibition will be on display in the Film Museum in Lodz till the end of the year.
Media Festival “Man in Danger” is one of the oldest Polish festival of documentary works; it has been held in Lodz since 1990. The festival winners include e.g.: Jacek Bławut, Paweł Łoziński, Henryk Dederko, Maciej Drygas and Vita Zelakeviciute.