16. Gdańsk DocFilm Festival
The 16th edition of Gdańsk DocFilm Festival, organised by the Association for Film Education, will be held at the European Solidarity Centre. It will begin on 6 th June and last until 10th June. This year’s edition, held under its traditional motto Dignity and Work, is a unique event, as for the first time the films will compete for awards not in one, but in two competitions.
As in previous years, the Main Competition will feature documentaries from all over the world competing for the Gate of Freedom prize and a financial award of PLN 20,000, funded by the Mayor of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz. The Main Competition’s jury will be composed of the head, Kinga Dębska, and the following members: Karolina Bielawska and Rick Minnich. This year there are 27 documentary films competing for the prize, including titles from the Netherlands, Israel, Iran, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Germany and Serbia. Domestic documentary cinema also has a strong representation — in the competition we will see as many as 9 Polish productions.
In the Polish Short Film Competition, which is taking place for the first time this year, there are 20 films. Three jurors will chose the best one. The head of the jury will be Ryszard Bugajski. He will be accompanied by Anna Próchniak and Leszek Starzyński. The winner of the competition will receive the Gdańsk Cranes prize and a financial award of PLN 5,000 funded by the Polish Filmmakers Association.
As every year, after the festival screenings we will meet the authors of some of the films. The documentary screenings will be followed by interviews with, among others, Professor Thomas Elsaeser — the director of The Sun Island, an outstanding film expert, university lecturer at Yale, Columbia and in Amsterdam, Petro Aleksowski — the authorr of Aborted Mission, Marcin Borchardt — the director of the award-winning and acclaimed film The Beksiński Family. A Videophonic Album, Wojciech Klimala — the author of Hugo and with the crew of Miss Holocaust – its director Michalina Musielak, and the producers Karolina Galuba and Małgorzata Małysa. After the screenings of Polish short films, there will also be an opportunity to talk to the filmmakers: Katarzyna Warzecha – the director of It’s Really Awesome, Filip Ignatowicz — the author of New Bronx and Remigiusz Biernacki – the director of Modus Operandi, as well as its producers Karolina Galuba and Małgorzata Małysa.
Three foreign directors of documentary films will meet with the audience at teleconferences. After the screening of The Distant Barking of Dogs, we will meet the movie’s director Simon Lereng Wilmont; after the screening The World Is Mine we will meet Ann Oren. The third meeting’s guest will be with Ruth Kaaserer and it will be held after the screening of her latest film Gwendolyn.
Apart from the competition films, the organizers of the festival have planned special screenings, including retrospectives of the films by presidents of the juries, Kinga Dębska and Ryszard Bugajski, followed by meetings with the outstanding filmmakers. During the festival’s opening ceremony, there will be two non-competition screenings: the feature film Spirits of the Dead directed by Federico Fellini, Roger Vadim and Louis Malle, and The Silent Child, a film by Chris Overton, the winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
The winners of both competitions will be announced on 10th June at 19:00 during the awarding ceremony.
For more information, a full program and film descriptions, visit www.gdanskdocfilm.pl