From 7th to 12th May Gdynia hosted the Gdynia Films Festival, one of the largest film events in Poland and the only that promotes Polish cinematography on such a large scale. Each year the festival holds a contest where the newest productions compete for Grand Prix of Golden Lions. Agnieszka Holland’s W ciemności was an absolute victor of this year festival.
It was the first time the festival took place under a new, more international name – Gdynia Film Festival. The Movies were placed in 18 sections: Main Competition, Polish Film Panorama, Young Cinema Competition, Polish Independent Cinema Review, Retrospective of the Chairperson of the jury, Retrospective of the Platinum Lions Winners, Special Screenings, Polonica, On the horizon: Romania, Unknown pieces, Pure Classics, Kuba Morgenstern Evening, 36th Gdynia Film Festival Winner Screening, Films from Gdynia, Screening with Audio Description, Sign Language Screening, Gdynia for Children and Open-Air Film Scene. The festival was accompanied by 5 exhibitions: Jerzy Hoffman. Cinema with the history in the background – a monographic exhibition for 80th birthday of the director; Jerzy Kawalerowicz. The painter of the Tenth Muse, which was prepared for 90th birthday and 5th death anniversary of the artist; Portraits exhibition by Henryk Pietkiewicz presenting portraits of persons associated with the Polish cinematography; an original exhibition of posters for movies which were never created – A Cinema of Andrzej Dudziński. Posters of films that weren’t there and the Smile exhibition dedicated to the youngest audience of the festival.
This year the festival held two contests: Main Competition with this year’s Chair of the jury director Dorota Kędzierzawska and Young Cinema Competition appraised by the jury chaired by director Marcin Wrona. In this year’s edition the Grand Prix of Golden Lions went to Agnieszka Holland for W ciemności. Amongst the other winners there were: Marcin Kryształowicz, who was honoured with Silver Lions for Obława (Manhunt); Agnieszka Grochowska and Robert Więckiewicz received awards for best ‘actress and actor in a leading role’; Leszek Dawid, director of Jesteś bogiem (You are God) received a prize for best debut or second film, and Marcin Kowalczyk for professional acting debut in the same film. The Platinum Lions prize for lifetime achievements were awarded to the cameramen: Jerzy Wójcik and Witold Sobociński. See below for the full list of the winners:
GRAND PRIX "GOLDEN LIONS" for best film W ciemności (In darkness) directed by Agnieszka Holland
GRAND PRIX "GOLDEN LIONS" for producer of the best film W ciemności (In darkness) - Juliusz Machulski
"SILVER LIONS" AWARD for Obława (Manhunt) directed by Marcin Krzyształowicz
"SILVER LIONS" AWARD for producers of Obława (Manhunt)– Małgorzata Jurczak and Krzysztof Grędziński
SPECIAL PRIZE OF THE JURY for the courage in the form and the contents of the film as well as for unique artistic values for the film Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic – The Path to Beyond) directed by Anca Damian
- for Agnieszka Holland for directing W ciemności (In darkness)
- for Piotr Trzaskalski and Wojciech Lepianka for the screenplay of Mój rower (My Father’s Bike)
- for Leszek Dawid for directing debut or second film Jesteś bogiem (You are God)
- for Agnieszka Grochowska as the actress in a leading role in W ciemności (In darkness)
- for Robert Więckiewicz as the actor in a leading role in W ciemności (In darkness)
- for Marcin Kowalczyk for professional acting debut in Jesteś bogiem (You are God)
- for Jolanta Dylewska for cinematography in W ciemności (In darkness)
- for Piotr Dziubek for music in Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic – The Path to Beyond)
- for Erwin Prib, Katarzyna Sobańska and Marcel Sławiński for art direction in W ciemności (In darkness)
- for Joanna Kulig as the actress in a supporting role in Sponsoring (Elles)
- for Dawid Ogrodnik and Tomasz Schuchardt as the actor in a supporting role in Jesteś bogiem (You are God)
- for Sebastian Włodarczyk and Piotr Witkowski for the sound in Droga na drugą stronę (Crulic – The Path to Beyond)
- for Wojciech Mrówczyński and Adam Kwiatek for editing of Obława (Manhunt) and Michał Czarnecki for editing of W ciemności (In darkness)
- for Katarzyna Lewińska for costumes in Sponsoring (Elles) and Katarzyna Lewińska and Jagna Janicka for costumes in W ciemności (In darkness)
- for Janusz Kaleja for make-up in W ciemności (In darkness)
The Jury has also decided to honour the makers of Sekret (Secret) and Pokłosie (Aftermath) for exceptional courage in grappling the important subjects which have not been noticed in Polish cinematography before.
The festival in Gdynia is a flagship of Polish cinema. It is Gdynia Film Festival where all the best films of the year are screened, here all the greatest meet up and where the most interesting subjects in Polish cinematography are discussed. It is Gdynia Film Festival where the younger generations of filmmakers confront the masters while the young critics reinterpret the classics of the Polish cinematography. The festival also wields an educational value as it retells the audience the very classical works and contrasts Polish films with the international cinema.