Michał Kucharczyk: What your work at Doc Lab consisted in? 

Paul Pauwels: One can hardly call it “work”. Being together for three days with talented and motivated documentary filmmakers, helping them to present their project in the most efficient way to decision makers is fun. Analyzing the content, defining the style and assisting them in targeting the right audience, that is what it boils down too. And them giving them some technical tips to deliver a pitch that is entertaining and informative, that’s what I did.

What impresions do you have after participating in Doc Lab? Would it result in some progres in productions which were presented?

It was indeed a great experience and I do believe the tutor’s work did indeed change the nature of some of the projects. All together we worked very hard, and I dare to say that in some cases we managed to help the participants to better understand their own project and to focus on the core of it. Judging by the reactions, all of them got something out of it, but I’m sure that for all of them it was something different. The nicest element of this kind of workshops is that at the beginning you meet a group of “people with the same interest” and after three days you leave “a family”. Also, this event confirmed my strong belief in Polish documentary: strong stories and great storytellers.

What is the feature of documentary cinema you appriciate the most?

In my opinion, reality is stronger than fiction. I see so many bad feature films that are being produced to please an audience and not because they tell an important story. Creative documentaries help me to better understand the world. They remind me that in spite of the fact that I’m not really fond of humanity it should never forget that I have to keep loving (most) humans.

Which Doc Lab projects do you consider as the most attractive ones and why?

Honestly, I can’t answer that question. The projects were all in a different stage of development, and that makes it hard to choose. Also, to me every project is equally valuable. I’m not there as a “decision maker” but as a helping hand and all these people are equally close to me. Some projects of course are stronger than others, but I don’t care. It’s the people I’m interested in, and they’re all equally close to my heart.

phot. Dominika Rejman