In 2016, Polish documentary films were shown at international film festivals almost 430times, winning a total of over 80 awards. Polish documentary film was also the special guest at, among others, DOK Leipzig Film Festival, Trieste Film Festival and GZ DOC in China. We were also present on the short list for the Academy Awards and among the nominees for the European Film Award. We would like to invite you to read the summary of the previous year.

In 2016, Polish documentary film was very successful in the international arena. For the sixth time, the editors of Polish Docs prepared a numerical summary of festival screenings and awards won by Polish film-makers.

Last year, Polish documentary films were shown at almost 230 festivals around the world. During twelve months, almost 430 film screenings took place, approximately 330 out of which were competition screenings. In 2016, international festival audience at the festivals watched almost 90 Polish documentary films. 

This year, once again short films became the favourites of the foreign audience. The festival record-breaker is the animated documentary film, entitled "A Documentary Film" by Marcin Podolec, shown abroad as many as 43 times. The second place went to "Super Unit," directed by Teresa Czepiec, with the number of 22 screenings. It is worth adding that this film came second in our list also last year. Whereas this year, the last film on the podium is "End of the World" by Monika Pawluczuk, shown abroad 21 times.

In 2016, the films, which were successful last year, continued to enjoy popularity. "The Place" by Julia Popławska was shown to the audiences at 16 festivals, whereas "Object" by Paulina Skibińska, "Brothers" by Wojciech Staroń, "Casa Blanca" by Aleksandra Maciuszek and "Invisible" by Zofia Pręgowska each had 14 screenings abroad. Polish mountain documentary films are also constantly successful: "K2. Touching the Sky" by Eliza Kubarska can boast the number of 17 screenings, whereas "Jurek" by Paweł Wysoczański - 10 presentations. 

There is no lack of new players on this year's list. "Snails" by Grzegorz Szczepaniak were shown 16 times at the festivals abroad, "Two Worlds" by Maciej Adamek and "A Brave Bunch. Children of Warsaw Uprising" by Tomasz Stankiewicz - 11 times. 

Last year, Polish documentary film-makers won over 80 awards around the world. Here, mountain documentary films were also successful. In 2016, "Jurek" won 8 awards, "K2. Touching the Sky" - 11, and "The Place" - 4. The film "The Touch of an Angel" by Marek Tomasz Pawłowski can boast seven awards, "Casa Blanca" and "Call Me Marianna" – fiveawards each, and "A Documentary Film," "Two Worlds" and "End of the World" were eachawarded four times.

Prestigious awards went to the short documentary film "Close Ties." The film was given the IDFA Special Jury Award for Student Documentary in Amsterdam, as well as the Golden Dove at the Festival Dok.Leipzig. The Silver Dragon, won at Krakow Film Festival, enabled the film to apply for the Academy Award nomination. The film by Zofia Kowalewska was included on the short-list for the Academy Award in the category "Documentary Short Subject."

"Close Ties" is not the only documentary film awarded at the festival IDFA, "When Will This Wind Stop" by Aniela Gabryel won the ARRI IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary in Amsterdam.

Important awards went also to "Communion" by Anna Zamecka. The documentary film was honoured during the Film Critics' Week in Locarno - and it left Locarno with the Premio SRG SSR award. The film also won the Best Documentary Film award at the festival in Bratislava and the Young Eyes Film Award at the festival DOK Leipzig. In Leipzig, "Patriotic Lesson" by Filip Jacobson was also appreciated. 

AFI Docs brought the audience award to "Snails" by Grzegorz Szczepaniak, the Mexican DocsMX awarded "Alisa in Warland" by Alisa Kovalenko and Lubova Durakova, and at the Ukrainian Docudays, the films "Call Me Marianna" and "End of the World" were victorious.  Prestigious awards went also to "All these sleepless nights." Michał Marczak was given the best director award in the World Cinema Documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Polish films were present at the most important documentary film festivals: DOK Leipzig in Germany, where, in addition to 15 films in competition and non-competing sections, as many as 28 Polish documentary films were included in a special retrospective; Hot Docs in Canada, at which "Last Season" by Sławomir Witek and "Before the Dawn" by Łukasz Borowski hadtheir international premières, Visions du Reel, where "The Great Theater" by Sławomir Batyra and "Patriotic Lesson" premièred, and IDFA, where as many as nine Polish films were included in the programme.

A strong representation of Polish documentary films appeared also at the film festival DocsMX in Mexico (9), Bogoshorts in Colombia (6) and Parnu Film Festival in Estonia (6).

The vast majority of Polish documentary films, which were shown and awarded at international festivals in 2016,  had their premières at Krakow Film Festival , which is often the first step towards an international career of the film and the cradle of young talented documentary film-makers.

Thanks to the recommendation of Krakow Film Festival for the EFA award, the film "21 x New York" by Piotr Stasik was included among the six films nominated for the European Film Award!

In January, Polish cinema was the special guest at Trieste Film Festival. In addition to the rich feature film programme, in the programme, films such as "Brothers" by Wojciech Staroń and "A Documentary Film" by Marcin Podolec appeared, as well as the retrospective of documentary films by Marcin Koszałka, who also gave a masterclass at the festival. 

At last year's edition of the festival DOK Leipzig, in November, there was a retrospective of Polish documentary film entitled "Seven sins and other confessions in Polish documentary films." Almost 30 films were shown in Leipzig! It was one of the largest reviews of Polish documentary film abroad. The programme included films made from the half of the 1950s.belonging to the so-called "black series," as well as the latest documentary films produced in 1990s and at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Among them, there were the classics of the genre, such as: Krzysztof Kieślowski, Marcel Łoziński and Bogdan Dziworski. The programme was created in co-operation with Krakow Film Foundation and Polish Institute in Berlin/Leipzig supported by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation.

During this year's edition of the International Documentary Film Festival GZDOC, Focus on Poland was held, within the frames of which, the documentary films by women directors were shown - by Agnieszka Zwiefka, Karolina Bielawska and Aleksandra Maciuszek, as well as a retrospective of documentary films by Krzysztof Kieślowski.

Larger reviews of Polish documentary film were held within the frames of the Polish Film Weeks in Finland, Polish Film Festival in Brazil, at the 51st International Festival of Science Documentary Films Academia Olomouc in the Czech Republic and the International Documentary Film Festival in Vilnius. 

Last year, for the tenth time Krakow Film Foundation organised the national stand Polish Docs at the Sunny Side of the Doc in La Rochelle - the largest documentary cinema market in Europe. As every year, on the Polish stall the latest Polish documentary films were promoted, and accredited producers had a chance to look for money to spend on their projects and widen their international contacts.

A large delegation of Polish film producers participated in East Doc Platform  - co-production meetings and documentary film project pitchings, organised by the Institute of Documentary Film in Prague.

Traditionally, KFF prepared Polish film programmes Polish Docs at documentary film market Doc Shop, at the Hot Docs festival in Canada, Docs for Sale at IDFA in the Netherlands, Doc Market at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece, Doc Outlook at Visions du Reel in Switzerland, East Silver in the Czech Republic and DOK Market at DOK Leipzig in Germany. Within the frames of DOK. Leizpig, there was also, organised by KFF, the meeting with the most important representatives of documentary film industry, Polish Docs Get Together, and at IDFA, Polish Docs and HBO Europe were the hosts of Guests Meet Guests, prepared for the several hundred international guests of the festival.

All events received the financial support of Polish  Film Institute. The partners were Krakow Festival Office, Krakow Film Commission, Polish Filmmakers Association, the Polish Institute in Prague, the Embassy of Poland in Finland, the Embassy of Poland in Brazil and HBO Europe.  

The international partners werethe Institute of Documentary Film (the Czech Republic), Sunny Side of the Doc (France), Hot Docs (Canada), IDFA/Docs for Sale (the Netherlands), Visions du reel (Switzerland), European Documentary Network (Denmark), CPH:DOX (Denmark), DOK Leipzig (Germany),Trieste FF (Italy), Thessaloniki IDFF (Greece), AFO (the Czech Republic), Vilnius IDFF (Lithuania). 



Alisa in Warland, dir. Alisa Kovalenko, Lubov Durakova

DocsMX, Mexico - Breaking Doc Award

Walking Under Water, dir. Eliza Kubarska

9th GreenMe Global Festival, Germany - Kids Jury Award

Brothers, dir. Wojciech Staroń

CineDoc Tbilisi, Georgia - Grand Jury Prize, Student Prize

Casa Blanca, dir. Aleksandra Maciuszek

‘Punto de Vista’ International Documentary FF, Spain - Premio Especial del Público a la Mejor Película, Premio de la Juventud a la Mejor Película

TRT Documentary Days, Turkey - Best Documentary Award

Margaret Mead Film Festival, USA - Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award)

FrontDoc, Italy - Young Jury Price

Cotton Dreams, dir. Sandeep Rampal Balhara

Espiello Festival Sobrarbe, Spain - IAMS Award

Ecozine Film Festival, Spain - Best Short Documentary

Magic Mountain, dir. Anca Damian

64th Trento Film Festival, Italy - Gold Gentian For Best Movie – Gran Premio “Citta’ Di Trento”

A Documentary Film, dir. Marcin Podolec

Slow Film Festival Eger, Hungary - Jury Special Award

River Film Festival, Italy - Best Animated Film

27th  Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival, Brasil - SESC TV Award for Best Debut Director

Lago Film Festival, Italy - Special Mention

Touch of an Angel, dir. Marek Tomasz Pawłowski

AegeanDocs International Documentary Film Festival, Greece - Best Documentary

TrueDoc Documentary Festival, Ukraine  - Best Documentary

New York Festival, USA - Gold World Medal

Gold  Remi Award Houston, USA

10th Vukovar Film Festival, Croatia - Jury Special Award

Roma CinemaDoc, Italy - Mention - Best Direction

Impact Docs Awards, USA - Award of Excellence Special Mention

Two Worlds, dir. Maciej Adamek

United Nations Association Film Festival, USA - Stanford Video Award for Cinematography

20th Rhode Island Film Festival, USA - Best Feature Documentary

Harlem Film Festival, USA - Most Remarkable Young Person on Screen

33rd Chicago International Children's Film Festival, USA - Best Feature Documentary

A Brave Bunch. Children of Warsaw Uprising, dir. Tomasz Stankiewicz

Imperial War Museum Short Film Festival, The United Kingdom - Special Mention

Figure, dir. Katarzyna Gondek

16th LPA Film Festival, Spain - Special Jury Award

10th Thess International Short Film Festival, Greece - Cinematic Achievement Award

Goran, the camel man, dir. Marcin Lesisz

Parnu Film Festival, Estonia - Best Short Doc

Jurek, dir. Paweł Wysoczański

10th Mountain Film Festival Domzale, Slovenia - Grand Prix

Ushuaina SHH, Festival Internacional de Cine Montania, Argentina - Mention

Ulju Mountain Film Festival, South Korea - Grand Prix

Torelló Mountain Film Festival, Spain - Flor de Neu de Plata for Best Mountaineering Film, Flor de Neu de Plata for Best Script

Kendal Mountain Film Festival, The United Kingdom - Best Mountaineering Film

Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival PIMFF, Pakistan - Best Film

Eho Mountain Film Festival, Macedonia – Grand Prix

K2. Touching the sky, dir. Eliza Kubarska

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, Canada - Grand Prize

6th Dutch Mountain Film Festival, The Netherlands - Crossborder DMFF Award

64th Trento Film Festival, Italy - Gold Gentian For Best Mountaineering Film – Italian Alpine Club Prize

PICURT - Mostra de Cinema de Muntanya dels Pirineus, Spain - Premi Gall Fer Cadí

Parnu Film Festival, Estonia - Best Audiovisual Portrayal

Hory a Mesto Festival, Slovakia – Grand Prix

Diablerets Film Festival, Switzerland – Prix Montagne

Tegernsee International Mountai Film Festival, Germany – Best Alpin Film

Mountain Film Festival Teplize n. Mentuji, Czech Republic – Grand Prix

19th International Mountain Film Festival "Vertical", Russia – Best Mountain Film, Best Director 

When will this wind stop, dir. Aniela Gabryel

IDFA, The Netherlands - The ARRI IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary

Communion, dir. Anna Zamecka

69th Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland -  Semaine de la Critique - Premio SRG SSR

DOK Leipzig, Germany - Young Eyes Film Award

18th Bratislava International Film Festival, Slovakia - Best Documentary Film

The end of the World, dir. Monika Pawluczuk

Docudays UA, Ukraine - Main Prize Docu/Short

Documentary Tirana International FF, Albania - Best Midlenght Film

Block Film & Art Festival, USA – Best Education Film

Apricot Tree International Ethno Film, Armenia - Special Jury Prize Short Film Competition

Kantor's Circle, dir. Iwo Książek, Adrianna Książek

34th International Festival of Films on Art, Kanada - Best Educational Film

Patriotic Lesson, dir. Filip Jacobson

DOK Leipzig, Germany - Golden Dove (Best German Shorts)

The Place, dir. Julia Popławska

6th Dutch Mountain Film Festival, The Netherlands - Best Newcomer Award

Ushuaina SHH, Festival Internacional de Cine Montania, Argentina - Mention

ForadCamp 2016, 5th Nature and Cinema Exhibition, Spain - Prize Cultural Association Granollers

Kendal Mountain Film Festival 2016, The United Kingdom - Best Sound

Call me Marianna, dir. Karolina Bielawska

13th Docudays UA, Ukraine - Main Prize DOCU/RIGHT

19th Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, USA - Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award

18th Doc Aviv, Tel Aviv Documentary Film Festival, Israel - Best International Film Award, Special Mention

DocsBarcelona International Documentary Film Festival, Spain – New Talent Award

Education, dir. Emi Buchwald

9thCentral and Eastern European FF CinEast, Luxemburg - Audience Award for Best Short Film

Cinemaiubit, Romania - Audience Award

Civica Scuola do Cinema Luciano Visconti, Italy - Gian Paolo Paoli Award For Best Ethno-Anthropological Film

Invisible, dir. Zofia Pręgowska

De Cine Lebu Film Festival, Chile - Best Documentary

All Shorts International Film Festival, USA - Special Mention

Piano, dir. Vita Maria Drygas

MediaWave IFF, Hungary – Best Documentary

16th Escales Documentaires - International Festival of Creative Documentary, France – Youth Award

Shujayya, dir. Mahommed Almughanni

Ann Arbor Film Festival, New Caledonia - Best Short Documentary

Bogazici Film Festival, Turkey - Best Short Film, Special Jury Prize

Super unit, dir. Teresa Czepiec

2nd PerSo - Perugia Social Film Festival, Italy - Perso Masterpiece

Snails, dir. Grzegorz Szczepaniak

GoShort - ISFF Nijmegen, The Netherlands - Audience Award  

AFI DOCS, USA - Audience Award

Traverse City Film Festival, USA - Honorable Mention

Football Brothers, dir. Marcin Filipowicz

TIFF Tirana International Film Festival, Albania – Best Short Documentary

Close Ties, dir. Zofia Kowalewska

DOK Leipzig, Germany - Golden Dove

IDFA, The Netherlands - IDFA Special Jury Award for Student Documentary

All these sleepless nights, dir. Michał Marczak

Sundance Film Festival, USA - Best Director

Iron Alibi, dir. Martin Rath

2morrow Film Festival, Russia - Special Jury Mention

*data collected on the basis of the information received from producers, filmmakers and festivals by Polish Docs. If you know about foreign awards for Polish documentary films which are not included  in this summary, we would like to ask you to send a message to the editors of the portal: redakcja@polishdocs.pl