Aftera spate of veteran directors and big budget historic epics dominating Polishfilm for the past few years, this year's annual roll-out of new Polish featurefilms at the Gdynia Film Festival proved that a fresh wind is blowing in theindustry.
The festival in the Baltic seaside resort wrapped over theweekend. Young newcomer Magdalena Piekorz swept to victory with her debut TheWelts (Pregi), a hard hitting story about child abuse which earned her theGolden Lion for best film as well as four other awards including bestproducer's prize for Tor Studios.
The project had originally struggled to find financing andwas actually forced to halt shooting for two months until Polish distributorand producer Vision Film stepped in as co-producer. It now looks like to score a string of invitations frominternational festivals over the coming year.
The jury headed by Polish actor and director Jerzy Stuhralso awarded a special jury prize to Wojtek Smarzowski's dark comedy TheWedding (Wesele) another feature debut which also won the best actor awardfor Marian Dziedziel and the Polish Filmmakers Association Award.
The only veteran director to score big was director JuliuszMachulski who won best screenplay award for his fast moving comedy Vinci whichopens in Warsaw this week.
The festival screened 20 new features as well as about thesame number of ultra-low budget independents.While the number of films has stayed more or less the same in recentyears overall budgets have declined sharply with few films topping the $1m markand many being shot for less than half a million.
Grand Prix: Golden Lion for best film: The Welts, dir: Magdalena Piekorz
Best Producer: Tor Studios for The Welts
Special Jury Prize: The Wedding, dir: Wojtek Smarzowski
Best director Przemyslaw Wojcieszek for Down The Colourful Hill
Best Screenplay: Vinci, dir: Juliusz Machulski
Best Television film Screenplay: Holiday Weekend, dir: JaroslawSokol
Best actress: Krystyna Feldman for My Nikifor, dir: KrzysztofKrauze
Best Actor Marian Dziedziel for The Wedding and Krzysztof Globiszfor Holiday Weekend, dir: Robert Glinski
Best Cinematography Marcin Koszalka for The Welts
Best Music: Pawel Mykietyn for Stranger, dir Malgorzata Szumowska
Best Art Direction: Rafal Waltenberger for Saved By A Miracle/Dir: Janusz Zaorski
Best supporting actress: Malgorzata Braunek for Tulips, dir:Jacek Borcuch
Best supporting actor: Marek Walczewski for Stranger
Best sound: Michal Zarnecki for The Welts
Best editing: Krzysztof Szpetmanski for My Nikifor
Best Costumes: Dorota Roqueplo for My Nikifor and The Welts
Best acting debut: Przemyslaw Bluszcz for Down the Colourful Hilldirected by Przemyslaw Wojcieszek
The special award of the Polish Filmmakers Association went to TheWedding by Wojtek Smarzowski for the best representation of contemporaryissues