Despite the glittering surroundings of Warsaw's Royal Place and a guest list that included Agnieszka Holland and Krzysztof Zanussi, an air of gloom hung over the 'Orly 2002', Poland's version of the Oscars, on Saturday (March 9).
Award winners bemoaned the sharp reduction in film backing from TVP (Polish Television), which has been the main source of funding for film over the past five years and has played such a key role in the current success of Polish films at the box office.
Underlining the importance of the broadcaster's role in film production, it was a TVP production Hi, Teresa, directed by Robert Glinski, that dominated the awards.
The low-budget black and white film won awards for best film, best director and best leading actor - for Zbigniew Zamachowsk, for his role as a lonely handicapped man who develops a sado- masochistic relationship with a young teenage girl.
It also garnered best script for Jacek Wyszomirski for his tough story of life in contemporary Warsaw.
Best leading actress went to Kinga Preis for her role in Ciza, (Silence) while the handsomely made Weiser, produced by Warsaw-based Tor Studios, picked up a slew of awards including best cinematography for Krzysztof Ptak, best editor for Milenia Fiedler and best sound production - which was shared by Francois Musy, Joanna Napieralska, Mariusz Kuczynski and Marek Wronko.
Polish blockbuster Quo Vadis disappointed, however, picking up only awards for best supporting actor - for veteran Jerzy Trela, best production design for Janusz Sosnowski and best costumes for Magdalena Teslawska and Pawel Grabarczyk.
Best supporting actress went to Stanislawa Celinska for her role in box office hit Money Isn't Everything directed by Juliusz Machulski.