Aneta Kopacz: Joanna

Yesterday midday I mailed Joanna Solecka from Wajda Studio. I have known Joanna for some years and she was the one, who sent me the link to watch their 45 minutes long documentary ”Joanna”, a film about a mother who suffers from cancer. My starting point – to be a bit cynical: I have seen lots of films about a dying parent and their loved ones to be left behind. Nevertheless I don’t remember one with the same high quality. These were the words sent to Joanna about ”Joanna”: 

I watched the film – if you can put it like that – with pleasure and emotionally touched, to say the least, well what else can I say but BEAUTIFUL. As a film and as a hymn to Life and Love, whatever might happen.

One day later, today, Joanna writes me that the film ” won the Silver Eye award at the 10th East Silver Market at Jihlava in the mid-length documentary category”. The jury motivation goes like this:

We decided to award the documentary, which opens the door to the private life of an engaging protagonist in the hardest time of her life. The director approaches her story with a high level of sensitivity and an elegant cinematic approach. We are entirely immersed in her life, through which the viewer experiences a transcendent lift from her story to the bigger values of life and our own personal lives.

One more quote, quite precise actually from the Wajda Studio itself:

Joanna’s hand lovingly strokes her son’s back. They are lying in the grass, listening to the meadow dwellers and the sounds of nature. Jaś says he has a “divine time” with his mom, and Joanna, too, loves to spend time with her boy. But this time is limited. Joanna says she is not afraid of dying, but of leaving behind her little family. Aneta Kopacz’s narrative is remarkably subtle, preserving the tender moments of the remaining days in expressive images.

Subtle, sensitive, tender, expressive, a marvellous music score, BEAUTIFUL.

The film will be shown in competition in DokLeipzig. An obvious candidate for one or more awards.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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