Krakow FF National Competition Winners

I saw only a few of the Polish films from the national competition but two of them I saw got awards from the jury headed by Dariusz Jablonski, who is also the head of the Polish Film Academy. In that capacity Jablonski asked the audience to hold up a paper with the text ”Release Oleg Sentsov”, the Ukrainian filmmaker and writer, who was arrested by the Russians in March 2014 in Crimea and sentenced to 20 years in jail on suspicion of “plotting terrorist acts”. Respect!

The winner of the main prize, the so-called Golden Hobby-Horse, for the best film was ”The Ugliest Car” by Grzegorz Szczepaniak, a funny and moving film about mother and son travelling in a Wartburg car, which is more than 50 year old. Bogdan… shouts the 94 year old mother when he gets too far away from her to talk with other people about the award-winning car, that is on its way to Germany to see the camp where the mother was in 1943. The son, who is physically disabled, is sooo much caring for the mother and they have beautiful conversations in the pensions that they stay in on the way. Hilarious. Sweet. There is a long international festival career waiting for this film.

The same could happen for the Silver Hobby-Horse winner, ”Stranger on my Couch” by Grzegorz Brzozowski, who manages to bring fine moments to the screen, when foreign couchsurfers with a Vietnamese or Korean or German background come to visit and end up sitting on the couch having deep conversations with the hosts about life and love. Well in one case you almost think – or hope – that the Vietnamese who lives in Germany would stay with the single moter and her son. Or the middle aged engineer who makes a messy room ready for a heavy metal musician and go to the street to play with a toy helicopter.

Photo: The winning director Grzegorz Szczepaniak (red trousers) on stage.

The national competition also includes animation and fiction films. Go to the website  and check:

Share your love
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.

Articles: 3861