49th Krakow Film Festival

Poland, May 29 - June 4 2009

The jury

Saskia Legein (Netherlands), Vladimir Ignatovski (Bulgaria), Tadeusz Szczepanski (Poland)

Awarded films

The participants of 49th International Film Festival in Krakow (29 May – 4 June 2009) could not complain about the weather. It was really rainy and cold for this time of the year, so the conditions were perfect to go to the cinema. All the more so as the organizers prepared an attractive and diverse program. As usual, the most interesting films could be found in the Polish competition, which attracts a large audience looking for the truth about the “new Poland”.

Still, among this year’s 20 competing films, the works that stood out were of more universal nature – mystical (Poste Restante by Marcel Lozinski and Hear All of Us by Maciej Drygas) and existential (Chemo by Pawel Lozinski). Bartek Konopka’s Rabbit a la Berlin – winner of the Grand Prix of the Polish competition – looks at rabbits living in the shadow of the Berlin Wall as a perverse parable of the enslavement of the inhabitants of East Germany.

The section of full-length documentaries (12 films) gains more and more prestige. This year, some of the works worth noticing were: the British film The Biggest Restaurant in the World (the title speaks for itself) by Weijun Chen, the Belgian film The Parents (about a retirement home) by Christoph Hermans and the Polish film Sentenced for Life (about a women’s prison) by Marcin Koszalka.

Unfortunately, the international competition of short films (51 films) including documentaries, features and animated films wasn’t as impressive. The FIPRESCI Award went to the polish film Poste Restante by Marcel Lozinski. (Tadeusz Szczepanski, edited by Yael Shuv)

Krakow Film Festival: www.krakowfilmfestival.pl