54th International Film Festival for Short and Documentary Films, Krakow

Poland, May 25 - June 1 2014

The jury

Pierre-Simon Gutman (France), Tonci Valentic (Croatia), István Szathmáry (Hungary)

Awarded films

In the last few years, Krakow has become one of the most important festival cities of the Eastern-European region. The fact that Krakow became the seventh UNESCO City of Literature in October 2013 has definitely enhanced this position. But the city is not only closely related to literature; it also houses two film festivals every year, with OFF closely followed by the Krakow Film Festival. Founded in 1961, the KFF is one of the oldest film events in Europe dedicated specially to documentary, animated and short fiction films. Just like all festivals with a similarly great tradition in this increasingly competitive field, renewal might be the key to further success in the future. That is why the decision to choose Malopolska Garden of Arts (MOS) — a ‘hipster’ community space — as the new main venue, while keeping the monumental Kijów for the ceremonies and involving most of the city’s well-developed art cinema network, cannot be underestimated. The more intimate climate and the central location of  MOS provided ideal circumstances for both the formal and informal meetings of the industry while the whole of Krakow was effectively involved through the related screenings and events all around the city, such as the international poster exhibition of Andrzej Wajda’s films. During this week, the FIPRESCI jury watched twenty documentaries, most of which were very interesting and some of which were excellent. Though it is hard to reduce the thematic variety of these multi-layered works of art to a few topics, it was easy to define the three most important issues providing motivation for the authors. The first had been borders — of countries, of cultures and within ourselves; the second: the questions and problems of old age. Unfortunately, war made its appearance as well, through Returning to Homs, a documentary on the sickeningly brutal aspects of everyday life in Syria. The FIPRESCI prize went to Borders directed by Jacqueline van Vugt (The Netherlands) for the sweep of its visions on a situation too well-known, (bravely) facing it by including all the perspectives and points of view. (István Szathmáry)

International Film Festival for Short and Documentary Films, Krakow: