The Spanish-Dutch production of “Last days of spring” won the main competition of the 14th Mastercard Off Camera International Festival of Independent Cinema in Krakow. In the Polish Feature Film Competition, the film “Amateurs” by Iwona Siekierzyńska was recognized as the best.
The winner, announced at the closing gala of the Mastercard Off Camera Independent Cinema Festival on Saturday, was selected by a jury composed of: British set designer Gemma Jackson, American film producer Lee Magiday, and Tomasz Wasilewski, director and chairman of the line-up. “Last Days of Spring” directed by Isabel Lamberti is a story about the Gabarre Mendoza family – living in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Madrid, but still trying to experience each day well. Their situation becomes much more complicated when it turns out that they have to leave their home. In the director’s painting, the line between fiction and documentary is blurred, and she tells not only about the problem of social inequalities, but also about the strength of the family.
When accepting the award, Lamberti thanked the jury and the audience, and recalled that for the first time – and the only one so far – she came to Krakow several years ago, and she did not think she would come back to collect the award for her film. – Special thanks go to the family of Gabarre Mendoza for giving me such a great trust, but most of all for reminding me of what unconditional love is – said the artist.
The best picture in the Polish Feature Film Competition was selected by the international jury: casting director Fiona Weir, director, screenwriter and musician Helena Coan, and producer and director Tonia Mishiali. The international composition is not accidental here, it was established in order to distinguish a universal history that has a chance to be understood also beyond the borders of our country.
This year it was recognized that the “Amateurs” by Iwona Siekierzyńska were such a work, and its creators received the Dominik Kulczyk Productions Award, worth 100,000 zlotys. The story told by both professionals and amateurs begins when the “Biuro Rzeczy Osobistych” theater run by Krzysiek, created by people with intellectual disabilities, wins the festival. Will its members find themselves in this situation and will be able to take advantage of the opportunity they have been given?
The jury indicated that each of the presented Polish films shows a story that proves that even in the deepest darkness you can see light. It also drew attention to the high quality of the presented works. In their opinion, however, it was “Amators” who turned out to be unrivaled. “This is an extremely positive portrait of an usually invisible community, shown with admirable freshness and courage,” said Tonia Mishiali in the justification of her decision. As she added, the jury was interested in “the honesty and hybrid nature of this film”, and described the picture itself as “full of joy and love”.
Awards for actors and screenplays
Distinctions were also granted to the performers of individual roles. The best actors were those who played in “My wonderful life” – Agata Buzek (“for the complex portrait of a woman full of contradictions”) and Jacek Braciak (for creating “a disturbing but kind hero”). The jurors were also delighted by Nicolas Przygoda and his naturalness in the film “Everyone Has Their Summer”, which is why he was awarded the title of a rising movie star – Mastercard Rising Star.
During the Saturday ceremony, the Script Pro competition organized by the Wajda School and the OFF Camera Foundation was also settled. The ZAiKS Authors’ Association Award was presented, which went to Marek Mardosewicz and Eugeniusz Pankov – for the script “OK Boomer”. In turn, the distinction of the Kyoto – Krakow Foundation of Andrzej Wajda and Krystyna Zachwatowicz went to Marek Baranowski – for the script of “Nights in kindergarten”. The main prize in the audio category went to the author of the script “Odessa-Krym-Odessa”, Iwona Rusek. In turn, the main prize of the Polish Filmmakers Association went to Bartosz Janiszewski and Michał Szcześniak – the creators of the film “Grzesiuk. King of Life”.
The FIPRESCI International Federation of Film Critics Award went to the film “Gaza mon amour” (directed by Mohammad Abu Nasser and Ahmad Abu Nasser). However, the festival audience liked “Najmro. He loves, steals, respects” (dir. Mateusz Rakowicz) and it was he who received the award from this collective juror.
– I would like to thank all our 300 guests from Poland and abroad who came to Mastercard Off Camera, because without this energy and these talks, this festival would not be possible – said Szymon Miszczak, director of the event in Krakow, which is coming to an end. He invited the gathered audience to the next edition, which will take place in a few months.
The festival, which lasted until Sunday in Krakow, was an opportunity to see 80 films from 25 countries, presented on eight Krakow screens. The event was organized, among others, thanks to the enormous work of 200 volunteers.
Main photo source: TVN24