email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

NEW HORIZONS 2019 Awards

Jury takes the Bait at New Horizons

by 

- Mark Jenkin didn’t need a bigger boat as his black-and-white film, set in a fishing village, won the Grand Prix and the Audience Award of the 19th edition of the Polish festival

Jury takes the Bait at New Horizons
Bait director Mark Jenkin collects his award at the New Horizons closing ceremony (© Maziarz Rajter)

Mark Jenkin’s UK-produced Bait [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mark Jenkin
film profile
]
, presented in Competition at this year’s New Horizons International Film Festival, might have a Cornish fisherman without a boat as its unlikely protagonist — played to poker-faced perfection by comedian Edward Rowe — it still somehow managed to leave everyone else far behind. Winning the main award of the Polish festival, but also emerging as the top choice of the audience, after competing with 11 other titles including the likes of Richard Billingham’s autobiographical drama Ray & Liz [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Richard Billingham
film profile
]
, Ena Sendijarević’s Take Me Somewhere Nice [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ena Sendijarević
film profile
]
or Johannes Nyholm’s Swedish-Danish oddity Koko-di Koko-da [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Johannes Nyholm
film profile
]
.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

“Through its raw visual and sonic language, playful and almost campy style, this film dexterously revitalizes film heritage, referencing the Nouvelle Vague and Brecht in hand-crafted celluloid, to lovingly tell the story of a community struggling to preserve a way of life they hold dear,” argued jurors Isabella Eklöf, back in town after winning the very same award last year for Holiday [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, visual artist Johann Lurf, programmer Rasha Salti, Sundance programme director Kim Yutani and Polish director Agnieszka Smoczyńska, with mermaid musical The Lure [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
film profile
]
and Fugue [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
film profile
]
(2018) under her belt. 

“I am happy about this award, because Bait is not just a story about gentrification, about the tourism that kills authenticity and transforms reality into airbnb. This is also a matter of cinematic authenticity,” programmer Małgorzata Sadowska told Cineuropa. “Mark Jenkin argues that film is not a museum exhibit, and nor are fishing accessories decorating that hipster seaside cottage. Celluloid remains a living, inspiring, contemporary medium through which you can touch upon aspects of reality ignored by digital mentality,” she said. “In this sense, Bait addresses not only tradition but also stands against this neoliberal obsession of progress, capitalism and commercialization. Which also makes it a very ‘New Horizons’ movie.”

Shot on 16mm film with a 1970s Bolex camera, Bait struck a chord thanks to its unique visual style. But also because of Jenkin’s insistence on putting the Cornish people first instead of having them hover around in the background like in so many other movies, as he explained after one of the screenings. He wasn’t the only one with reasons to celebrate, as the Zuzanna Jagoda Kolska Prize (financed by Grażyna Błęcka-Kolska and Jan Jakub Kolski in remembrance of their late daughter) for the youngest filmmaker at the festival went to Natalia Koniarz for her short The Dam, shown in The Shortlist — a selection of 21 short features, documentaries and animated films produced at film schools in Łódź, Katowice, Gdynia and at the Munk Studio.

“The goal of this award is to encourage filmmakers to tell their stories using the language of their own sensitivity, to persevere on the uncertain road of artistic development,” the parents explained. “The Zuzanna Jagoda Kolska Award is above all a warm, vivid remembrance of Zuzia’s now-absent voice. We want to reward courage, to support youth, to provide an opportunity for development. To believe that every bit of help is paid forward. And to remember Zuzia.”

Next year’s edition of the New Horizons International Film Festival will take place from 23 July to 2 August 2020.

The awards:

Grand Prix
Bait [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mark Jenkin
film profile
]
- Mark Jenkin (UK)

Audience Award
Bait - Mark Jenkin

The Zuzanna Jagoda Kolska Award
The Dam - Natalia Koniarz (Poland) (short film)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.