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WARSAW 2020 Awards

18 Kilohertz is a winning frequency at the Warsaw Film Festival

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- The Polish gathering came to a successful close amidst intensifying COVID-19 restrictions, with Farkhat Sharipov's Kazakh film coming out on top

18 Kilohertz is a winning frequency at the Warsaw Film Festival
18 Kilohertz by Farkhat Sharipov

“I just realised that we had a red zone for dozens of years, between 1944 and 1989, and somehow we made it through,” said Stefan Laudyn, director of the Warsaw Film Festival, in a pre-awards video broadcast on Facebook. Laudyn was alluding to both the communist regime that held Poland in its grip and the current COVID-19 restrictions. The so-called red zone was introduced in Warsaw on the day the festival commenced, meaning that only 25% of the seats could be occupied. The gathering had chosen to hold a physical edition this year, with a rich programme and a limited number of foreign guests.

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The event welcomed nine international juries (including a Young FIPRESCI jury, comprising participants in the FIPRESCI Warsaw Critics Project) and organised five competitive sections. The winner of the International Competition was Farkhat Sharipov’s 18 Kilohertz (Kazakhstan), a film set in 1990s Almaty (Kazakhstan’s capital city) and revolving around a group of teenagers who are trying to find their place in the world, while being tempted by the heroin that is flooding the streets of their hometown. The Best Director Award went to Czech maestro Martin Šulík for The Man with Hare Ears [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Czech Republic/Slovakia), about a writer whose literary alter ego literally has animal ears. The International Competition jury also gave its Special Jury Award to Bogdan Farkas and Dragos Dumitru for their performances in the Romanian crime film Unidentified [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, directed by Bogdan George Apetri.

In the 1-2 Competition, first and second features were battling it out for accolades. The winning film was Blindfold by Ukrainian director Taras Dron, while the Special Mentions were given to two other European productions: Spiral [+see also:
film review
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]
by Cecilia Felmeri (Hungary/Romania) and Mia Misses Her Revenge [+see also:
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]
by Bogdan Theodor Olteanu, from Romania. More edgy films were selected for the Free Spirit Competition, where Tragic Jungle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Yulene Olaizola (Mexico/France/Colombia) emerged victorious. Eiji Han Shimizu’s True North (Japan/Indonesia) grabbed a Special Mention. Among the documentary features, the jury’s favourite was The Jump [+see also:
film review
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]
by Giedre Zickyte (Lithuania/Latvia/France/USA), and two American helmers, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, grabbed a Special Mention for On the Record.

The Short Films Competition jury – as usual – handed out the highest number of awards: for Best Animated Short (which went to Iran’s The White Whale by Amirhossein Mehran), Best Live-action Short (Poland’s Into the Night by Kamila Tabura) and Best Documentary (What if Nothing? by Monika Krupa, from Poland). On top of this, Ligie by Aline Magrez, from Belgium, won the Short Grand Prix.

The 36th Warsaw Film Festival ended on Sunday 18 October.

Here is the full list of award winners:

International Competition

Warsaw Grand Prix
18 Kilohertz – Farkhat Sharipov (Kazakhstan)

Best Director Award
Martin Šulík – The Man with Hare Ears [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Czech Republic/Slovakia)

Special Jury Award
Bogdan Farkas, Dragos Dumitru – Unidentified [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(Romania)

1-2 Competition

Main Award
Blindfold – Taras Dron (Ukraine)
Special Mentions
Spiral [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
– Cecilia Felmeri (Hungary/Romania)
Mia Misses Her Revenge [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
– Bogdan Theodor Olteanu (Romania)

Free Spirit Competition

Free Spirit Award
Tragic Jungle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Yulene Olaizola (Mexico/France/Colombia)
Special Mention
True North – Eiji Han Shimizu (Japan/Indonesia)

Documentary Competition

Best Documentary Feature Award
The Jump [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Giedre Zickyte (Lithuania/Latvia/France/USA)
Special Mention
On the Record – Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering (USA)

Short Films Competition

Short Grand Prix
Ligie – Aline Magrez (Belgium)

Best Live-action Short
Into the Night – Kamila Tabura (Poland)

Best Animated Short
The White Whale – Amirhossein Mehran (Iran)

Best Documentary Short
What if Nothing? – Monika Krupa (Poland)
Special Mention
Sulphur – Lana Vlady (Russia)

FIPRESCI Award
Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lili Horvat
film profile
]
– Lili Horvat (Hungary)

Young FIPRESCI Award
Ghosts [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Azra Deniz Okyay (Turkey/France/Qatar)

Ecumenical Jury Award
The Man with Hare Ears – Martin Šulík

NETPAC Award
The Asadas – Ryota Nakano (Japan)

Audience Awards

Feature Film
Nowhere Special [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Uberto Pasolini
film profile
]
– Uberto Pasolini (UK/Italy/Romania)

Documentary Feature
The Agony – Tomasz Knittel (Poland)

Short Film
My Fat Arse and I – Yelyzaveta Pysmak (Poland)

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