This is the third year in a row that a Polish film wins top laurels in the Film Critics Week section of the Locarno International Film Festival. This year's winner is Anna Zamecka and her film Komunia (Communion).
This year's Semaine de la Critique competition had a lineup of seven films from around the world, including two documentaries co-financed by the Polish Film Institute: Komunia (Communion) by Anna Zamecka and Mnich z morza (Monk from the Sea) by Rafał Skalski. Two years ago, the winner of Locarno's Semaine de la Critique was 15 stron świata (15 Corners of the World), a music documentary about Eugeniusz Rudnik, directed by Zuzanna Solakiewicz. In 2015, the winning film was Wojciech Staroń's Bracia (Brothers).
14-year-old Ola had to grow up when her mother moved out. Ola had to take care of the house and her brother who believes that he is a chimpanzee and will one day grow a fur and claws. Ola wants her autistic brother to be a "normal boy" and have his First Communion, much like other children. She wants him to have a family dinner and presents. But more than anything, the communion celebration is for Ola an opportunity to see her estranged mother, for which she has longed. Mum has promised to come.
Anna Zamecka graduated in cultural anthropology and journalism from the University of Warsaw. She studied at the Film & Media Department of the University of Copenhagen. She graduated in a number of courses and programmes for filmmakers. Komunia (Communion) marks her feature documentary debut. The film was produced by Otter Films and co-produced by HBO Polska, Wajda Studio and MX35. Komunia (Communion) was lensed by Małgorzata Szyłak.
Locarno's Semaine de la Critique has been showcasing documentary films since 1990, as well as fostering discussion on the opportunities and limitations in contemporary documentary filmmaking. This independent festival section operates under the auspices of the Swiss Film Critics Association, in cooperation with the Locarno IFF festival team.
Further details about La Semaine de la Critique are available at www.semainedelacritique.ch.
The 69th Locarno International Film Festival ran from August 3 through August 13, 2016.
Further details about the festival are available at: www.pardolive.ch.
Translated by Karolina Kołtun