February 10 saw the finale of the 40th Short Film IFF in Clermont-Ferrand. The Grand Prix in the International Competition was awarded to the film "Tremors" by Dawid Bodzak, and the award for best documentary went to Jakub Radej's "Dust".
The jury consisting of Nadia Ben Rachid, Midi Z, Seamus Murphy, Gustavo Taretto and Dominique de Rivaz awarded the prize for best film in the International Competition to the PFI-co-financed Tremors by Dawid Bodzak (from the Film School in Łódź). "Imagine you are in a forest. It is dark and quiet; you do not know why you are there. You want to get out of there when you suddenly hear a howl. Something is running towards you and searching for something, while you sit still. You don't move because you don't want it to notice you. Suddenly, a wolf appears next to you in the darkness. Then another one. And another one. They surround you. What do you do?" - reads the synopsis at Polish Shorts.
Director of cinematography on the film was Adam Suzin, and the editor was Kamil Grzybowski. The cast includes Natan Berkowicz and Tomasz "Gonzi" Haładaj, and the artistic supervisors on the film were Łukasz Barczyk, Jolanta Dylewska and Jarosław Kamiński. The Film School in Łódź was a special guest at this year’s festival. The programme included two presentations - one dedicated to films made by the school’s students over the last few years, and a second one presenting festival-goers with the student films made by some of the most famous graduates. Representatives from the school also took part in an international discussion panel entitled "How to Promote Film School Productions?" about the promotion and distribution of student films.
The jury composed of Michel Bras, Éponine Momenceau and Teho Teardo awarded the title of best documentary (in the Lab competition) to the film Dust by Jakub Radej (Department of Radio and Television at the University of Silesia in Katowice - WRiTv UŚ), which was co-financed by the PFI. Dust is a study of the journey the human body goes through from the moment of death to the funeral. In Radej's film, the stages of this journey (mortuary, morgue, cemetery) are juxtaposed with the bureaucracy around the belongings of the deceased. A calculated account of the fate of these material objects that the deceased person has left behind is presented in an open form that might also include a question about the meaning of life and reflections on the loneliness of people who have no-one to bid them farewell on this final journey.
Polish short films have won a number of prestigious awards and distinctions in Clermont-Ferrand in recent years. In 2011, the Grand Prix of the International Competition of the 33rd edition of the festival was awarded to the film A Piece of Summer by Marta Minorowicz. A year later, Frozen Stories received the Special Mention of the Young Jury as it was considered to be the best of the 77 films in the International Competition by a jury consisting of 5 young fans (aged 18-26) of short films. In 2014, Kacper Lisowski’s short feature debut Father's Day received the Prix Etudiant de la Jeunesse (the student jury prize) and in 2017, the short film Pussy by Renata Gąsiorowska was declared the best animation in the International Competition.
The Polish films presented at this festival, which is one of the most important short film festivals in the world, included such productions as Deer Boy by Katarzyna Gondek, A Documentary Film by Marcin Podolec, Sexy Laundry by Izabela Plucińska, Whatever Happens, I Love You by Justyna Mytnik, Object by Paulina Skibińska, Hippos by Piotr Dumała and All Souls' Day by Aleksandra Terpińska.
For more information about the prizes awarded at the 40th International Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand: www.clermont-filmfest.org.
Translated by Paweł Włochacz