Michał Szcześniak's short documentary Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point) is the only Polish film on the Oscar shortlist of ten titles, competing for an Academy Award nomination in the Best Documentary Short Subject category. The list was announced on October 26. Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point) was produced by Munk Studio of the Polish Filmmakers Association and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.
"I am very happy; this is a true honour. In moments like this, I am also grateful to my crew, and to my protagonist Aneta. It was her incredible courage that made this film possible. My artistic supervisor Jacek Bławut also provided both inspiration and help," said Michał Szcześniak, director of Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point) after the Oscar shortlist was published.
Szcześniak's documentary started on its path towards being shortlisted for the Oscars in November 2014, when Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point) received the Golden Frog in the Short Documentary Competition at the 22nd Camerimage Film Festival. This award allowed the producers to open proceedings for Oscar qualification. The film was one of 74 productions from around the world to qualify. In the meantime, Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point) received the top prize at the Sheffield Doc/Fest, a festival that is on the list of Oscar-qualifying events, which increased the film's chances for being shortlisted.
Oscar nominations will be announced on January 14, 2016 and the awards ceremony is scheduled for February 28. The titles of all shortlisted short subject documentaries are available on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences official website: www.oscars.org.
Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point) tells the story of Aneta, who rebelled at the age of 19, landing in prison for murder. Nine years later, she is given permission to leave the prison daily to take care of the elderly and ill Helena, a resident at the local nursing home. In Helena's eyes, Aneta has everything, so she keeps questioning the young woman about her life. Aneta will soon have to face a serious test, in which she will be aided by Helena.
Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point) was lensed by Przemysław Niczyporuk. Co-produced by Studio Filmowe N, this Munk Studio production has already received a number of awards internationally. In June 2014, the film won the Amber Award for Best Short Documentary at the 33rd 'Young and Cinema' Film Festival in Koszalin, then went on to receive acclaim at Kameralne Lato, Opolskie Lamy, the 'NURT' Documentary Festival, Documenta Madrid, the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Kiev, and the BIDF Budapest International Documentary Festival.
The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.
On October 23, 2015, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its list of feature documentaries submitted for consideration in the Documentary Feature category. The list of 124 films from around the world includes three Polish productions and co-productions: Nadejdą lepsze czasy (Something Better to Come) by Hanna Polak, Karski i władcy ludzkości (Karski & the Lords of Humanity) by Sławomir Grünberg, and Dotknięcie anioła (The Touch of an Angel) by Marek Tomasz Pawłowski.
The official website for Punkt wyjścia (Starting Point) is available at: startingpoint-film.pl.
Based on the press release
Translated by Karolina Kołtun