La Isla (Wyspa / The Island), a 30-minute short feature co-directed by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz [Hanoi-Warszawa (Hanoi-Warsaw), Flying Blind] and Dominga Sotomayor (Thursday Till Sunday), received the Canon Tiger Award at the prestigious Rotterdam International Film Festival.
Inspired by a poem by Wisława Szymborska entitled "Wypadek drogowy", the film tells the story of one family; a reunion at the family home on Chiloe island brings an opportunity to reminisce about the time spent together and to discuss time lost.
The Rotterdam film festival is one of the world's largest film events, with over 300,000 admissions and over 2,000 festival guests each year. This year's Short Film Competition had 24 films in the running for the Canon Tiger Awards. According to the jury statement, La Isla is "an astonishingly strong, atmospheric film where temporality and space are captured in such a delicate and sensual way that the tension of drama haunts you deeply."
La Isla is a project developed within the DOX:LAB section of Copenhagen's CPH:DOX festival that brings together filmmakers from different countries and continents. The 2013 edition had 22 participating directors from around the world, with Katarzyna Klimkiewicz as the only filmmaker representing Poland. Filming took place in April 2013 on the island of Chiloe. The film was produced by an international Polish-Chilean crew and lensed by Inti Briones (The Loneliest Planet). On the Polish side, the film was produced by Jan Naszewski (New Europe Film Sales) and co-produced by Maciej Kubicki and Anna Kępińska. La isla was also supported by the Polish Film Institute.
Both Klimkiewicz and Sotomayor have gained great acclaim and received multiple awards for their previous works. Dominga Sotomayor's debut film Thursday Till Sunday won the Rotterdam Film Festival and the T-Mobile New Horizons festival in 2012. Katarzyna Klimkiewicz received the 2010 European Film Award for her short feature Hanoi-Warszawa (Hanoi-Warsaw), while her UK-produced feature debut Flying Blind premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and later received the Grand Amber Award for Best Film at the 'Young and Cinema' Festival of Film Debuts in Koszalin in 2013.
Dominga Sotomayor: "I wanted to portray the complexity of family relations. I have always been interested in the mundane everyday situations, seen from the side, from a distance, which always create a type of discomfort. I am interested in how something ordinary can also appear strange."
Katarzyna Klimkiewicz: "For me, this film was an experiment; we show the world not from the perspective of a human being, but from the perspective of an island that has a life of its own. I wanted to grasp that unique state of anxiety, dread, and helplessness against something that cannot be pinpointed."
Translated by Karolina Kołtun