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MILLENNIUM DOCS AGAINST GRAVITY 2020 Awards

The Earth Is Blue as an Orange wins the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Grand Prix

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- Iryna Tsilyk’s film has emerged as the big winner at the Polish gathering, while other victors included Dorota Proba’s Between Us and Maciej Cuske’s The Whale From Lorino

The Earth Is Blue as an Orange wins the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Grand Prix
The winners of Millennium Docs Against Gravity 2020

The 17th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival has handed out its awards during a ceremony that was held on 10 September at Teatr Studio in Warsaw. The Earth Is Blue as an Orange [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Iryna Tsilyk
film profile
]
by Iryna Tsilyk emerged as the big winner, as it was awarded the Grand Prix – Bank Millennium Award. However, the ceremony doesn’t mark the end of this edition of the festival, as more screenings are happening in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Katowice, Poznan, Bydgoszcz and Lublin, and the gathering will end its physical run in Gdynia on 18 September. One day later, the online edition – which can be found at mdag.pl – will start unspooling, and it will run until 4 October.

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The Earth Is Blue as an Orange was picked as the winner from among the 13 films participating in the Main Competition, and the jury, comprising director Paweł Pawlikowski, director Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz and producer Sigrid Dyekjaer, unanimously decided to bestow the €8,000 prize upon the movie, as “avoiding emotional rhetoric and exaggeration, Iryna Tsilyk has made a deeply moving and at the same time universal film about the survival of the human spirit in dark times”. Furthermore, the film’s director of photography, Viacheslav Tsvietkov, was recognised with the Award for Best Cinematography. Jury members Tala Hadid (director, producer and photographer – House in the Fields), Krzysztof Skonieczny (director – Hardkor Disko [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Krzysztof Skonieczny
film profile
]
) and Samir Ljuma (cinematographer – Honeyland [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara K…
interview: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir S…
film profile
]
) approved of its “natural visual style that organically supports the intimate story of a vulnerable and yet strong family struggling to survive in the collapsing reality of war through the art of cinema”.

In the first Polish Competition of the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival, 12 films went head to head, with Between Us by Dorota Proba coming out on top, winning the Best Polish Film Award, which is valued at €3,000. The jury, consisting of director of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival Marek Hovorka, director Joanna Kos-Krauze, director Paweł Łoziński and Brigid O’Shea from the DOK Leipzig Film Festival, justified their decision as follows: “In a time where physical intimacy is limited because of the pandemic, and as unconventional ideas about relationships and love are marginalised and fluid sexual or gender identities questioned and even violently oppressed, it was a pleasure to spend time with three couples navigating the hardships and joys of modern relationships.”

Also, the jury handed a Special Mention to Let's Try to Jump into the Well, directed by Piotr Stasik and Dorota Wardęszkiewicz, as it is a “film that proves that the sense of art, life and work truly depends on which side of the bed you sit on”. Furthermore, the Smakjam Polish Competition Prize for the Best Production went to production company Pokromski Studio for The Whale From Lorino [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Maciej Cuske, who “has created a beautiful and tender group portrait of the residents of a forgotten town at the end of the world”.

One day after Warsaw, on 11 September, the winners of the other cities’ Millennium Docs Against Gravity Grand Prix were also announced. The Lower Silesia Grand Prix – Award of the Marshall of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, valued at €3,000, went to Lessons of Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Małgorzata Goliszewska and …
film profile
]
by Małgorzata Goliszewska and Kasia Mateja, meaning it was deemed the best film in the Main Competition in Wrocław, while Welcome to Chechnya by David France received a Special Mention and also picked up the Amnesty International Polska Award. Also, at Bydgoszcz, The Earth Is Blue Like an Orange received the ART.DOC Award, worth €1,500, and Welcome to Chechnya snagged a Special Mention. The Award of the President of the City of Gdynia will be announced on 17 September.

Here is the full list of winners at the 17th Millennium Docs Against Gravity:

The Grand Prix – the Bank Millennium Award
The Earth Is Blue as an Orange [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Iryna Tsilyk
film profile
]
– Iryna Tsilyk (Ukraine/Lithuania)

Best Polish Film Award
Between Us – Dorota Proba (Poland)

Special Mention
Let's Try to Jump into the Well – Piotr Stasik, Dorota Wardęszkiewicz (Poland)

Smakjam Polish Competition Prize for the Best Production
The Whale From Lorino [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Maciej Cuske (Poland)

Amnesty International Polska Award
Welcome to Chechnya – David France (USA)

Amnesty International Polska Special Mentions
For Sama [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
film profile
]
– Waad Al Khateab, Edward Watts (UK/USA)
The Cave [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Feras Fayyad (Syria/Denmark/Germany/USA/Qatar)

Award for Best Cinematography
Viacheslav Tsvietkov – The Earth Is Blue as an Orange

Green Warsaw Award
My Octopus Teacher – Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed (South Africa)

Chopin’s Nose Award
System K [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Renaud Barret (France)

TVP Kultura Award
City Dreamers Joseph Hillel (Canada)

Zwierciadło” Award for the Best Film on Psychology
Lessons of Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Małgorzata Goliszewska and …
film profile
]
– Kasia Mateja, Małgorzata Goliszewska (Poland)

Focus” Award for the Biggest Personality of the Festival
Professor Szymon Malinowski, protagonist of It’s Okay to Panic – Jonathan Ramsey (Poland)

Best Debut Award
The Euphoria of Being [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Réka Szabó (Hungary)

Lower Silesia Grand Prix
Lessons of Love – Kasia Mateja, Małgorzata Goliszewska
Special Mention
Welcome to Chechnya – David France

Bydgoszcz ART.DOC Award
The Earth Is Blue Like an Orange – Iryna Tsilyk
Special Mention
Welcome to Chechnya – David France

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