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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Poland

Kill It and Leave This Town wins the 40th Koszalin Debut Film Festival

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- Mariusz Wilczyński’s animation went home from the Polish gathering with the main award, the Grand Amber

Kill It and Leave This Town wins the 40th Koszalin Debut Film Festival
Director Mariusz Wilczyński with his Grand Amber for Kill It and Leave This Town

The Koszalin Debut Film Festival is one of those low-key gatherings that offer a delightful atmosphere to match their sumptuous programmes. The 40th-anniversary edition (14-19 June) welcomed over 350 filmmakers, who, clad in masks and ready to quench their post-COVID thirst for the company of their peers, crowded the screening rooms and built bonfires on the beach. Some of the directors were looking for amber by the Baltic Sea shore, while others found theirs by winning in one of the two competitive sections, for shorts and features.

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Mariusz Wilczyński, an accomplished animator who spent nearly 14 years making his first full-length film, turned out to be the big winner of the festival. Kill It and Leave This Town [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mariusz Wilczyński
film profile
]
, an astonishing and poignant story that revolves around his memories and grief, took home the prize dubbed the Grand Amber. “It’s beautiful that there is a place [in this festival] not only for young filmmakers, but also for debutants my age,” said 57-year-old Wilczyński in his acceptance speech.

Everyone Has a Summer, a modest coming-of-age story set in a small town, took home the Best Director Award (for Tomasz Jurkiewicz), Best Cinematography (Weronika Bilska) and Best Music (Szymon Wysocki). Iwona Siekierzyńska, the writer-director of Amateurs, got the Best Screenplay nod, while her cast scooped a collective prize for Acting Discovery. Grażyna Misiorowska, who played the lead in the deliciously camp dramedy Marygoround [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Daria Woszek
film profile
]
, snagged the Best Actress Award, and Marcin Dorociński was named Best Actor for Beloved Neighbours; this humorous satire directed by Michał Grzybowski also received the Audience Award.

In the short-film competition, the main accolades were given to Dog Days by Zuzanna Grajcewicz (Best Short Narrative Film), Close to the Ground by Paulina Sikora (Best Short Documentary) and I Am Here by Julia Orlik (Best Short Animation).

The festival also offered screenings of full-length documentaries, a Wilhelm and Anka Sasnal retrospective, as well as discussion panels.

Here is the full list of winners (all of which are Polish productions):

Feature Film Competition

Grand Amber for Best Feature Debut
Kill It and Leave This Town [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mariusz Wilczyński
film profile
]
- Mariusz Wilczyński

Amber for Best Director
Tomasz Jurkiewicz – Everyone Has a Summer

Amber for Best Screenplay
Iwona Siekierzyńska – Amateurs

Amber for Best Actor
Marcin Dorociński – Beloved Neighbours

Amber for Best Actress
Grażyna Misiorowska – Marygoround [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Daria Woszek
film profile
]

Amber for Acting Discovery
Biuro Rzeczy Znalezionych (theatre company) – Amateurs

Amber for Best Cinematography
Weronika Bilska – Everyone Has a Summer

Additional Jury Award for Best LGBT+ Performance
Mikołaj Matczak – Love Tasting [+see also:
film review
film profile
]

Audience Award – Feature Film
Beloved Neighbours – Michał Grzybowski

Short Film Competition

Amber for Best Short Narrative Film
Dog Days - Zuzanna Grajcewicz

Amber for Best Short Documentary
Close to the Ground - Paulina Sikora

Amber for Best Short Animation
I Am Here - Julia Orlik

Amber for Best Cinematography for a Short Film
Andrzej Cichocki – A Little Bit of Paradise

Amber for Best Sound for a Short Film
Sebastian Włodarczyk, Łukasz Świerzawski – Backstage

Press awards

Best Feature Film
Amateurs – Iwona Siekierzyńska

Best Short Animation
Once Upon a Time in Israel - Weronika Szyma

Best Short Documentary
Opus magnum - Filip Bojarski

Best Narrative Short
Howl - Bartosz Brzeziński

Special 40th Anniversary Award
Magdalena Łazarkiewicz – The Last Schoolbell

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