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WARSAW 2021 Awards

Miracle wins the Warsaw Film Festival’s Grand Prix

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- “For me, it's been a dream-come-true edition,” said Stefan Laudyn, the director of the Polish gathering

Miracle wins the Warsaw Film Festival’s Grand Prix
Miracle by Bogdan George Apetri

The 37th Warsaw Film Festival (8-17 October) came to a successful close on Sunday, with European films taking home most of the awards in the International Competition. The coveted Grand Prix, which comes with 100,000 PLN (approximately €22,000) in cash, was handed to Miracle [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bogdan George Apetri
film profile
]
by Bogdan George Apetri (Romania/Czech Republic/Latvia). The Special Jury Award was presented to Russia’s YT by Stepan Burnashev and Dmitrii Davydov, while The Albanian Virgin [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Bujar Alimani (Germany/Belgium/Albania/Kosovo) received a Special Mention. Mexican helmers Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo were named Best Directors for The Other Tom.

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In the 1-2 Competition, dedicated to first and second features, Hive [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Blerta Basholli
film profile
]
by Blerta Basholli (Switzerland/North Macedonia/Albania/Kosovo) turned out to be the winner, while Cinema Sabaya by Orit Fouks Rotem (Israel/Belgium) snagged a Special Mention. China’s Bipolar by Queena Li was the deemed to be the Best Film in the 2021 Free Spirit Competition, where two movies got Special Mentions: I’m an Electric Lampshade by John Clayton Doyle (USA) and The Crossing [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Florence Miailhe (France/Germany/Czech Republic). Poland’s When Flowers Are Not Silent by Andrei Kutsila took home the main prize in the Documentary Competition, and two titles left Warsaw with Special Mentions: Closing Words by Gaelle Hard and Agnes Lejeune (Belgium) and The Return: Life After ISIS [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Alba Sotorra Clua (Spain/UK).

The Short Film Competition jury gave its Short Grand Prix to Raphael Rodriguez’s Censor of Dreams (France), while the Best Live-action Short Award went to Matty Crawford’s Culling (UK), and the Best Documentary Short turned out to be Saulė Bliuvaitė’s Limousine (Lithuania). A group consisting of eight directors – Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Philippine Singer and Alice Letailleur, who worked together on Seine’s Tears (France) – won the Best Animated Short Award. Lastly, the short documentary Yoruga by Federico Torrado (Colombia) scooped a Special Mention.

“For me, it's been a dream-come-true edition,” said Stefan Laudyn, the long-time director of the Warsaw Film Festival, in a press release. “For the opening, we had my favourite film of 2021: Captain Volkonogov Escaped [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov. The closing film was Women Do Cry [+see also:
film review
interview: Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
film profile
]
, by two directors I love — Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, from Bulgaria. Among our guests we had Oleg Sentsov, who was released from prison in Russia after a long campaign that we took part in. We managed to invite some guests from Belarus as well. We gathered a couple of dozen world, international and European premieres in our line-up. And, last but not least, it's been a proper edition – in cinemas, with audiences and international filmmakers, who came to Warsaw not just from the EU, but also from Asia, Africa and the Americas.”

Here is the full list of award winners:

International Competition

Warsaw Grand Prix
Miracle [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bogdan George Apetri
film profile
]
– Bogdan George Apetri (Romania/Czech Republic/Latvia)

Best Director
Rodrigo Plá, Laura Santullo – The Other Tom (Mexico)

Special Jury Award
YT - Stepan Burnashev, Dmitrii Davydov (Russia)
Special Mention
The Albanian Virgin [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
– Bujar Alimani (Germany/Belgium/Albania/Kosovo)

1-2 Competition

Best Film
Hive [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Blerta Basholli
film profile
]
– Blerta Basholli (Switzerland/North Macedonia/Albania/Kosovo)
Special Mention
Cinema Sabaya – Orit Fouks Rotem (Israel/Belgium)

Free Spirit Competition

Best Film
Bipolar – Queena Li (China)
Special Mentions
I’m an Electric Lampshade – John Clayton Doyle (USA)
The Crossing [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Florence Miailhe (France/Germany/Czech Republic)

Documentary Competition

Best Film
When Flowers Are Not Silent – Andrei Kutsila (Poland)
Special Mentions
Closing Words – Gaelle Hardy, Agnes Lejeune (Belgium)
The Return: Life After ISIS [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Alba Sotorra Clua (Spain/UK)

Short Films Competition

Short Grand Prix
Censor of Dreams – Raphael Rodriguez (France)

Best Live-action Short
Culling – Matty Crawford (UK)

Best Animated Short
Seine’s Tears – Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Philippine Singer, Alice Letailleur (France)

Best Documentary Short
Limousine – Saulė Bliuvaitė (Lithuania)
Special Mention
Yoruga – Federico Torrado (Colombia)

FIPRESCI Award
The Hill Where Lionesses Roar [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Luana Bajrami
film profile
]
– Luana Bajrami (Kosovo/France)

Young FIPRESCI Award
In Limbo – Alexander Hant (Russia)

Ecumenical Jury Award
The Albanian Virgin – Bujar Alimani
Special Mention
Ring Wandering - Masakazu Kaneko (Japan)

NETPAC Award
Cinema Sabaya – Orit Fokus Rotem
Special Mention
YT – Stepan Burnashev, Dmitrii Davydov

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