On Thursday, May 24, another two awards of the 15th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival were announced during the Award Ceremony of the Gdynia edition of the festival.
The Grand Prix – The Mayor of Gdynia Award
The jury: Marcin Borchardt – director, film historian and lecturer, Katarzyna Smoła – producer and promoter of cultural events, Anna Witkowska – visual artist and designer, decided to award the Grand Prix – the Mayor of Gdynia Award for Best Feature of the Main Competition and 15 000 PLN to “The Long Season” by Leonard Retel Helmrich. The award is funded by the mayor of Gdynia.
“For the most noble form of documentalism that is observational documentary, for film excellence and great courage. For strength and perseverance in presenting a world far from the European one. For diving into the harsh reality of a camp. For presenting the Syrian tragedy without relying on stereotypes – without theatrical empathy and drastic images of the war” – the jury comments.
In “The Long Season”, Leonard Retel Helmrich shows the real life of Syrian refugees in a camp for seasonal workers in Lebanon. The war has rendered going home impossible for them so they try to adapt to the new life. Their everyday life consists of work, taking care of children, waiting for food or waiting for news from Raqqa. Although there are also births, weddings, celebrations and dances, the issues of the exploitation of cheap labor force by the Lebanese, limits put on women’s freedom, increasing frustration of men or aggressive behavior of children whose lives have been impacted by the war, are escalating.
The jury of the Grand Prix – the Mayor of Gdynia Award also gave a special mention to “The Prince and the Dybbuk” (“Książę i dybuk”) by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski. “For excellence in telling the story of a life filled with contradictions. For great cinematography and oneiric atmosphere. For bringing back the memory of the director Michał Waszyński” – the jury said.
“The Long Season” and “The Prince and the Dybbuk” were chosen out of 13 films of the Main Competition during the 15th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival.
The “Co Jest Grane 24” Readers’ Choice Award
This year, for the second time, the “Co Jest Grane 24” Readers’ Choice Award was given out. The festival audience in Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdynia and Lublin voted for their favorite film among the 9 films presenting different pop culture phenomena, but also more serious subjects. “Dolphin Man” by Lefteris Charitos received the most votes! The director will be awarded with a statue and 1 000 EUR.
“Dolphin man” is a film about Jacques Mayol, one of the greatest divers in history, multiple world record holder in deep-sea diving, known as dolphin man, theoretician and enthusiast of diving, philosopher, whose life inspired the cult film by Luc Besson “The Great Blue” (which Mayol helped writing). He was the first freediver to dive below 100 meters, and his idea of unity of people and the ocean, including the dolphins, presented in the book “Homo Delphinus” is crucial for all deep-sea divers.
During the 15th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival, the audience saw 160 documentary films which encouraged BREAKING FREE! – from routine and stereotypes to open up to the world presented by the most interesting and intensively developing film genre that is documentary