Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival organised the Gdynia edition of the event together with the Gdynia Film Centre again. The jury composed of: Katarzyna Figura, Mikołaj Trzaska and Mirosław Przylipiak granted the Mayor of Gdynia Award as well as 15,000 zł to the best film of the festival’s main competition. “Last Men in Aleppo” (dir. Feras Fayyad) is the winner film. The award is funded by the Mayor of Gdynia. The jury has also presented two special mentions for “The Good Postman” (dir. Tonislav Hristov) and “Machines” (dir. Rahul Jain).
Jury’s justification for the verdict:
“This year’s edition’s of Docs Against Gravity’s jury decided to grant one main award and two special mentions. There were 14 films at the festival and a third of them was considered as potential candidates for the Mayor of Gdynia Award! What was our assessment of the competition films driven by? We were interested in the theme of human lot and humans’ position in today’s world. We still believe that the documentary filmmakers’ task is to pick up taboo subjects which often are difficult and unknown to the general public. If they are show to the world, the world may become a better place. It was a difficult choice for us. We have chosen the images whose authors enchanted us with their personal approach to the subjects. They not only showed deep empathy but also proved they have their own artistic languages.
Second Special Mention: “Machines” – a special mention for social engagement. A depiction of ruthless exploitation of one man by another as well as extreme social differences which still exist today. A film about poverty of the adults and children who work for meagre wages in a 12 hour shift system. The image has a very charming form – fantastic colours and cinematography.
First Special Mention: “The Good Postman” – for the ability of observation and the director’s sensitivity in following the lives of the inhabitants of a small Bulgarian town on the Turkish border. They are faced with a difficult dilemma whether to accept immigrants for Syria. The title character sees a chance for the town’s development in the settlement of the foreign newcomers, as the place has been abandoned by nearly all young people.
The first place goes to “Last Men in Aleppo” for the authors’ sensitivity and bravery in documenting the fates of people in the besieged city beset by bombings. The film takes us to the present and authentic reality of war and tells the stories of two characters who help others selflessly. The image reveals the real tragedy of Syrians – the civilians who die in the rubble of Aleppo in front of the silent world’s eyes”.
The Mayor of Gdynia Award is yet another honour for the “Last Men In Aleppo” film granted during the 14th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival. In Warsaw, the film won the Grand Prix of the Main Competition of the 14th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival – the Millennium Award and Euro 8,000. The Award was founded by Millennium Bank and Polish Film Institute. The Warsaw audience has also voted for the film, granting it the Warsaw Documentary Award funded by the Office of Culture of the Capital City of Warsaw which amounted to Euro 2,000.
Feras Fayyad’s film has also received the Bydgoszcz ART/DOC Award as well as Euro 1,500. 14th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival in Bydgoszcz is co-financed by the Municipal Office of Bydgoszcz and the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region.
The Lower Silesia Grand Prix Award – the Lower Silesia Province’s Marshal’s Award was granted to “Last Men In Aleppo”.