WATCH DOCS is one of the two largest human rights film events in the world presenting documentaries where commitment to individual rights is combined with film art. Each year the festival shows over fifty world-class films. At the international festival in Warsaw, a touring festival in more than thirty Polish towns and an online festival, a total of over one hundred thousand viewers take part in screenings each year. WATCH DOCS is the oldest documentary film festival in Warsaw – the first edition of the festival took place in 2001.
During this year’s edition, the audience decided to award Kacper Lisowski’s film Judges Under Pressure. It’s a story of unwavering judges who defend the Constitution and the separation of powers. One of them is judge Igor Tuleya, who – against external pressure – passes verdicts unfavourable for the government. This makes him enemy number one for the authorities and the face of judicial rebellion for protesting citizens. The film shows the consequences of his uncompromising attitude. We look at how political pressure affects his life. At the same time, we are witnessing the extraordinary solidarity shown by both judges and ordinary citizens. Meanwhile the rule of law in Poland is being dismantled in plain sight. Following the ruling of the politicised Constitutional Tribunal on abortion, Poland sees the largest wave of social unrest in its history. Judges take to the streets to stand shoulder to shoulder with citizens in defence of the rule of law.
You can read more about the festival here.