The animated documentary by Mariya Yakimovich stole the hearts of jurors of the Linz International Short Film Festival. The film was named the best documentary of the recently concluded event.

The Linz Festival is one of the youngest major events on Europe’s festival map. Established in 2018, it immediately caught the attention of creators of short films from around the world.

The winning film Papa is an autobiographical story. Taking the form of a memory diary, it shows how a problematic relationship with the author’s father impacted the development of her emotional side. The driving force behind pursuing this topic was the feeling of losing one’s self-esteem due to Papa’s mental illness and a long-standing belief that one shouldn’t discuss it at all. Going back to old films and archival photos brings about a feeling of longing and sadness. The author takes responsibility for her emotions and concludes that she needs to free herself from the past, marked by Papa’s illness, and finally create an independent self-portrait for herself. This gives a chance for rebirth and to finally show the honest feelings of an adult daughter towards Papa.

More information about the festival and the list of winners can be found here.