The 54th edition of Brno 16 International Short Film Festival has brought as many as nine awards for Polish filmmakers. Additionally, the organizers decided to distinguish Polish cinema for its special artistic contribution into the programme of this year's edition.

The festival in Brno has the longest history among Czech festivals exclusively devoted to short films, ranking as one of the first events of the kind in Europe as well. The festival, which takes its name from the 16mm film format, has initially only featured films made in this very format. Since the first edition, the range of films presented includes amateur, student and professional films, with the latter category comprising mainly fiction films, but also animations.

A total of 46 films were accepted to the festival this time, coming from all across the world, including eight from Poland. Among these battling for the festival’s Grand Prix were films by students at the University of Silesia Radio and Television Faculty – Marcin Filipowicz’s ‘Echo’ and Aleksandra Terpińska’s ‘All Souls’ Day’ as well as students at the National Film School in Łódź -Bartosz Kruchlik’s ‘The Heat’, Filip Gieldon’s ‘The Kiss’, Toto Kotetishvili’s ‘Watermelon’, Piotr Sułkowski’s ‘Miruna’, Matylda Kawka’s ‘Forever mine’ and ‘Steven and the Beatle’ by Piotr Loc Hoang Ngoc. The competition also featured ‘The Mystery of the Malakka Mountain’, a diploma project by Jakub Wroński, produced by Warsaw-based FUMI studio.

Succeeding ‘Frozen Stories’ which won the Grand Prix last year, another film by a student at the National Film School in Łódź was awarded the first prize. The prize for Best Film went to ‘The Heat’ by Bartosz Kruhlik, who also won the prize for the Best Director. His actors, Rafał Fudalej and Aleksander Sosiński, both received Best Actor awards.

Among animations ‘Mystery of the Malakka Mountain’ by Jakub Wroński was an unchallanged winner. It was awarded in three categories, winning awards for Best Film, Best Screenplay (for Justyna Nowak) and Best Music (for Miłosz Wośko and Adrian Jakuć-Łukaszewicz). The animation by Wroński is a story of a boy, Junior, who sets on a journey for the Malakka mountain, following the path of his father, a famous pilot who once fails to return from one of his strictly confidential missions. This mesmerising film was so far awarded, among others, at Banjaluka Festival last year, where it won a prize in the 2D category.

Other prizes went to: Agnieszka Żulewska (for the Best Female Actor in Filip Gieldon’s ‘The Kiss)’, Przemysław Brynkiewicz for Best Cinematography in ‘Miruna’ by Piotr Sulkowski and Tato Kotetishvili, whose film ‘Watermelon’ was named the Best Film under 10 minutes.

The full list of the winning films and a detailed programme of the festival can be found at its official webpage

 Above: A still frame from ‘The Heat’ by Bartosz Kruhlik