We have been waiting for this news since the end of August, precisely from the moment we found out that Paweł Łoziński’s documentary, along with twelve other titles, was shortlisted for this year’s European Film Award for Best Documentary.
The European Film Awards were established in 1988 and are considered the most prestigious awards honouring European films. Considered the equivalent of the American Oscar, it is awarded by the members of the European Film Academy. The current head of the academy is Agnieszka Holland, who replaced Wim Wenders in this position. The first winner of the award was Krzysztof Kieślowski for A Short Film About Killing. Several Polish films had received these nominations – and often won.
There was also a Polish documentary among the winners. In 2017, Anna Zamecka’s Communion triumphed at a gala held – then – in Berlin. Will Paweł Łoziński’s film repeat this success and return from the capital of Iceland with an award? It certainly is on the right track.
It all started in Locarno with a screening during the prestigious La Semaine de la Critique, where the film won the Grand Prix/Prix SRG SSR. It was a very promising start for what turned out to be an excellent festival career. The documentary began cruising the world, starting with major European events such as IDFA in Amsterdam, CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, Doc Aviv in Tel Aviv, and Ji.hlava’s IDFF. It brought back awards from ZagrebDox, DOK Leipzig, FIPADOC or Trieste, where it was recognised by both the jury and the Italian audience.
As it turned out, the documentary was also received enthusiastically on other continents. The Balcony Movie began touring North America (including the True/False Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto and the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival), Australia and New Zealand (Antenna Documentary Film Festival in Sydney, Doc Edge International Documentary Film Festival in Auckland or the Melbourne International Film Festival and others), as well as South America, where at it received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences qualifying award at Brazil’s It’s All True – 27th International Documentary Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro. This means that the film will be placed – without having to meet any additional conditions – on the so-called long list in the Best Documentary Feature category and has a chance of receiving an Oscar nomination.
Within a year of its premiere, Paweł Łoziński’s film was screened at nearly seventy international film festivals, winning 26 awards!
The film’s extraordinary popularity has certainly been greatly influenced by its universal appeal and the characters who appear under the Polish documentary filmmaker’s balcony.
The film seeks to answer the questions of whether everyone can be a film protagonist, whether the entire world can be contained within a single frame? Director Paweł Łoziński watches people from his balcony. Both young and old, they walk by smiling, sad, thoughtful, staring at their phones. Residents of the neighbourhood, or casual visitors, ordinary passers-by. The author approaches them, asks questions, talks about their life and how they’re doing. Standing there with his camera for over 2 years, he created a place for dialogue, a secular confessional where everyone can stop and tell others about themselves. Every person carries their own riddles and secrets. They can’t be easily labelled. Everyone’s story is unique and life can’t be imagined. The Balcony Movie is a radical return to the early days of cinema, when it was people who would approach the camera. Perhaps one just needs to stop and stay a while to see more?
You can watch the trailer here.
The film has been produced by HBO Max, Lozinski Production and Mazovia Warsaw Film Fund. KFF Sales & Promotion is the international sales agent responsible primarily for the film’s international distribution and festival promotion.The film can be watched on HBO Max.
A complete list of festivals and awards the film has received cae found here.
Paweł Łoziński – born in 1965 in Warsaw. Polish director, cameraman and producer of documentaries. Graduate of the Directing Departmentat the Film School in Łódź. Author of more than 20 award-winning documentaries. He makes distinct and emotionally charged films about people of whom he draws intimate portraits. Łoziński gained international recognition with his documentary debut „Birthplace” (1992). His next films „Sisters”, „Chemo”, „Father and Son”, „You Have No Idea How Much I Love You” and the latest „TheBalcony Movie” are considered innovative as they venture into new thematic areas and exploreuncharted spaces within the documentary film genre.
KFF Sales & Promotion, launched by the Krakow Film Foundation, promotes Polish documentary, short and animated films abroad by running three projects: Polish Docs, Polish Shorts and Polish Animations. It is the only agency that has such a comprehensive approach to promoting Polish films. KFF Sales & Promotion offers films to the film festivals and cultural events around the world, organizes special screenings of Polish films, supports Polish filmmakers and producers in developing and promoting both, their projects and already finished films. Each year the catalogue of films represented by KFF Sales & Promotion is updated with around 70 new titles. KFF Sales & Promotion is also sales agency for Polish documentaries. The current sales catalogue includes 10, mid- and feature-length docs, with international potential, universal topics and artistic values.