The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA is the largest and one of the most important documentary film festivals in the world. Every year, it attracts over 100 000 viewers, is visited by several hundred people from the most important organisations in the documentary film industry, and the films shown at IDFA are often festival favourites later on. This year, IDFA is held from November 16 to 27, but the festival awards were presented on November 23.
A strong representation of Polish documentary films was invited to the festival, but during the closing ceremony, Polish productions dominated the awards in the Student Film Competition.
The film directed by Aniela Gabryel "When Will This Wind Stop" won the ARRI IDFA Award for the Best Film in the Student Film Competition. The documentary tells about a Crimean-Tartar family living in the occupied territory of Crimea. Four personal stories focus in themselves, like in a lens, the broad experiences of people living under the pressure of political regime. Difficulties which afflict this family, affect the wider community and evoke strong emotions. However, the central theme of the film is not the regime in itself, but its consequences influencing the fates of ordinary people, who simply want to live, love and have a family. The film was made at the Lodz Film School, and it had its international première in Amsterdam.
The documentary film "Close Ties," directed by Zofia Kowalewska, received the Special Jury Award in the Student Film Competition. It is only the fourth competition screening of the film and already the fourth award, the documentary film is also included on the short list for the Academy Awards. The film tells about a married couple preparing for their 45th wedding anniversary. Barbara and Zdzisław could have been proud of themselves had it not been for the fact that the husband had abandoned his wife for his mistress for eight years. However, now they spend their old age together – though, as Barbara claims, if it was not for his aching legs, Zdzisław would still "kick about in Krakow." In spite of the former injuries, everyday problems with the accounting, the busy bathroom and moving the furniture, they are connected by a bond which is hard to define. The film was made in the Munk Studio, operating by Polish Filmmakers Association.
The full list of award-winning films is on the website of the festival IDFA.