Yesterday evening, November 17, two important European short film festivals came to an end - The Cork Film Festival in Ireland and Brest European Short Film Festival in France. Juries of both festivals awarded films made by students of Polish National Film School in Łódź.

Cork Film Festival was held this year for the 58th time. Every year, the festival presents the full-length films and short films. This year’s Shorts @ CFF section consists of three competitions – local CorkShorts, International Section and Irish Section. In this year’s international competition as many as 36 films were shown, including Polish "Arena" directed by Martin Rath. Yesterday evening, the film won the Grand Prix in its category. On announcing the verdict the jury noted the following – from the first to the final frame, “Arena” maintains a threatening ambiguity. Shot in a perpetual twilight, things are always about to get dark, and Rath’s immense skill is to hold the tension as the film oscillates between machismo and sensitivity.

A hitchhiker is taken in by an remote Polish mountain community. Absorbed by the charismatic locals and unforgiving harshness of his new environment he constitutes his presence in the mountains. But to whom do we have to prove of what we’re made? The film is produced by Polish National Film School in Łódź. Screening in Cork was the international premiere of "Arena". In a few days the film will be shown during the Estonian Sleepwalkers Film Festival.

The second film awarded during last weekend was a 10-minute "Watermelon" by Tato Kotetishvili. This year, 42 films representing 24 countries took part in the international competition  of 28th edition of the Brest European Short Film Festival. Among them were two Polish films – apart from the already mentioned " Watermelon", also  "Manu and the cabbage" directed by Oleksander Pozdnyakov who is a Łódź Film School’s student just like Kotetishvili. Of all the presented films in the competition, 5-person jury also praised Kotetishvili’s film giving him the General Council of Finistère Award for the First or a School Film. "Watermelon" is a humorous story of two watermelons’ sellers who compete for the attention of very few customers. This is the fifth award for the film that started its career at the 52nd Krakow Film Festival. Later this month, film will compete for the awards of another two short film festivals – Estonian Sleepwalkers and Turkish Istanbul Short Film Festival.

Foreign promotion of "Arena" by Matin Rath and "Watermelon" by Tato Kotetishvili is supported by the Krakow Film Foundation.

The complete list of awarded films at both festivals can be found at the website of festival in Cork and in Brest