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Poland wins IFF Tofifest 2011

Marek Lechki’s debut “Erratum” won the main competition of the International Film Festival Tofifest in Toruń. The best short film was Belgian “Pour toi them ferai bataille / For You I Will Fight” directed by Rachel Lang, and the winner of the Polish competition – “The Mill and the Cross” by Lech Majewski. Special Golden Angels were presented to Jim Sheridan, Dagur Kári, Piotr Głowacki and Marcin Sauter.

Polish “Erratum” directed by Marek Lechki won the full-length debuts and second films competition ON AIR. It is one of the most interesting Polish debuts of recent years. It tells a story about trying to reverse the irreversible — one’s past life. Businessman Michał needs to stay a few more days in his native village, which he had so much wanted to escape. Memories, bandmates and dreams come back… “Maybe there are things that can still be reversed?”, he thinks.

The award for the best director and the Zygmunt Kałużyński award for the most inspiring scene in the competition films were given to Slava Ross, the director of “Siberia. Monamour”. Like a ruthless, savage dog attack, “Siberia…” is a moving story about life and death at the margins of Russian society. The film focuses on an area cut off from the world where the old farmer lives with his grandson. Both will have to fight a bloody battle with the forces of nature to survive until the first days of spring. The film is the second work of Ross, and screening in Toruń is the Polish premiere of the film.

On Air films were evaluated by the jury, on which sat: the creator of “The Dark House” and “Noi the Albino” — Icelandic director Dagur Kári; the winner of the Golden Lions in Gdynia director Borys Lankosz; the creator of “Mother Teresa of Cats” awarded in Karlove Vary, writer-director Paweł Sala; a distinguished film critic Tadeusz Sobolewski and popular Polish actress Marta Żmuda-Trzebiatowska.

The second competition is an international SHORTCUT devoted to short films. Golden Angel was awarded to Belgian “Pour toi je ferai bataille / For You I Will Fight” directed by Rachel Lang. It is a story of a girl who joins the French army to heal the wounds after a failed relationship. Contrary to the appearances, the film in a subtle and gentle way tells the story of a young woman looking for purpose in life.

SHORTCUT films were evaluated by the jury composed of eminent directors of the young generation: Katarzyna Klimkiewicz, awarded with the European Film Award and the Grand Prix of Tofifest 2010 and Rafał Kapeliński, the winner of Independent Golden Lions at Gdynia Polish Film Festival and of the Grand Prix of Tofifest 2006. The director of Vilnius Film Festival “Kino Pavasaris”, Santa Lingeviciute, also sat on the jury.

“The Mill and the Cross” directed by Lech Majewski won the Polish films competition FROM POLAND. Majewski’s mystical work animates “The Procession to Calvary”, one of the most classic images of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, sixteenth-century Dutch painter. Since its premiere a few months ago the film has met with expressions of admiration throughout the world. FROM POLAND’s award was granted by the audience of Tofifest.

Six special Tofifest awards were handed as well:

Golden Angel of Tofifest for his courage in taking on difficult matters and outstanding achievement in the world cinematography was awarded to Jim Sheridan. Irish director has scored six Oscar nominations and is an author of such masterpieces like “My Left Foot” and “In the Name of the Father”. Sheridan was in Toruń for a few days during which he met with the audience and led a masterclass lesson.

Icelander Dagur Kári received a Special Golden Angel for an Outstanding Young Artist of European Cinema. Kári is a creator of great “Dark Horse” and “Noi the Albino”. This award was given for the second time. Last year it went to Julia Jentsch.

Tofifest Raftsmen, awards for outstanding young filmmakers associated with the region of Kujawsko-Pomorskie, were given to actor Piotr Głowacki and documentary filmmaker Marcin Sauter. Głowacki, originating from Toruń, is known from such films as “Dark House” by W. Smarzowski, “Ode to Joy” by J. Komasa, TV series “Instinct” and “1920. War and love” and roles for which we wait — in “The Battle of Warsaw” by Jerzy Hoffmann and “In Darkness” by Agnieszka Holland. Bydgoszcz’s Sauter, a well-known documentary filmmaker, author of worldwide award-winning films “Walking Cinema”, “Behind the Fence”, “First Day” and full-length debut, which screened last year on Tofifest, “To the north of Calabria”. Raftsman is an award traditionally presented by the Mayor of Toruń, Michał Zaleski. It is the oldest and the only of its kind award in Poland.

Let us also recall two awards presented earlier.

Golden Angel for the Artistic Insolence was received by Jerzy Stuhr during the opening ceremony. A great Polish actor and director emphasized the importance of the Golden Angel to him: “For me this award will be a symbol of my whole creative life and of what I have managed to create”.

Special Golden Angel for Opening New Horizons and Artistic Contribution to the World’s Cinematography was received by Czech master Jiří Menzel, creator of “Closely Watched Trains”. The award was presented to him on Tuesday. He spoke on that occasion: “I am surprised that such a great feast was prepared for me. At least my wife will know that I am a great man” — as always, keeping a great distance from himself.

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