“The Silent Twins” wins the Golden Lions at the Polish Film Festival
The Silent Twins, Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s English-language debut, which premiered earlier this year at Cannes, has come out on top at the Gdynia-based gathering of the Polish Film Festival, scooping a slew of prizes.
According to cineuropa,org, the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia in its 47th edition, which unspooled from 12-17 September, is a real focal point for the local industry and was no different, with a much higher number of Main Competition films than usual (20, of which four were added during the second selection round). The gathering’s abundant industry section focused on the current challenges within the Polish audiovisual market, and there was no lack of audiences flocking to the cinemas.
The Silent Twins, which also took home the well-deserved Awards for Best Music (Marcin Macuk and Zuzanna Wrońska) and Best Production Design (Jagna Dobesz), is the third feature, and the first in the English language, by Smoczyńska, who this time told a story based on real events (but transformed them into an amazing, dark fairy tale that would make Michel Gondry slightly jealous) – specifically, the lives of Welsh writers June and Jennifer Gibbons.
The film has already had a US release, and is awaiting a Polish theatrical premiere on 21 October and a UK one on 9 December.
Filip, a Holocaust-set adventure-drama based on Leopold Tyrmand’s writing, and directed by Michał Kwieciński, came second, nabbing the Silver Lions. Furthermore, its DoP, Michał Sobociński, snagged the Award for Best Cinematography. The ballsy zombie-horror movie Apokawixa, directed by Xawery Żuławski (the HBO Max series The Thaw ), won the Golden Claw for Vision Apart, an award given to a film that stands out both narratively and visually. Actress Marta Stalmierska, who stars in Apokawixa, won the Best Acting Debut gong (both for this and for her role in Johnny).
Jacek Bławut, a veteran documentary filmmaker, took home the Best Director Award for his second feature, Below the Surface, taking place entirely on a World War II submarine. Also, three individual prizes were presented to this film: Best Sound (Radosław Ochnio, Michał Fojcik), Best Editing (Piasek & Wójcik) and Best Make-up (Dariusz Krysiak, also acknowledged for Filip). Another seasoned documentary filmmaker, Beata Dzianowicz, received the Best Directorial Debut (or Second Film) Award for Shreds, which was also lauded for Grzegorz Przybył’s performance, earning him Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Małgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik was voted by the jury as Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her turn in Illusion by Marta Minorowicz.