For the first time Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival in cooperation with Gdyńskie Centrum Filmowe has also organized the Festival in Gdynia. A jury, consisting of: Katarzyna Figura (actress), Mikołaj Trzaska (saxophone player), Mirosław Przylipiak (film theorist) gave The Mayor of Gdynia Award to the film “Ukrainian Sheriffs”.
The Mayor of Gdynia Award goes to the film Ukrainian Sheriffs directed by Roman Bondarchuk,
for its compositional discipline and suggestive portrayal of the astonishing, full of surprises and contradictions, multidimensional reality of contemporary Ukraine.
Helena Třeštíková’s Mallory receives a Special Jury Mention for creating, as a result of patient, long-time observation, a wonderful portrait of a woman, who in spite of multiple mistakes and falls has the power to fight against this cruel world and her own weaknesses.
The level of the competition was extremely high. Out of the 13 presented films, at least half has been considered as potential candidates to the award. Various styles and documentary formulas have been exposed – from raw registration of facts, through different methods of linking documentalism and forms of fiction, up to poetic documentaries, revealing purely aesthetic values of reality. There was place for psychodrama (Jerzy Śladkowski’s Don Juan), a film about the process of making a movie (Under The Sun by Vitaliy Manski), a film-lecture (The Swedish Theory of Love by Erik Gandini), a film-meditation session (Homo Sapiens by Nikolaus Geyrhalter) and a protest documentary (Sonita by Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami). As usual, documentaries were looking into the most dangerous parts of the world, thus there was Afghanistan, Ukraine (two films) and North Korea. At the same time, there was place for studied analysis of the relatively prosperous and peaceful Western world (e.g. Europe, She Loves by Jan Gassmann) or complicated and rooted in the past family matters (A Family Affair by Tom Fassaert, Thy Father’s Chair by Àlex Lora and Antonio Tibaldi). Not to mention wonderful, complex and multidimensional human portraits, a magnificent exemple of which (and not the only one) is the distinguished film Mallory.
All in all, the Festival represented all the best that contemporary documentary cinema has to offer, thanks to which it evolves so dynamically, gathering constantly growing crowds of admirers, often tired and bored by predictable, unauthentic and childish fiction cinema.