20th edition of Polish Film Festival, LA award ceremony was held at Writers Guild Theater on Friday October 18th. Festival opening/award ceremony was exciting and splendid like the last 19 years of the festival. The only discouraging news came when Vladek Juszkiewicz, founder of Polish Film Festival, LA announced his resignation as director of the festival for 2020 and years after.
For us at Cinema Without Borders witnessing devotion and sacrifices of Vladek in the last 20 years this was a big shock and we hope he changes his mind as I said in my speech at the award ceremony, without Vladek, Polish cinema will become an orphan in Hollywood. (Bijan Tehrani)
At the award ceremony of 20th edition of Polish Film Festival, LA, Susan Morgan Cooper, and Bijan Tehrani, Cinema Without Borders jury members announced the best short films as the winners of GoE Bridging the Borders Award sponsored by Go Energistics.
After an intro by Bijan Tehrani, Susan Morgan Cooper read the jury statement: “For 2019 Go Energistics (GoE) Bridging The Borders Award that goes to the Best Polish Short Film, we had twelve amazing nominees and had a hard time choosing the honorary mention and winning film.
There can be a cruelty to love when life’s demands get in the way. Through beautiful shots of things left unsaid, a young Ukrainian woman, recalls the series of events that led her beloved Piotr to arrange a fictional marriage to another man for her benefit. Years later, she receives news of her husband’s death which provides an opportunity for her to see Piotr again. The beautiful and powerful film that receives our jury’s Honorary Mention, is SASHKA by Katarzyna Lesisz.
Their bottled-up resentment is cleverly symbolized in a jar of fruit whose lid has purposely been screwed on too tightly for the wife to open. When one morning she discovers that the jar’s lid has been loosened…it’s pure cinematic magic.
The GoE Bridging the Border Award goes to Bogdan I Rosa by Milena Dutkowska.”
BOGDAN AND ROSE – Bogdan i Roza
Bogdan and Roza are an old marriage. They have been living together in one room, working at the same school’s canteen, but they don’t speak to each other. Their lives are filled with silence and daily reciprocal malice.
2018 |Cambridge Film Festival, The United Kingdom—Crystal Punt Audience Award for Best Short
2018 |FilmUnica Film Festival, Slovakia—Gold Medal
2018 |Gdansk DocFilm Festival—Special Mention in Polish Short Films Competition
2018 |Nowe Kino Nowy Sacz—Award for Cinematography
Director/Writer MILENA DUTKOWSKA, Cinematography IGOR POLANIEWICZ, Music DAM SYPKA, Art Director MILENA DUTKOWSKA, Producers GRZEGORZ GRABOWSKI, JOANNA SNIEGUCKA.
Sasha, a young Ukrainian, receives a message about the passing of a man with whom she took a fictional marriage to get a Polish visa. The funeral of her husband gives her the opportunity to meet her beloved Piotr, who arranged her marriage years ago and decided to leave her with no explanation.
2019 Ca’Foscari Short Film Festival in Venice, Italy—GRAND PRIX
2018 Polish Film Festival Gdynia, Poland—Malopolska Film Award
2018 Spectrum Film Festival, Poland—Special Mention for the Best Actress
Director KATARZYNA LESISZ, Screenplay JUSTYNA BILIK (Based on the novel written by ETGAR KERET), Cinematography MICHAL DYMEK, Producer AGATA GOLANSKA.
Jury members of Cinema Without Borders for GoE Bridging The Borders Award were:
Susan Morgan Cooper
Susan Morgan Cooper is a Director/Producer/ Writer and her credits include:
To the Moon and Back, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2016 (A cinematic act of love and courage’ … Broadway World) – Hopper [In his own words] Documentary, Producer/Writer 2013 (“I was moved to tears” Mike Medavoy) – Mulberry Child, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2012 (‘A powerful and touching film’… 31/2 stars. Roger Ebert) – An Unlikely Weapon [The Eddie Adams Story]..Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2008 ( ‘A terrific documentary’ The Hollywood Reporter) – Making Of Shadows in The Sun, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2005 – Heroes And Sheroes. Television Series, Director/Producer/Writer 2000
Mirjana: One Girl’s Journey, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 1997 – Stringers, Narrative Short Director/Producer/Writer 1990 – Hadley’s Rebellion, Narrative Feature Associate Producer 1989
Lara Thomas Ducey
After graduating with degrees in Theatre/Film and English from the University of Kansas, Lara Thomas Ducey moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. With a passion for both comedy and drama, she has appeared in several commercials and programs on notable networks (TBS, HBO, TruTv, MTV, Fusion, AMC). One recent project received numerous awards and was accepted into 52 international film festivals – including the prestigious AFI Film Fest. A favorite recurring opportunity is performing in sketches on late night’s CONAN. As a founding member of Buran Theatre Company – she continues to write for and act on various stages across the US. When she isn’t in front of the camera – Lara is also an accomplished Producer, Script Supervisor and 1st AD on several short and feature length films. As a published writer, Lara contributed to the HarperCollins book, Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring [by Bassem Youssef – “the Egyptian Jon Stewart”]. Currently she is making a documentary that explores the media & criminal justice with Morgan Cooper Productions. In her “free” time, Lara volunteers with Sunrise
Movement — an organization committed to combating the climate crisis for a healthy & prosperous future for all.
Garineh Nazarian runs the festival and non-theatrical distribution section at FilmRise, a major indie distribution company based in NY. Before joining FilmRise, she ran her own distribution company working with Iranian filmmakers predominantly presenting the Iranian cinema to the North American audiences, in order to channel between the Iranian cinema and the North American audiences. She graduated from Columbia University in film studies in 2013 before entirely shifting to distribution and focusing on the marketing and the business of the cinema.
Prior to settling in the United States for her studies, she worked in film production for over a decade as producer and director on primary mainstream Iranian cinema and TV shows. Working in the spontaneous, impulsive and hyperrealist Iranian film industry taught her to become adaptable with the various streams of the film industry. Therefore, after moving to the US she gradually shifted to film studies, research, and the business of this exciting industry.
Rachel O’Meara has been a working actor across film, television and theatre for eighteen years, and is a graduate of London’s Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA). Prior to that, she worked in media with the Saatchi Group in London, S Africa and Dubai, during which time she contributed lifestyle and entertainment articles to numerous magazines, in particular IPC and ITP titles. Rachel also spent years working in Germany, France, Brunei, Nepal and Hong Kong, giving her a first-hand insight to international cinema, and she attends as many different film festivals as she can.
Rachel’s selected screen credits include “Mechanic: Resurrection” (Jason Statham, Tommy Lee Jones / Lionsgate), “Training Day” (Bill Paxton / CBS), “Spotless” (Denis Menochet / NETFLIX), “Day Of The Dead” (Millennium Films) to be released Dec 17, “War Inc.” (John Cusack, Marisa Tomei / Millennium Films), “The Experiment” (Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker), “Until Death” (JC Van Damme), in addition to many indie films and TV series
Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders and CineEqual, while teaching Language & History of film workshops and organizes film screening events and festivals. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children’s books.
For the tenth anniversary of Cinema Without Borders, Bijan has received Ambassador of International Cinema Award from South east European Film Festival, Friend of the Festival Award from Polish Film Festival, LA and Gateway to International Cinema Award from Hungarian Film festival. Bijan Tehrani is recently working on a few new children books, a screenplay for a feature film and organizing an international film festival on immigration.
The nominees for 2019 GoE Bridging The Borders Award were:
ATLAS by Maciej Kawalski, BADYLOK by Karolina Klapkowska, BOGDAN I ROZA by Milena Dutkowska, Boys With Butterflys (Chlopcy z motylkami) by Marcin Filipowicz, ELIZABETH (Elzbieta) by Wojciech Klimala, GIRLS FROM THE CUNTRY (Krajanki) by Anna Drozdek, THE PLAY-OFF (Baraz) by Tomasz Gassowski, SASHKA by Katarzyna Lesisz, THE WOODKIN (Leszy) by MAteusz Motyka, TREMORS (Drzenia) by Dawid Bodzak, THE VIOLONIST (Skrzypek) by Lukasz Olszowka (Tarnow), and VOICES (Glosy) by Tomasz Cichon.
About GoE BRIDGING THE BORDER AWARD
At a time when physical, religious, racial, cultural, and economic borders divide the population of our planet, efforts to bridge those borders should be appreciated. In that spirit, Cinema Without Borders presents Bridging the Borders Award to the films that are most successful in bridging and connecting the people of our world closer together.
Bridging The Borders Award is offered at Palm Springs International Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShoerFest Film Festival, Germany’s LUCAS International Festival for Young Film Lovers, Australia’s Veteran Film Festival, Southeast European Film Festival, LA, Polish Film Festival, LA and Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles. Bridging The Borders Award is sponsored by GoEnergistics.
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Photos and Videos by Alexandra Cooper