'Ida' by Pawel Pawlikowski

Jury praises Polish film lineup

GDYNIA, Poland — Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Ida” won the Golden Lion in a strong lineup of Polish films at the Gdynia Film Festival, with Roman Polanski handing him the award at the closing ceremony on Saturday.

“Ida,” which screened at Toronto, is about a novice nun in Communist-era Poland who discovers her parents were Jewish, and were murdered during the Nazi occupation of Poland. 

Silver Lions went to Maciej Pieprzyca’s “Life Feels Good,” which featured a standout performance by Dawid Ogrodnik as a man with cerebral palsy, and Malgoska Szumowska’s gay priest drama “In the Name Of,” which also took the directing prize.

The screenwriting award was nabbed by Jacek Bromski for “One Way Ticket to the Moon.” Bromski, who also helmed the film, said it had been finished just before the fest and that he thought he had made a drama, but when he saw the audience reaction he realized it was a comedy. The film is about two brothers travelling across Poland in 1969. 

Screenwriter Christopher Hampton (“Dangerous Liaisons”), who was on the jury and handed out the award, congratulated the Polish film biz for “the extremely high quality of the films I’ve been watching this week.” 

Best actress was Agata Kulesza in “Ida,” and best actor was Andrzej Chyra for “In the Name Of.” Cinematography award went to Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski for “Ida.”

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