Slovak director Denis Dobrovoda’s feature debut “The Cathedral” took the best film prize in the International Documentary Competition section of the 62nd Krakow Film Festival, which runs May 29-June 12. “All That Breathes,” which won prizes at Sundance and Cannes, and has been picked up by HBO, was also among the prize winners.
“The Cathedral” focuses on Justo Gallego Martínez, who started building a cathedral in Spain’s Mejorada del Campo 60 years ago without any qualifications, architectural plans or official permission. He invested his own funds and built it almost entirely with his own hands, mostly out of waste and recycled materials.
The film is produced by Matthew Bremner and Dobrovoda’s Kolsa Films, which is seeking distribution for the film.
Indian director Shaunak Sen won the award for “the best film with high artistic values” with “All That Breathes,” which picked up the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Sundance, and the L’Oeil d’Or (Golden Eye) award for the best documentary at Cannes. HBO Documentary Films bought worldwide television rights for the film last month.
The film takes place in New Delhi, where two brothers have fallen in love with the black kite. From their makeshift bird hospital in their tiny basement, they care for thousands of these mesmeric creatures that drop daily from the smog-choked skies. As environmental toxicity and civil unrest escalate, the relationship between this family and the neglected kite forms a poetic chronicle of the city’s collapsing ecology and rising social tensions.
Spain’s Laura Sisteró won an award for the director of the best film on social issues with “Tolyatti Adrift.” The film follows Bojewaja Klassika, a group of young people who practice illegal drifting. They drift in old cars, Ladas, which once made their hometown of Tolyatti famous. As there are no prospects for them here now, an alternative for unemployment is either departure for Moscow or a poorly paid job. Some of them have already joined the army, a career option imposed by the state. The protagonists are at the verge of adulthood and they still have some plans and dreams, unlike their parents, who are stuck in the previous era.
Special mentions went Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski for “The Hamlet Syndrome” and Igor Ivanko’s “Fragile Memory.”
The jury consisted of Switzerland’s Till Brockmann, France’s Christine Camdessus, Israel’s Ohad Milstein, North Macedonia’s Petrula Veljanovska and Poland’s Agnieszka Zwiefka.
This article is published in partnership with online news service Film New Europe, which covers film and TV industry news from across Central and Eastern Europe.