It was a year quite unlike any other in the history of film festivals. 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have cast a shadow over cultural life around the globe. Cancelled festivals in Cannes, Karlovy Vary and numerous others, postponements, and finally a dramatic last-minute move to the web – all this has caused the number of such events to dwindle to a level last seen many years ago. The new world situation and the imposed infrastructure requirements, however, could be overcome.

Many festivals coped with the new sanitary regime, infections among staff members, and moving events to the Internet. As a result, Polish short films could still be screened, rated, and awarded at both traditional and online festivals all over the world. Close to 120 titles were presented at over 280 festival screenings (with less than 50 non-competitive ones among them) everywhere from Colombia, through Kazakhstan, to Australia. Polish short films won 45 awards at 191 international festivals and were also presented as special features at the festival in Macao.

For the second year in a row, Piotr Sułkowski's “Play” gained the widest recognition among Polish shorts with its 33 screenings at international festivals. The second place went to “Red” by Karina Węgiełek with 21 screenings, while Maria Ornaf's “Bitter Herb” took third place with just six screenings fewer. With 12 screenings, “Border Crossing” directed by Agnieszka Chmura finished just off the podium, while “The Dress” by Tadeusz Łysiak and “Close2U” by Marek Głuszczak, each visiting 8 festivals, rounded off the top five.

The next place was taken by Mateusz Znaniecki's “Skin” with screenings at seven festivals. “Home Sweet Home” by Agata Puszcz, “Settling the Score” by Zuzanna Grajcewicz, Bartosz Reetz's “The Stop”, Kasia Babicz's “Attachment”, and “Recharge” by Michał Hytroś were each selected five times.

Polish short films finished 2020 with approximately 45 awards. Most of them went to “Play”. Sułkowski's film received 10 awards at 7 festivals, “Red” won 5 awards, with Tadeusz Łysiak's “The Dress” and Agnieszka Chmura's “Border Crossing” each winning four. “Recharge” was recognised at two festivals and won in four categories at one of them. “Bitter Herb” by Maria Ornaf went home with two awards in 2020.

In 2020, Polish short films were present at many major international festivals. Already in January, Damian Kocur's “My Heart” was entered in the short film competition at the international festival in Rotterdam. Krzysztof Chodorowski's “Masha” was included in the selection of the US Hollyshorts festival, while Karina Węgiełek's Red” competed for the main prize at the international festival in Thessaloniki. Polish short films also qualified to two important film festivals in Russia: Tadeusz Łysiak's “The Dress” was part of the selection at the international film festival in Moscow, while Maria Ornaf's Bitter Herb” was included in the main competition of the student film festival at the local VGIK.

Polish short films also won several main awards at large international events. “You Haven't Seen What I've Seen” by Ewa Lang received two main awards at the Finnish Blue Sea Film Festival, Maciej Buchwald's “Happiness” won the Grand Prix at the Estonian RojaL Film Festival, and “Daughter” by Mara Tamkovich was deemed the best short film at the One Shot International Short Film Festival in Armenia. In addition, awards for best short film also went to: Jędrzej Gorski's “All My Life”, Agaty Puszcz's “Home Sweet Home”, Michał Piotrowski's “Lolo”, Piotr Sułkowski's “Play”, Michała Hytroś's “Recharge” , Karina Węgiełek's “Red”, Marek Leszczewski's “Nuclear Shadows”, and Mateusz Znaniecki's Skin”.

In 2020, three festivals stood out in particular in terms of Polish shorts' participation. The first was the international short film festival KINOFILM in Manchester, with nine Polish productions included in its competitions. Two festivals featured extensive reviews of Polish short films: 11 films were shown at the interfilm international festival in Berlin in collaboration with the Krakow Film Foundation, while six selected productions from the Krzysztof Kieślowski Film School visited the festival in Macao, and five more Polish films got into its competition stage.

As every year, the festival in Clermont-Ferrand, France, turned out to be a truly unique event. As part of it, 10 Polish short films were screened as part of the Focus on Poland programme and the Krakow Film Foundation organised the national Polish Shorts booth at its International Short Film Fair for the fourteenth time. It is the largest fair in Europe devoted exclusively to short films. The booth, which was visited by several hundred people over the course of five days, promoted the latest Polish short films. Accredited producers and distributors had the opportunity to maintain existing and establish new international contacts.

The events organised or co-organised by KFF took place thanks to the support of the Polish Film Institute, as well as foreign partners – Clermont-Ferrand ISFF, International Short Film Festival Berlin (Interfilm)Leeds International Film Festival.


A Virtual Dream, dir. Bartosz Jakub Jasiński

PRIX EUROPA 2020, the Netherlands – PRIX EUROPA Rising Star 2020 Best Video Project

All My Life, dir. Jędrzej Gorski

Ostia International Film Festival 2020, ItalyBest Short

Into the Night, dir. Kamila Tarabura

36 Warsaw Film Festival, Poland – Best Short

Daughter, dir. Mara Tamkovich

18th One Shot International Short Film Festival, Armenia – Best Short Film

Beyond is the Day, dir. Damian Kocur

60th Kraków Film Festival, Poland – Silver Hobby-Horse

A Day Like Today, dir. Magda Strzyżyńska

Flaudi Film Festival 2020, Hungary – The Ecumenical jury’s award

Home Sweet Home, dir. Agata Puszcz

B3 Biennial of the Moving Image 2020, Germany – Best Short Film

The Last One, dir. Kamil Krawczycki

Barcelona International Short Film & Video Festival 2020, Spain – Special Mention

A Flower of One Night, dir. Nata Szada

Mantova Lovers Short Film Festival 2020, Italy – Best Actress

Lena, dir. Jędrzej Gorski

Une Nuit Trop Courte 2020, France – Best Short Drama

Lolo, dir. Michał Piotrowski

Batumi International Art-house Film Festival 2020, Georgia – Best Short Film

Marcel, dir. Marcin Mikulski

20th Un Festival C’est Trop Court - Nice Short Film Festival, France – Student Prize

You Haven't Seen What I've Seen, dir. Ewa Lang

Blue Sea Film Festival 2020, Finland – Main Prize Golden Baltic Herring, Best Student Short

Noamia, dir. Antonio Galdamez

60th Kraków Film Festival, Poland – Special Mention

Bitter Herb, dir. Maria Ornaf

Almaty IFF 2020, KazakhstanBest Female Director

VGIK International Student Festival 2020, RussiaStudent Jury Prize for the Best Film

Play, dir. Piotr Sułkowski

Alwar International Film Festival 2020, India – Best Director Student Film

RojaL Film Festival 2020, EstoniaAudience Award

Moscow Film Party 2020, Russia – Best Experimental Film

16th ReelHeART International Film and Screenplay Festival, Canada – Best International Short Film, Best Film Short

Vidi Space Film Festival 2020, USABest International Short, Best Cinematography, Best Editing

Kalaburagi International Short Film Festival 2020, IndiaBest Student Film

Beeston Film Festival 2020, United KingdomBest Student Film

Border Crossing, dir. Agnieszka Chmura

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival 2020, Canada Best Cinematography

Pollino Film Festival 2020, Italy – Best Editing

Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2020, UK – Best Short Fiction

20 minmax International Short Film Festival, Germany – Special Mention

Attachment, dir. Kasia Babicz

Portland Horror Film Festival 2020, USA – Main de Gloire

Recharge, dir. Michał Hytroś

Underground Indie Film Festival - Horror Cult Sci-Fi Fantasy, USA Best Cinematography

The Monochrome Film Festival 2020, UK – Best Film, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Best Cinematography, Best Actress

Red, dir. Karina Węgiełek

International Film Festival Prvi Kadar 2020, Bosnia and Hercegovina – “Key to Film” Award

Rabat International Author Film Festival 2020, Morocco – Best Direction

Bucowina Film Festival 2020, UkraineBest International Short Film

Thessaloniki International Short Film Festival 2020, GreeceCinematic Achievement Award

17 Kyiv International Film Festival KINOLITOPYS, UkraineDiploma of KIFFKinolitopys’ Review Committe

Skin, dir. Mateusz Znaniecki

International Film Festival of Wales 2020, UK Best Student Film, Welsh Dragon Award

The Dress, dir. Tadeusz Łysiak

38th Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival, USA – Best Actress

SULMONA International Film Festival 2020, ItalyBest Cinematography

EnergaCAMERIMAGE 2020, PolandBronze Tadpole

Bengaluru International Short Film Festival 2020, India – Let's Include Award

Happiness, dir. Maciej Buchwald

RojaL Film Festival 2020, Estonia – Grand Prix

Close2U, dir. Marek Głuszczak

Alexandre Trauner ART/Film Festival 2020, Hungary – 2nd Prize

Test, dir. Bartosz Toboła

Cyprus International Film Festival 2020, Cyprus – GOT TALENT Award

Within Me, dir. Maria Wider

Global University Film Awards 2020, Hong Kong – Special Mention

Nuclear Shadows, dir. Marek Leszczewski

Laurus Film Festival 2020, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Moldova – Best Short Film

*data collected on the basis of information sent by producers, filmmakers, and festival organisers to the editorial office of Polish Shorts. If you’re aware of any international awards handed out to Polish short films not included on this list, please contact our editorial office at: redakcja@polishshorts.pl