It was an exceptionally successful edition of DOK Leipzig. Paweł Łoziński, Karol Pałka and Marta Pajek all came back from the German festival having each won a prize.

DOK Leipzig is one of world's major documentary and animated film events. Each year it presents the latest film productions from dozens of countries on all continents. Its extremely rich program includes animations and documentaries from all over the world.

This year's edition was special for our country.In addition to the awarded films, the program featured several other Polish films (we wrote about it here), and the industry part also hosted our country's delegation, which you can read about here.

The presence of Polish films in competitions translated into several awards. Polish productions triumphed in three categories. "Bucolic" by Karol Pałka received the Silver Dove awarded to the best international documentary or animated film. The film revolves around Danusia and her daughter Basia. They live somewhere on the edge of the world, keeping to the rhythm and laws of nature, among the animals and spirits of the dead. Their refuge gives them peace and a feeling of security, but also makes them long for other people. Bucolic is a parable about people who live differently, a gentle observation that gives rise to curiosity, and an attempt to come closer.

The prize for the festival's best animated short went to the last part of Marta Pajek's award-winning trilogy. "Impossible Figures and Other Stories I" present a world right after a big bang. Only a few seniors are left alive in a deserted city. The protagonist of the film, an old woman, walks the streets of the empty city with difficulty. She is surrounded by facades of empty houses with geometrically divided planes, monuments that reminiscent of past victories that are now completely meaningless and dead mannequins in store windows. The memories of those who will never come back to the city come back in short flashes. The first part of Marta Pajek's triptych is a post-apocalyptic vision of the world in which man and his existence mean no more than a fraction of a second. Marta Pajek's triptych is based on the concept of impossible figures.

In turn Paweł Łoziński's film received the prestigious MDR Film Prize. "The Balcony Movie" asks several important questions. Can anyone be a film protagonist? Can you fit the entire world in a single frame? Director Paweł Łoziński watches people from his balcony. Both young and old, they walk by smiling, sad, thoughtful, staring at their phones. Residents of the neighbourhood, or casual visitors, ordinary passers-by. The author approaches them, asks questions, talks about their life and how they're doing. By standing there with his camera for over 2 years, he created a place for dialogue, a secular confessional where everyone can stop and tell others about themselves. Every person carries their own riddles and secrets. They can't be easily labelled and life can't be imagined. The Balcony Movie is a radical return to the early days of cinema, when it was people who approached the camera. Perhaps one just needs to stop and stay a while to see more?

A complete list of winners can be found here.