We have behind us yet another year of struggling with the pandemic, but also adapting to the requirements imposed by the new reality. Festival organisers did their best to make events happen and reach their audiences, often choosing online or hybrid forms. Thanks to their efforts, among others, Polish short films could reach audiences around the world and have a chance to win new awards. You can read all about it in this summary and we highly encourage you to do it.

Another pandemic year is behind us, which fortunately didn't bring about the definitive end of festival life. True, some of the events had to move online but a lot of events found their way back to hybrid versions. Polish short films were shown at over 120 international events. There were almost 200 screenings, including 132 competitive ones, thanks to which our productions received almost 40 awards and distinctions.

The title of the film most frequently invited to festivals went to Marek Leszczewski's The Dreams of Lonely People. Next was Damian Kocur's Beyond Is the Day. This intimate story could be seen over 20 times at the most important international events. Another production from the Warsaw Film School did quite well, like By the River by Agata Korycka. Productions from the Katowice school were also quite popular, including Vyraj by Agnieszka Nowosielska, Last Days of Summer by Klaudia Kęska, Flora by Karolina Monwid-Olechnowicz, and Mother's Day by Patryk Kaflowski.

Once again, the number of screenings translated into the number of awards a film has won. Damian Kocur triumphed last year. His short narrative won as many as 9 prestigious awards.  Marek Leszczewski's fil came second, Agata Korycka's By the River came third, Vyraj was fourth, followed by Nastazja Gonera's First Last Summer which both tied.

Although January was dominated by industry events, there was no lack of festival successes for Polish productions. Home Sweet Home by Agata Puszcz was recognised for its cinematography at the Kustendorf film festival Kustendorf in Serbia, while Beyond Is the Day won the award for best short film at the 32nd Trieste Film Festival. Just a few weeks later, Damian Kocur's film was named Best European Film by the jury of the Clermont-Ferrand festival.

As many as two Polish short films won awards in their competitions at the prestigious In The Palace festival in Bulgaria: The Dress by Tadeusz Łysiak and Ondine by Tomasz Śliwiński. In turn, Do Monsters Eat Kiwi? by Paweł Podolski received an award in the international section of the Austin Comedy Film Festival competition in the United States. Meanwhile, Łysiak's film was noticed at another American festival. The production beat its competitors in the short narrative film competition at the Atlanta Film Festival. This victory for the Warsaw Film School-made production meant that the film was included on the shortlist for the 2022 Academy Awards.

The beginning of June saw the conclusion of the Krakow Film Festival, with the Silver Hobby-Horse for the best Polish short film going to Nastazja Gonera. A few days later, the Ukrainian Molodist festival came to an end, where Kamila Tarabura's Into the Night received two awards. 

The beginning of August brought another award for Damian Kocur's film. This time his latest production received a special mention at the Terre da Film Festival in Italy. A few days later, Nastazja Gonera learned that her short film – awarded in Krakow earlier – was in the semi-finals of the student Oscars. The good news at the end of the summer holidays turned out to be a harbinger of an excellent autumn for Polish filmmakers. In September, Beyond is the Day won the Grand Jury Prize at the International Film Festival in the French town of Nancy, while Bartosz Kozera's The Stone received the Grand Prix at the International Short Film Festival in Jeonju, South Korea. In October, it was time for Agnieszka Nowosielska's Vyraj to triumph. It was first recognised as the best short production during the 4th edition of the ELBE DOCK International Film Festival in Usti nad Labem in the northern Czech Republic, and just a while later it received a special mention at the 9th edition of the Dracula Film Festival in Brasov, Romania. Trophies also went to Tomasz Wolski's Problem, which was honoured with a Gold Frame award at the Short Focus Film Festival - Frame Light in the UK. Nastazja Gonera was recognised as a director at the International Short Film Festival of Cyprus, a similar award went to Marcin Mikulski for his film Marcel at The Pigeon International Film Festival, and Bartosz Reetz received at the Worcester Film Festival for the cinematography in his short film The Stop.

Good news also reached us in November. The Last Whistle by Karol Lindholm won La Cabina International Film Festival held in Valencia, Spain. The jury appreciated the film and its production design. Klaudia Kęska left the Brest European Short Film Festival in France with three awards. The film Last Days of Summer was appreciated by the audience of the European Competition, the Youth Jury and the Federation “Des Passeurs de Courts” awarded by a Jury consisting of the employees and volunteers from the Cinéphare cinema network. Two more statuettes went to Agnieszka Nowosielska's film.  The first one, in the form of a special mention, came from the PÖFF | Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, and the second is the Grand Prix received at the International Film School Festival Tetouan in Morocco. At the end of the month, Nastazja Gonera's film was recognised at the 22nd Izmir Kisa Film Festival, and before that another award went to Damian Kocur at the Tehran International Short Film Festival.

At the end of the year another award went to Agnieszka Nowosielska. This time, the film delighted the jury of the student competition at the Macau International Short Film Festival in China.Simultaneously, Karina Węgiełek's Red was recognised as the best student film at the Brno Film Festival in the Czech Republic, and yet another award went to Damian Kocur. His film won at the International Short Film Festival Tous Courts of Aix-en-Provence in France.In the second half of December, we also learned about the chance of an Oscar nomination for The Dress. Today we already know that the film got into the final five.

As you can see, there was no shortage of Polish narrative films at many major international festivals. However, the presence of films in the programme is not the only Polish flourish at such events. Poland was represented at industry events; despite restrictions and the fact that the fair has been moved online, we were present at Clermont Ferrand. The virtual delegation of Polish Shorts, coordinated by the Krakow Film Foundation, included representatives of the Polish Film Institute, the Łódź Film School, the Krzysztof Kieślowski Film School, the Warsaw Film School, Studio Munka – SFP, New Europe Film Sales, KFF Sales & Promotion, the Krakow Film Festival, the Short Waves festival, the Krakow Animation Centre, and the Krakow Film Commission. Guests accredited to the festival had the opportunity to learn more about the activities of all the above organisations during the Meet the Polish Shorts Delegation presentation.

Events organised or co-organised by KFF were held with the support of: the Polish Film Institute, as well as foreign partners – Clermont-Ferrand ISFF.


Into the Night, dir. Kamil Tarabura

50th Kyiv International Film Festival «Molodist», Ukraine – Special Prize, Ecumenical Jury's Prize

Do Monsters Eat Kiwi?, dir. Paweł Podolski

Austin Comedy FIlm Festival 2021, USA – Best International Director

Beyond Is The Day, dir. Damian Kocur

32nd Trieste Film Festival, Italy – Best Short Film

Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, France – Best European Film – European Film Awards Nomination)

1st Terre da Film Festival, Italy – Best International Film

Aye Aye VO, Nancy International Film Festival 2021, France – Grand Jury Prize

FIKE – Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens de Évora, 2021, Portugal – Best Fiction, Diploma Best Acting Performance

The Pigeon International Film Festival, 2021, Iceland – Best Cinematography

38th Tehran International Short Film Festival, 2021, Iran – Best Feature Film Award

5th Blue Danube Film Festival, Austria, Hungary – Best Short Film

Tumble, dir. Milena Dutkowska

Horrible Imaginings Film Festival, 2021, USA – Best Actor

The Stone, dir. Bartosz Kozera

JEONJU International Film Festival, 2021, South Korea – Grand Prix

Lolo, dir. Michał Piotrowski

Festival Internacional de Cine Silente México, 2021, Mexico – Mimi Derba award for Best Silent Short Film

End of the World, dir. Karol Ulman

LJMU MA Short Film Festival 2021, United Kingdom – The Paper Bird Award, The Paper Bird Award – Best Student Short Film

Marcel, dir. Marcin Mikulski

37th European Film Festival of Lille, France – Best Décalé Prize

The Pigeon International Film Festival, 2021, Iceland – Best Director

The Dreams of Lonely People, dir. Marek Leszczewski

Universal Film Festival - Nowy Jork, USA - Best Cinematography
Castrovillari Film Festival - Castrovillari, Włochy - Youth Jury Award
Festival International Signes de Nuit, Francja - The Night Award
Dreamanila International Film Festival, Filipiny Best Film
Bucharest ShortCut CineFest, Rumunia - Best director, Best score, Best student film, Best actress
BangkokThai International Film Festival, Tajlandia - Best Fiction Short Film
TiSFF, Thessaloniki International Shorts, Grecja - Cinematic Achievement
Ostia International Film Festival, Włochy - Best Film, Best Actor

Masha, reż. Krzysztof Chodorowski

The Pigeon International Film Festival, 2021, Islandia - Best Actress

Beside the Vistula River, reż. Agata Korycka

LGBTQ+ Los Angeles Film Festival, USA – Audience Award, Best Short

Sweden Film Awards, Szwecja - Best LGBT Film

London Shorts Festival, Wielka Brytania - Best LGBT Short

Luleå International Film Festival, Szwecja - Best LGBT Film, Best First Film

 Vesuvius International Film Festival, Włochy - Best LGBT Short Movie

Eurasia International Monthly Film Festival, Rosja - Best Camera

Tokyo International Short Film Festival, Japonia - Best Female Director

By the River, dir. Agata Korycka

LGBTQ+ Los Angeles Film Festival, USA – Audience Award, Best Short

Sweden Film Awards, Sweden – Best LGBT Film

London Shorts Festival, United Kingdom – Best LGBT Short

Luleå International Film Festival, Sweden – Best LGBT Film, Best First Film

Vesuvius International Film Festival, Italy – Best LGBT Short Movie

Eurasia International Monthly Film Festival, Russia – Best Camera

Tokyo International Short Film Festival, Japan – Best Female Director

Ondine, dir. Piotr Śliwiński

18th IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival, Bulgaria – Best Film

Arizona International Film Festival 2021, USA – Best Short Feature

54th WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, USA – Platinum Remi Award

Last Days of Summer, dir. Klaudia Kęska

36th Brest European Short Film Festival, France – Audience Award, „Des Passeurs de Courts” Award, Young Jury Award

The Last Whistle, dir. Karol Lindholm

La Cabina International Film Festival, 2021, Spain – Grand Prix, Best Scenography

18th International Festival-Workshop of Film Schools Kinoproba, 2021, Russia – Best Fiction Film Debut Jury Award

First Last Summer, dir. Nastazja Gonera

61st Krakow Film Festival, 2021, Poland – Silver Hobby-Horse

11th International Short Film Festival of Cyprus, Cyprus – Best Director

41st VGIK International Student Festival, 2021, Russia – Special Mention

22nd International Izmir Short Film Festival, Turkey – 2nd Award

Problem, dir. Tomasz Wolski

Short Focus Film Festival – Frame Light, 2021, United Kingdom – Gold Frame

Shorts That Are Not Pants 2021, Canada – Best Narrative Short

The Stop, dir. Bartosz Reetz

Worcester Film Festival, 2021, United Kingdom – Best Cinematography

Red, dir. Karina Węgiełek

Brno Film Festival, 2021, Czech Republic – Grand Prix: Best Student Film

The Dress, dir. Tadeusz Łysiak

45th Atlanta Film Festival, USA – Best Narrative Short

Etiuda&Anima, 2021, Poland  – The Silver Dinosaur

Wiki, dir. Veronika Andersson

KINOFILM Festival, United Kingdom – Best Actress

East-West, dir. Natalia Koniarz

The Pigeon International Film Festival, 2021, Islandia - Best Actress

Vyraj, dir. Agnieszka Nowosielska

4th International Film Festival Elbe Dock, Czech Republic – Elbe Dock

Dracula International Film Festival, 2021, Romania – Special Mention

POFF Shorts International Short Film and Animation Festival, 2021, Estonia – Special Mention

International Film School Festival Tetouan, 2021, Morocco – Grand Prix

Macau International Short Film Festival, Macau, China – Best Student Film

*data collected from information received by Polish Shorts from producers, filmmakers, and festivals. If you know of any foreign awards for Polish short films that have not been included in this list, please send such information to our editorial office at: magdalena.walo@kff.com.pl