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The 38th Warsaw International Film Festival took place in late October, bringing together some of the best upcoming directors, actors, and filmmakers of our time. Ever since its creation, this Festival has aimed at watching with a critical eye what’s innovative and tells a deep story in the world of film, even before it wins the biggest awards at Cannes or beyond.
In a Festival of such importance, the Ecumenical Jury appointed by SIGNIS and INTERFILM is also present, taking into account not only the artistic quality of the films but also their spiritual and human aspects. This year, the winner of their prize went to Tata (Dad) directed by Anna Maliszewska (Poland, Ukraine, 2022).
Tata is a “vivid, powerful road movie in which two girls and a reluctant father experience that they both can help and depend on help, to transform and accept themselves and their situation. Their journey takes them from Poland to Ukraine and back - it is not only a unique family journey, but also a story about two sibling nations in Eastern Europe”, says the Jury. The movie tells the story of Michal, a truck driver and a single father who’s raising his daughter Miska. When Michal is on the road, Miska stays with their Ukrainian neighbor and her granddaughter, Miska’s best friend. When the Ukrainian nanny suddenly dies, Michal takes the girls with him on a journey to Ukraine to find her family. The film tells an important lesson in sisterhood for girls, growing up in the world of the periphery of Europe that is changing before their eyes. Ukraine, which for Lenka is a symbol of home and wonderful childhood, will turn out to be a place troubled by the hardships of life and the struggles of heroes. For Michal, the compulsory journey is the time of growing up to be a dad and see what is really the most important in his life.
The members of the Jury: Juan Carlos Carillo Cal y Mayor, Film scholar, and critic (Mexico); Aleksandra Mieczyńska, Film scholar and journalist (Poland) and Dirk von Jutrczenka, Pastor, Head of forum Kirche Bremen and Department of Religious Education and Media (Germany) as President of the Jury.