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Hello Grandma + Seal Story + Bless You

Hello Grandma + Seal Story + Bless You

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Hello Grandma

Poland, 2020, 29 min.

Directed by:  Kamila Chojnacka

Cinematography by: Kamila Chojnacka, Jakub Chojnacki

Producer:  Krystyna Doktorowicz

Production: Szkoła Filmowa im. Krzysztofa Kieślowskiego Uniwersytetu Śląskiego

Selected festivals and awards: 2021 – Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festiwal: Polish Premiere, 2020 – IDFA Amsterdam

"Hello Grandma" is a story about family, closeness and the difficulties of isolation. The directress films her family and immediate surroundings during the first lockdown in spring 2020. Over time, the lack of contact with the outside world begins to bother them... The tension is intensified by Kamila's grandma who ignores all safety rules.

Seal Story

Poland, 2020, 16 min.

Directed by:  Bartłomiej Błaszczyński

Cinematography by: Jakub Adamiak

Producer:  Krystyna Doktorowicz

Production: Szkoła Filmowa im. Krzysztofa Kieślowskiego Uniwersytetu Śląskiego

Selected festivals and awards: 2021 –  Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festiwal: World Premiere, 2020 – Prix Europa, Potsdam

Jakub is a Polish musician who has been working in the Ghost, Elves and Northern Lights Museum in Iceland. When the COVID-19 pandemic breaks out, he loses his job and misses the last plane to Poland. He remains completely alone in the museum hotel for several months, with no friends or family. Because of constant flights cancellations he still can't go back to Poland, and just waits.

Bless You

Poland, 2020, 30 min.

Directed by: Tatiana Chistova

Cinematography by: Marina Lewaszowa

Producer: Maciek Hamela

Production: Impakt Film

Selected festivals and awards: 2021 – Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festiwal: Polish Premiere, 2020 – DOK Leipzig

As the Covid-19 pandemic takes its death toll in Russia, the government imposes a strict round-the-clock curfew on its population of elderly. The drastic measures aim at protecting those who are the most vulnerable, but the distress among the people grows rapidly.  Millions are stranded in their flats, some without immediate family, access to medication and even food. A municipal helpline is established for those seeking help in this extraordinary situation and this film documents the hundreds of phone calls received each day. These short conversations give a rare insight into the anxieties of those who grew up in Soviet Union and have largely been left to fend for themselves after the fall of communism.

This heterogeneous array of voices merges with a visual journey into the Saint Petersburg city scape depicting the intricacies of post-Soviet architecture, in particular firewalls through which, over the years, people have illegally pierced windows in attempt to lure sunlight into the dim apartments of the Khrushchev era.  We discover the city through static shots where glimpses of the epidemic can be spotted as well as rare moments when the elderly venture out of their apartments despite the imposed curfew.

In the film’s finale the despair of the conversations is juxtaposed with Victory Day Celebrations which roll out interrupted with crowds gathering in the streets of Saint Petersburg. The only absentees are the elderly who are still locked down in their flats.

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  • projection time:
    75 min.
  • country/year:
    Poland / 2020
  • director:
    Kamila Chojnacka ("Halo babciu"), Bartłomiej Błaszczyński ("Seal Story"), Tatiana Chistova ("Pozdrawiam")
  • pictures:
    Kamila Chojnacka, Jakub Chojnacki ("Hello Grandma"), Jakub Adamiak ("Seal Story"), Marina Lewaszowa ("Bless You")
  • production:
    Krystyna Doktorowicz/Szkoła Filmowa im. Krzysztofa Kieślowskiego Uniwersytetu Śląskiego ("Halo babciu", "Seal Story"); Maciek Hamela/Impakt Film ("Pozdrawiam")
  • awards :

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