We find the IX edition of the festival especially successful, despite festival’s financial difficulties. High attendance (by far higher than during previous editions), remarkably high level of presented films (both competition and special screenings), wonderful meetings with directors, interesting debates, conversations and workshops. During five days the ninth edition was visited by 5000 spectators (whereas the eighth – by 2000).
The IX edition of the festival continued for five days, there were 36 films from all around the world qualified for the competition, 12 of which had premieres in Poland. Competition films were screened in special thematic sections: Tales of Ordinary Madness, Inside the Violence Trap, The Dusk of the Worlds, Child on the Screen, Woman through the Lens, Windows to the World.
Films were projected simultaneously in two cinemas, Neptun and Kameralne, and we invited many guests from abroad, such as the Presiding Juror Jean-Gabriel Periot (Paris, France), Alexis Krasilovsky (Los Angeles, USA), Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir (Reykjavík, Iceland), Friðrik Þór Friðriksson (Reykjavík, Icelandslandia), Ari Alexander Ergis Magnusson (Reykjavík, Iceland), Steff Gruber (Zurich, Switzerland), as well as from Poland – Krzysztof Ptak, Małgorzata Ptak, Antoni Krauze and Igor Chojna.
Apart from the projections of competition films we also organized:
- review of Icelandic films „Iceland in Gdańsk”, along with meetings with the directors
- review of films directed by the Presiding Juror of the IX edition of the festival Jeana-Gabriel Periot and a meeting with him
- projections of films by Alexis Krasilovsky and a meeting with her in American Corner and in Gdańsk Photography Gallery
- debate „Women with camera” with, among others, Alexis Krasilovsky, Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir and Małgorzata Taraszkiewicz-Zwolicka
- special screenings of films „Passion Despair” and „Labirynt – testament Mariana Kołodzieja” („Labyrinth – the Will of Marian Kołodziej”) and with meetings with the directors
- a meeting with Igor Chojna – director of the competition film „Screening at The Tatry Cinema”
- special screening of the film „Czarny czwartek” („Black Thursday”) (special guest of the projection – director Antoni Krauze)
- Masterclass workshops with Krzysztof Ptak, about the color correction in film
Jury composed of the Presiding Juror Jean-Gabriel Periot (French director of short films), professor Alexis Krasilovsky from Los Angeles (lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts in California State University in Northridge) and Krzysztof Ptak (film photographer and academic lecturer) awarded prizes and commendations. The main prize, the “Gate of Freedom” statuette and cash prize of 10000zł endowed by the President of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz, was given to the film Arsy-Versy directed by Miroslav Remo from Slovakia.
Additionally, the jury gave two commendations to “Deklaracja Nieśmiertelności” (The Declaration of Immortality) directed by Marcin Koszałka and to the Italian film “letters from the Desert” directed by Micheli Occhipinti. “Śmietnisko” (Waste Land) directed by Lucy Walker received the audience award. Special award – the “Gate of freedom” statuette – wad given to Alexis Krasilovsky for her sensitive solidarity with all people, men and women alike. The „Gate of Freedom” statuette was also given to Antoni Krauze for artistic persistence in pursuit of the truth and to Kazimierz Beer (Director of the festival and producer of the film “Black Thursday”) for his faith in cinema as a representation of the truth, freedom and human dignity.
One of the spectators received a DVD player and a gift from Fair Trade. The lucky spectator turned out to be Mr. Dominik Afuszewski from Sopot. The final gala was honored by the special projection of the film „Black Thursday” directed by Antoni Krauze. Neptun Cinema holds 1200 people and was completely filled.
Thanks to the presence of professor Alexis Krasilovsky in the Jury we had the honor of having as guest representatives of the American Embassy, such as the Cultural Attaché Mr. Andrew Paul and Mrs. Lisa Helling. We also gained new partners, besides the mentioned American Embassy and the French Institute – American Corner and the Gdańsk Photography Gallery (where additional meetings with professor Alexis Krasilovsky and projections of her films took place), and also the World Fair Trade Organization, Amnesty International, Tok FM Radio, Empik.com, Film Forum, Gazeta.pl, The Baltic Sea Culture Centre in Gdańsk, Gdynia Film School, Tri-city Photography School, Alternator – Academic Cultural Centre of the Gdańsk University, Go Culture, EthnoPort, European Solidarity Centre, national Culture Centre – Kurs na Kulturę, and many others.
In October 2010 the “Gate of Freedom” statuette and an honorary diploma was received by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who very kind-heartedly supports Gdańsk DocFilm Festival.