FILM BALKONOWY

Poland

Synopsis

Can anyone be a movie hero? Can the world be locked in one film frame?

Director Paweł Łoziński is watching people from his balcony as they are passing by: sad, thoughtful, glued to their phones, young and old. Neighbours, random visitors or simply passers-by. The filmmaker accosts them, asks questions, talks about how they deal with life. Standing there with his camera for over 2 years he has created a space for dialogue, a confessional of sorts, where everyone can stop by and tell their story. The protagonists carry secrets and mysteries, and are not easy to label. Every story is unique, and life always surpasses imagination. THE BALCONY MOVIE is a radical comeback to the beginnings of cinema, when man approached the camera. Maybe it’s enough to stop for a moment to get a deeper insight?

Director's Statement

I decided to stop and wait for the world to come to me. I spent two years standing on my balcony with a camera, catching everyone who walked past below. The result of these encounters is a film that portrays these people by telling us what they wanted to say about themselves. And about the director who was interested in them. I was surprised to find how little I know about people. Hardly anyone is the person they look like. People are full of mysteries and secrets. They’re not easy to pigeonhole. Life is impossible to invent.

Director's Biography

Polish director, cameraman and producer of documentary films. Graduate of the Directing Department at the Film School in Lodz. He lectures in documentary film direction at the National Film School in Lodz and Gdynia Film School. Author of more than 20 award-winning documentary films at international festivals. He makes distinct and emotionally charged documentaries about people of whom he draws intimate portraits. He is also the director of photography to many of his films.

His films such as BIRTHPLACE, THE WAY IT IS and the latest YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU are considered innovative as they venture into new thematic areas and explore uncharted spaces within the documentary film genre.

In his films, he is interested in the intricacies of relationships, asks difficult questions about human existence, and, without compromising the dignity of his characters, breaks down barriers and taboos to show close-to-the-bone human issues. He pushes the boundaries of the genre by placing the camera where it is seemingly forbidden, in an often unexplored no man's land.

His documentary debut earned him international recognition. BIRTHPLACE (1992) about a Polish Jew Henry Grynberg looking for the murderer of his father. The film has won many prestigious awards including the Golden Gate Award at the SFIFF and the Vue sur les Docs Grand Prix in Marseille and New York Film Festival.

He worked as an assistant to Krzysztof Kieslowski on THREE COLORS: WHITE. Based on the latter’s concept, he made 100 YEARS IN THE CINEMA (1995) for the renowned BFI series on the centenary of cinema.

His short film SISTERS (1999), a 10-minute metaphorical black comedy about the lives of two elderly ladies, received awards including the prominent Cinema du Réel Grand Prix in Paris, Visions du réel Grand Prix in Nyon and the Golden Hobby-Horse Grand Prix at the Krakow Film Festival.

The full-length THE WAY IT IS about the director's friendship with his neighbors with whom he shares the same courtyard was a breakthrough in terms of the camera’s proximity to the hero. The film received the Golden Dove at the DOK Leipzig festival in 1999 and the Golden Hobby-Horse and Silver Dragon at Krakow Film Festival.

He received another Golden Dove at the DOK Leipzig for the film BETWEEN THE DOORS made as part of the ACROSS THE BORDER series in 2004.

CHEMO (2008), which is an intimate portrait of people struggling against cancer, was the most acclaimed Polish documentary of 2009. It received more than 15 awards including the Prix Europa for Best European Television Film in Berlin in 2009 and the MDR Television Award for Best Eastern European Documentary at DOK Leipzig in 2009.

Personal and courageous film about his difficult relationship with his father, FATHER AND SON (2013) was bestowed the St. George Award for Best Film Documentary at the 35th International Film Festival in Moscow in 2013, the Silver Horn for Best Documentary Film at the Krakow Film Festival and the main prizes in Tehran and Minsk.

FIILMOGRAPHY (excerpt):
2021 - THE BALCONY MOVIE, Documentary
2020 - MASKS AND MEN, Short
2016 - YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU, Documentary
2013 - FATHER AND SON, Documentary
2008 - CHEMO, Documentary
1999 - THE WAY IT IS, Documentary
1999 - SISTERS, Documentary
1996 - A 100 YEARS AT THE CINEMA, Documentary
1992 - BIRTHPLACE, Documentary
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Pawel Lozinski

Written by: Pawel Lozinski

Main Producer: Pawel Lozinski

Produced by: Hanka Kastelicova, Anna Spisz

Cinematography: Pawel Lozinski

Editing: Pawel Lozinski, Bartek Piasek, Piotr Wójcik

Production Design: Agnieszka Mankiewicz

Original Score: Jan Duszynski

Sound: Pawel Lozinski, Franciszek Kozlowski

Nominations and Awards

  • Documentary Selection 2022