4-8.12.2024 / Białystok

We present the winners of the ŻUBROFFKA 2023 Festival!

We present the winners of the ŻUBROFFKA 2023 Festival!

The 17th edition of the ŻUBROFFKA International Short Film Festival has ended. 140 films, selected from 1,300 entries from all over the world, competed for awards in 9 competitions!


The jury 17th ŻUBROFFKA ISFF: Réka Bucsi (Hungary), Hanka Nobis (Poland) and Vytautas Katkus (Lithuania) awarded the following prizes:

The Grand Prix of Białystok Cultural Centre’s Director (10.000 PLN): BUURMAN ABDI / NEIGHBOUR ABDI, dir. Douwe Dijkstra, Netherlands 2022

Jury’s reasons: For a unique, sincere, and bold take on a postcolonial reality, creating a humane and safe space to confront one’s difficult past – a feat hard to achieve in cinema as well as in real life.

1st Prize in the EASTWARD WINDOW international competition of 3.000 PLN: ZOF, dir. Rino Barbir, Croatia 2022

Jury’s reasons: For a disarming film portrait of a challenging character and an invigorating opening to a discussion about male emotional landscape.

1st Prize in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD international competition of 3.000 PLN: OYU, dir. Atsushi Hirai, France 2023

Jury’s reasons: This film captures the essence of life’s fleeting moments amidst the gentle backdrop of vapour and conversation. Its delicate portrayal of the protagonist’s inner journey, framed within the serene and ordinary setting of a bathhouse, makes it a beautiful piece of cinema that resonates with quiet depth and authenticity.

1st Prize in the DOCUMENTARY.PL Polish competition of 3.000 PLN: WODA ŚWIĘCONA / HOLY WATER, dir. Andrei Kutsila, Poland 2023

Jury’s reasons: For the extraordinary intuition that allowed us to witness and broaden our perspective on the ruthlessly unfolding path of history.

Honorable Mention in the DOCUMENTARY.PL Polish competition: GARSTKA ZIEMI / HANDFUL OF DIRT, dir. Izabela Daria Zubrycka, Poland 2023

Jury’s reasons: For the openness to move beyond conventional forms of documentary storytelling.

1st Prize in the ANIMATION.PL Polish competition of 3.000 PLN: ZIMA / WINTER, dir. Tomasz Popakul, Kasumi Ozeki, Poland 2023

Jury’s reasons: This movie uses visually engaging dynamic painterly animation that brings a small fishing village’s quirks and eccentricities to life. The film’s blend of magic realism and punk metal music creates a unique experience that reflects the complex interplay of community, culture, and individual identity.

1st Prize in the FICTION.PL Polish competition of 3.000 PLN: AS IT WAS, dir. Anastasiia Solonevych, Damian Kocur, Poland, Ukraine 2023

Jury’s reasons: Seeking a sense of belonging, exploring new and familiar places. Through the young woman’s personal journey and her return to visit her family, viewers feel the inner struggles of the people, as well as witness the ongoing progression of their everyday life.

The Best Documentary Award of 3.000 PLN: BUURMAN ABDI / NEIGHBOUR ABDI, dir. Douwe Dijkstra, Netherlands 2022

Jury’s reasons: For the incredibly innovative narrative approach to addressing subjects challenging to portray in documentary form born out of remarkable human collaboration.

The Best Feature Award of 3.000 PLN: SUR LA TOMBE DE MON PERE / ON MY FATHER’S GRAVE, dir. Jawahine Zentar, France 2022

Jury’s reasons: The film’s sensitive narrative not only delves into familial ties and cultural traditions, but eloquently captures a moment of deep sadness from a female perspective, highlighting the societal barriers that prevent her from performing the most human act of grieving. It offers a poignant commentary on the impact of gender roles in personal moments of loss, making it a deeply moving and thought-provoking experience.

The Best Animation Award of 3.000 PLN: 27, dir. Flóra Anna Buda, France, Hungary 2023

Jury’s reasons: This film beautifully intertwines the realms of reality and fantasy, capturing the struggles of being a young adult. Vivid visual language, clever humour, and bold storytelling make this film a joy to watch.

The Best Cinematography Award of 3.000 PLN: SAME OLD, dir. Lloyd Lee Choi, director of cinematography: Norm Li, USA, Canada 2022

Jury’s reasons: The steady compositions intensify the protagonist’s inner conflict, illustrating the struggle between the massive cityscape and the individual. The straightforward, documentary-alike camera work offers a peek into the main character’s inner and outer world, strengthening the sense of reality in the fiction.

The Best Music Award of 3.000 PLN: RAIE MANTA / MANTA RAY, dir. Anton Bialas, France 2022

Jury’s reasons: Music in this film takes on a character of its own. It serves as a significant supporting element for the main characters, helping them find their way toward the light. The music in this film is a powerful symbol of salvation and illumination.


The Jury of the ON THE EDGE Competition: Norika Sefa (Kosovo), Momoko Seto (Japan) and Kuba Mikurda (Poland) decided to grant the following 1st Award of 3.000 PLN: LE MAL DES ARDENTS, dir. Alice Brygo, France 2023

Jury’s reasons: We awarded a film that stood out from the others. A film in which bold formal decisions elevate the subject. A film that uses original technology to portray a realistic event in a sensual way, taking care of even the smallest details. A film that surprises us with where it takes us, turning the focus from a catastrophic event to a constellation of spectators – a complex network of bodies and minds.
We appreciate the director’s decisions to avoid safe ground and keep us constantly on the edge – keeping us both grounded and still dreaming.


The Wild Bison Award (Audience Award) (7.000 PLN), funded by DrTUSZ: STARSZA PANI SZUKA / ON THE SEARCH FOR LOVE, dir. Maria Wider, Poland 2023


KIDS Competition awards:

KIDS Competition 7+ (3.000 PLN): LA CALESITA, dir. Augusto Schillaci, Argentyna, Kanada, Stany Zjednoczone 2022

KIDS Competition 11+ (3.000 PLN): TOWN HALL SQUARE, dir. Christian Kaufmann, Germany 2023

KIDS Competition – YOUTH (3.000 PLN): DZIECI I RYBY / OUT OF WATER, dir. Gracjana Piechula, Poland 2021


MUSIC VIDEO Competition (3.000 zł): ARSSALENDO: QUATTRO PARETI, dir. Giada Bossi, Italy

MIDNIGHT SHORTS Competition (3.000 zł): WE FORGOT ABOUT THE ZOMBIES, dir. Chris McInroy, USA 2022


New Europe Talent Award – Trip to the Berlin Film Festival for the most promising artist from Central and Eastern Europe taking part in ŻUBROFFKA competitions funded by New Europe Film Sales: AND THE WIND WEEPS, dir. AULONA SELMANI, Switzerland 2023


The Young Jury: Krzysztof Spór (the jury president), Zofia Ginszt, Maria Kiszło, Wiktoria Obuchowicz, Ivan Savaryn i Jagna Samojlik awarded the films:

Honorable Mention: JAK BYĆ MĘCZENNIKIEM / MARTY’S GUIDEBOOK, dir. Maks Rzontkowski, Poland 2023

Jury’s reasons: For crazy imagination and unfettered creative freedom.

1st Award of 3.000 PLN: MUSIC OF SONNY, dir. Klementyna Margolis, Anna Sałacińska, Poland 2022

Jury’s reasons: For a surprising combination of documentary and animation, using authentic footage that builds a clear picture of the end despite the understatement.


Awards of the International Journalists (Lucas Pistilli, Brasil; Nataliia Serebriakova, Ukraine; Vladan Petkovic, Serbia):

Honorable Mention: W LESIE SĄ LUDZIE / THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE FOREST, dir. Szymon Ruczyński, Poland 2023

Jury’s reasons: A film which speaks about one of the burning issues of our time, an injustice that the western world has imposed on people whose precipitious situation it has created in the first place. Through deceptively simple animation style and straight-forward narrative, it tells its story convincingly and with courage.

1st Award of 3.000 PLN: JAK BYĆ MĘCZENNIKIEM / MARTY’S GUIDEBOOK, dir. Maks Rzontkowski, Poland 2023

Jury’s reasons: The winning film is a laugh-out-loud funny and completely unpredictable animation. It’s also cinematically daring and experimental in its exploration of universal experiences of inadequacy. It finds innovative ways to depict and play with the inner conflicts of a people (and angel) pleaser.


Awards of the Polish Journalists (Katarzyna Borowiecka, Maciej Kowalczyk, Marcin Stachowicz):

Honorable Mention: KOERKORTER / DOG APARTMENT, dir. Priit Tender, Estonia 2022

Jury’s reasons: For Anders Ehin’s poetry-inspired surreal nightmare, which accurately exposes the pitfalls of everyday routine and masterfully describes the protagonist’s drama in the grotesque world presented.

1st Award of 3.000 PLN: 27, dir. Flóra Anna Buda, France, Hungary 2023

Jury’s reasons: For an image of a generation saturated with colour and meaning, visual fulfilment and a full-blooded heroine with whom one wants to dance and more.


Congratulations to all the winners!
We would like to thank the viewers for their large participation in the Festival!