During the”Echoes of Katyn” International Film Festival, 10 competition films were presented at the “Muranów” cinema in Warsaw, including the documentary “Women of the Gulag” - a collection of interviews with women who survived Stalin's terror in the 1930s (directed by Marianna Yarovskaya) and “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”. The latter, directed by Radu Jude, deals with the topic of the extermination of the Jewish population in Odessa in 1941.
Four non-competition films co-produced by the Institute of National Remembrance were also presented during the festival. They included Jacek Papis’ “Polmission” dealing with the involvement of the Polish government in helping the so-called Ładoś group, which, together with Jewish organizations, forged passports to save Jews from all-over occupied Europe from extermination, as well as the film “20-40-20” directed by Jarosław Minkowicz.
The winning films were announced during the gala evening organized at the ‘Kamienica’ theater in Warsaw on 25 October 2020. The jury's prize went to the Latvian film “The Mover” directed by Davis Simanis Jr, telling the story of saving Jews from German extermination in Latvia, whereas the audience chose to award the film "The Silent Revolution", directed by Lars Kraume.
- Thanks to the use of cameras and the work of determined artists, we have managed to visit several continents and at least a dozen countries. All 10 films taking part in the in the competition, as well as the remaining productions have definitely evoked lively reactions from viewers - wrote Adam Hlebowicz, the Director of the IPN’s National Education Office in a letter addressed to the participants of the event.
In the summary of the Festival, Piotr Szkopiak, a representative of the jury noted that when you watch such films together - you notice how many different topics are yet to be discovered, how many stories still remain unknown. It is not only history that we are dealing with - these are topics which are important today, maybe even more than ever before - emphasized Szkopiak.
The Janusz Kurtyka Prize, awarded on behalf of the Institute of National Remembrance "for lifetime achievements in the field of disseminating knowledge on totalitarianism", was given to film director Hanna Zofia Etemadi. The award was presented to her son Piotr by Karol Litwin, from the IPN’s National Education Office.
The gala event also included the musical performance “Ten steps. The Warsaw Memorial 1944” directed by Michał Konarski. The performance featured songs based on the memories of insurgents and civilians living in the capital during the Warsaw Uprising. The performers included: Ewa Dałkowska, Ilona Kucińska, Dariusz Kowalski, Klara Walicka, Marcin Januszkiewicz, Marek Piekarczyk, Barbara Lubos and Małgorzata Walenda.