We are proud to announce that the Award for Outstanding Achievements in Documentary Filmmaking at the 23rd edition of the CAMERIMAGE International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography will be presented to the Polish director Marcel Łoziński. A short retrospective of Marcel Łoziński’s works will be presented at Camerimage and the filmmaker will meet with the festival audience after the films. Details are soon to be announced.
Marcel Łoziński; Marcel Łoziński Archive

It is easy to get lost in the contemporary world, crammed with information, messages, and visual stimuli yet also increasingly anonymous and promoting of indifference towards others. This is also, but perhaps first and foremost, especially true about virtual reality, which deepens existing divisions. One of the effects of cultural and social changes in recent decades has been the unprecedented development of the broadly defined documentary film, which has ceased to be niche and is more and more appreciated by viewers every year. Documentary films can become a guide through the chaos of reality, helping viewers to understand its various mechanisms and drawing attention to people who would otherwise be lost in the river of stimuli. That is why every year at Camerimage we present awards to renowned documentary film authors who are curious about the outside world and who devote their careers to discovering, getting to know, and learning more about various aspects of the reality around us. We are proud to announce that the Award for Outstanding Achievements in Documentary Filmmaking at the 23rd edition of the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography CAMERIMAGE will be presented to the Polish director Marcel Łoziński.

Still from "89mm from Europe"

Marcel Łoziński is rightly considered to be one of the most renowned Polish authors of documentary films. Even when he was studying at the Łódź Film School, he keenly peeled layers away from the illusion of communist reality, giving preference to the documentary film genre—not to document reality but to present it from his own point of view. Shortly after graduation, Łoziński became a member of the generation of artists (notably Krzystof Kieślowski and Wojciech Wiszniewski) who mixed the traditional documentary filmmaker’s ethos with elements of creation and artistic provocation. In Recipe for Life he took his camera to visit the propaganda training camp for young married couples, yet he had previously “helped” reality by introducing two couples cooperating with him. In Matriculation he first recorded the official statements of graduates only to then watch them in corridors, relaxed, to show what they truly think and feel. In Microphone's Test he presented statements of employees and managers, pointing to the immense differences in views in a country that is allegedly socially uniform. Łoziński is interested in the individual and his or her place in the world as well as finding the human in the human, often prompting self-reflection.
 Still from "So It Doesn't Hurt"

He was subjected to heavy censorship because of this and became one of the main victims of “shelved” works in the history of Polish documentary films. In the end, the authorities were unsuccessful and his films were always widely circulated. Łoziński knows how to put a cat among the pigeons (in Witnesses and Katyń Forest he confronted people with historical crimes) and present the susceptibility of the documentary genre to manipulation (in Workshop Exercises he revealed how to introduce propaganda in montage). He shot metaphoric documentary films operating with image and character (89mm from Europe, nominated for an Oscar, indirectly presented the differences between the East and the West), but he also did not shun the appeal and strength of simplicity (in Anything Can Happen he sent his resolute son to talk to the elderly, creating a painfully honest masterpiece about life and death). He often revisited the topics he had previously raised, acknowledging the possibility of ‘revising’ his previous claims. This is clear in A Visit and So It Doesn't Hurt, which mark 23 years between meetings with a woman who abandoned city life to look after the farm of her deceased father. It is also visible in How It's Done, which took three years to film, in which Piotr Tymochowicz, a public relations and image building expert, proves that you can make a thoroughbred politician, lying through his teeth and manipulating public opinion to his own advantage, from anyone.
Still from "Tonia and Her Children"

Łoziński also frequently pointed the camera at himself, not avoiding ambiguous situations and difficult emotions. Just as in Tonia and Her Children, the story of two of his friends whose life was affected by the mistakes and accomplishments of their ideologically involved mother—something that reminded the director of his own life. This is the case in the diptych shot together with his son Paweł (who is also an author of documentary films), Father and Son and Father and Son on a Journey—the two films are two accounts of the same journey of two ‘Łozińskis’, full of heated arguments, remorse, and painful truth. Many could envy the director’s great courage and ability to engage in valuable dialogue with the viewer. Marcel Łoziński’s documentary heritage, which the Polish filmmaker keeps enriching with intriguing projects (Poste Restante, which was recognized with the European Film Award, is about... a letter without an address sent to God), keeps fascinating, provoking, and surprising. It evokes vivid emotions, provokes valuable reflection, and reveals various paths which are perhaps worth considering. Łoziński can actually be a guide to our chaotic reality but first and foremost he strives to be the viewer’s partner, always curious about the world and the mechanisms that put it into motion.
Still from "Poste Restante"

We are honoured that Marcel Łoziński will soon accept the Award for Outstanding Achievements in Documentary Filmmaking, joining such great artists as Kim Longinotto, Joan Churchill, Steven Okazaki, Albert Maysles, Terry Sanders, and Kazimierz Karabasz. A short retrospective of Marcel Łoziński’s films will be presented at the 23rd edition of Camerimage and the filmmaker will meet with the festival audience after the films. Details are soon to be announced.