16th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival - report

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WATCH THE TRAILER: https://vimeo.com/346149116

In Warsaw film screenings and associated events were attended by a total of 58,089 people (over 46% more festival goers than last year). GDYNIA

Wrocław: 15,869 people (51% growth)


Gdynia: 10,033 attendees (50% growth) Bydgoszcz: 2,709 people (34% growth)



Lublin: 776 people (25% growth) The first edition of the festival in Katowice was attended by 3,923 viewers. Festival screenings were also held in 15 other cities all over Poland, and they were attended by 1,519 viewers.



Total amount of festival goers in 2019: 92,918 people Total amount of screenings in 2019: 1023

Festival cinemas

Weekend with MILLENNIUM DOCS AGAINST GRAVITY May 17–19 and selected weekends in June

16 cities all over Poland:   Kino Forum (Białystok)   OKF Iluzja (Częstochowa)   Kino Światowid (Elbląg)   Stacja Falenica (Falenica)   Kino Pod Baranami (Kraków)   Kino Sokół (Nowy Sącz)   Warsaw May 10–19, 2019 Kinoteka + Luna + Iluzjon + Muranów + POLIN Museum

Katowice May 12–19, 2019 Kosmos + Światowid + Kinoteatr Rialto

Kino Awangarda 2 (Olsztyn)   DKF Klaps (Rzeszów)   Kino Centrum, CSW (Toruń)   Kino Stylowy (Zamość)

Wrocław May 10–19, 2019 Lower Silesian Film Centre

Gdynia May 15–24, 2019 Gdynia Film Centre

Bydgoszcz May 11–19, 2019 Orzeł Cinema

Lublin May 10–19, 2019 Centre for the Meeting of Cultures

Ełckie Centrum Kultury (Ełk)   Kino Kadr (Dąbrowa Górnicza)   Kino Charlie (Łódź)   Kino Kameralne (Gdańsk)   Kino Muza (Poznań)   Kino 60 Krzeseł (Gorzów Wielkopolski)

Q&A’s with artists, debates, workshops and music events

Sergei Loznitsa

Roberto Minervini

Benedetta Barzini & Beniamino Barrese

Letizia Battaglia

The schedule of the 16th Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival included over 102 associated events in all cities. Multiple Q&A’s with filmmakers and film protagonists (a total of 49 foreign and 31 Polish guests) were held during the festival.

Paweł Łoziński & Vitaly Mansky

Numerous guests from abroad accepted our invitation, including Letizia Battaglia and Roberto Timperi, the protagonists of Kim Longinotto’s Shooting the Mafia. André Singer, co-director and producer of Meeting Gorbachev (co-directed with Werner Herzog), met with our audiences. Roberto Minervini, one of the most interesting contemporary directors portraying the melting-pot reality of the US, held a master class at the Festival.

Doris Wagner

Mads Brügger

Benedetta Barzini, another guest of the festival is one of the first Italian top models and the star of her son Beniamino Barrese’s The Disappearance of My Mother. Doris Wagner, the protagonist of Barbara Miller’s #Female Pleasure, spoke at MDAG as well. Festival attendees also had the opportunity to meet with several masters of documentary filmmaking long associated with MDAG: Vitaly Mansky, Mads Brügger and Sergei Loznitsa.

Q&A’s with artists, debates, workshops and music events Debate co-organised with Amnesty International after the screening of “The Trial of Ratko Mladić”

We organized debates on important social issues covered in this year’s documentaries, including “Why do we radicalize? On the roots of extremist organizations” after the screening of Karen Winther’s Exit and “Do women make different films than men? On the situation of women in the industry and on the screen” after the screening of Tom Donahue’s This Changes Everything, or „The national hero is a war criminal. How to find impunity?” after the screening of The Trial of Ratko Mladić by Henry Singer and Rob Miller.

Festival attendees participated in workshops for adults, e.g. “Memory exercises” linked with the screening of Memory Games by Janet Tobias and Claus Wehlisch. Similarly, our youngest viewers had numerous opportunities to take part in debates and workshops, like “Discussion: What happened in Poland in ‘89?” following the the screening of Michał Bielawski’s 1989.

Tomer Heymann (“Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life”)

Q&A’s with artists, debates, workshops and music events

Music events – closely modeled after various films screened at the festival – proved wildly popular. At the Britpop Brexit Silent Disco held on May 10 at the Kulturalna club in Warsaw, you could tune in to hits from a particular decade on every channel. The event followed the premiere screening of My Generation, where Sir Michael Caine guides us through Swinging Sixties’ London. Antoha MC, considered one of the biggest emerging stars on the Russian music scene, gave two concerts – on May 18 and 19, also in Kulturalna. One of his songs served as the coda to Transnistra, a film entered in the Main Contest for the Grand Prix – Millennium Bank Award.

2019 Winners Grand Prix – Millennium Bank Award and 8,000 euro

Green Warsaw Award and 15,000 PLN

Honeyland, dir. Lubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska s p e c i a l m e n t i o n : Marek Edelman …and There Was Love in the Ghetto, dir. Jolanta Dylewska



The award in the Main Contest was funded by the Patron of the Festival: Millennium Bank.

Amnesty International Polska Award and 3,000 euro winner: special

Srbenka, dir. Nebojša Slijepčević m e n t i o n : Dark Suns, dir. Julien Elie

The award was funded by Amnesty International Polska.

The National Geographic Award for Best Cinematography and 2,000 euro winner:

Los Reyes, cinematographer: Pablo Valdés

The award was funded by the National Geographic Polska magazine.

Sheep Hero, dir. Ton van Zantvoort

“Co Jest Grane 24” Readers’ Choice Award and 1000 euro winner:

#Female Pleasure, dir. Barbara Miller

The award was funded by the City of Warsaw.

Co Jest Grane 24 magazine is the patron of this award.

Chopin’s Nose Award and 2,000 euro

“Zwierciadło” Award for the Best Film on Psychology and 1,000 euro


The Proposal, dir. Jill Magid

The Chopin’s Nose Award was funded by the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute.

Warsaw Documentary Award and 2,000 euro winner:

#Female Pleasure, dir. Barbara Miller


Where We Belong, dir. Jacqueline Zünd

Zwierciadło magazine is the patron of this award.

“Focus” Award for the Biggest Personality of the Festival Lutz Kayser, the protagonist of Fly Rocket Fly, dir. Oliver Schwehm winner:

The award was funded by the City of Warsaw.

The Documentary Academy Award winner:

América, dir. Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside

Media presence

Type of media

AVE (Advertising Value Equivalent)

Amount of publications/appearances

Printed press

9,022,175 zloty



7,434,640 zloty



1,753,169 zloty



1,151,114 zloty



19,361,098 zloty (17,7% growth compared to 2018)

6048 (over 28% growth compared to 2018)

Festival partners and patrons

Total amount of media patrons: 39 Total amount of festival partners: 82

pole ochronne - nie jest częścią logotypu

Feedback from foreign guests “ “

Everyone and everything were great! Thank you very much, beautiful people!

And once more; thank you for a wonderful festival. You guys are the best

Victor Kossakovsky („Aquarela”)

You guys did a truly fantastic job in every area. It was extremely helpful to have volunteers welcoming and escorting us filmmakers. The screening rooms are wonderful, and the translator I had on my last screening was world-class, among the best I have ever had in my career. The buffet dinners are nice, and so are the parties/social events.

Mads Brügger („Cold Case Hammarskjöld”)

Roberto Minervini („What You Gonna Do When The World Is On Fire?”)

Feedback from foreign guests “ “

The festival was wonderful, and everything was very well taken care of. It was all generous, great consideration and care of guests, wonderful audiences and great theatre, lovely hotel, and a warm welcome. I hope I can come back again.

“ The days with Against Gravity were purely perfect. The attention given to us could not have been more warm and wonderful. I was unfortunately not feeling too well so I missed out on many interesting moments, but I shall keep memory of every single minute in Warsaw looking at everything that I could not see…and feeling inside me the weight of history that modernity tries to erase. To you, to all the wonderful people that worked in your festival, my love.

I have told many people here how impressed I was with all aspects of the festival, from the outstanding level of organization to the venues, the caliber of the selections, the sincerity and sophistication of audience question and most of all the extraordinary people responsible for the festival. As you know, it was quite remarkable and emotional for me to visit Warsaw in such a context and all aspects of the festival added to those special days in a positive way. Thank you so much for making this possible and for all your efforts and many courtesies along the way.

Jennifer Baichwal

Benedetta Barzini

Alan Tieger

(„Anthropocene: The Human Epoch”)

(„The Disappearance of My Mother”)

(„The Trial of Ratko Mladić”)

Thank you!

17. MDAG will take place May 8—22, 2020 mdag.pl/en

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