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Polish documentary named best film at Sicilian festival


The short documentary ‘Gruba Kaśka’ has been named the best film of the Sicilian Versi di Luce Festival. The production, directed and written by Julia Pełka, is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

The ‘Gruba Kaśka’ of the title is a water pump in Warsaw, in which 8 clams connected to computers have been placed. It turns out that the lives of millions of people living in the city depend on them. Poland’s only malacology scientist makes sure that the clams connected to the system work properly and generate an alarm in the case of water contamination. 

It turns out that Varsovians have a relationship with mussels comparable to the one that once intertwined the fates of canaries and miners. They are the first to sense danger – because they are in many ways much more sensitive than humans. It would seem that the film is only about the intricacies of the Polish capital’s water supply system. But it actually depicts the subtle relationship between nature, technology and humanity with sensitivity and a warm sense of humour.

The production was created as part of Munk Studio’s ‘First Documentary’ programme. Szymon Kluz is responsible for the cinematography, Andrzej Czarnecki and Julia Pełka for the editing, and Weronika Bloch, Julia Pełka and Grzegorz Kucharski for the sound.  

The 14-minute documentary has previously received awards including: In Vivo Award at the Imagine Science Film Festival (New York), a trophy in the Calzinazz section at the Amarcort Film Festival (Rimini) and the Best Short Film award at the OFFline Film Festival in Birr (Ireland).

The Versi di Luce Festival is an event that has been taking place for 14 years in the Sicilian town of Modica. The core of the festival consists of films (full-length and short), music videos and poetic works in video form. 

Adrian Andrzejewski

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