THE DRESS wins GoE Bridging the Borders Award at 2020 Polish Film Festival LA


Winner of 2020 Bridging The Borders Award for 21th edition of Polish Film Festival, LA has been announced today. 2020 Polish Film Festival, LA was held online due to the pandemic.

Cinema Without Borders jury picked Ondine (Odyna) directed by Tomasz Śliwiński for the Honorary Mention and The Dress (Sukienka) directed by Tadeusz Łysiak as the winner of the GoE Bridging The Borders Award.

GoE Bridging The Borders Award Jury Statement:
“We had twelve nominees for the GoE Bridging the Borders Award for Best Polish Short Film at the 2020 Polish Film Festival, LA. Each film was unique and told a compelling story – making it difficult to choose a winner.

The Cinema Without Borders special mention goes to a film that delicately and masterfully deals with the issues of love and mortality. In mythology, Ondine is a water nymph, who places a curse on the unfaithful mortal she loves. This film poetically connects the myth to a rare medical condition called Ondine’s Curse to illustrate the power of love. Our jury special mention goes to Ondine (Odyna)directed by Tomasz Śliwiński.


The winner of the GoE Bridging the Borders Award, sponsored by Go Energistics, is a film that bravely shines a light on the cruelty of our world towards those whose physical appearance is different. This well-crafted film tells the story of Julia, a maid at a roadside motel who has lived a lonely life, accustomed to scorn for being ‘a little person’. When she is asked on a date, the filmmakers masterfully demonstrate a sense of hopelessness through her search for the perfect dress to wear, with many not fitting her small frame. The performances, particularly that of Anna Dzieduszycka in the lead role, are exceptional. The winner of GoE Bridging the Borders Award at the 2020 Polish Film Festival, LA is The Dress (Sukienka) directed by Tadeusz Łysiak.”

At the award ceremony of 20th edition of Polish Film Festival, LA, Susan Morgan Cooper, and Bijan Tehrani, Cinema Without Borders jury members announced the best short films as the winners of GoE Bridging the Borders Award sponsored by Go Energistics.

After the award announcement, we had a Skype video interview with Tadeusz Łysiak, director of The Dress, winner of the GoE Bridging The Borders Award:

Jury members of Cinema Without Borders for GoE Bridging The Borders Award were:
Michael Franck
Michael Franck is an internationally awarded documentarian, who has directed and produced more than 150 documentaries shown both on Finnish television and internationally. His films main focus is on Finnish and Nordic political history and entrepreneurship, future living conditions seen from a scientific perspective as well as socio-political and human bridge building in the Middle East, where his family has been working and living for three generations.
Currently he and his team have several documentary films in production through his own production company Franck Doc in co-operation with Parad Fakta production house. These include the story of the legendary Finnish Student Union, that came to be a base for the country´s globally known education system, and Michael Franck´s documentary portrait “My Godfather and Kekkonen”, featuring the controversial Finnish cold war time pro-western parliamentarian Georg C. Ehrnrooth,
the documentarist´s own godfather, whom Michael as a young politician in the 1970’s decided to disagree with.
Michaels both older sons; award-winning documentarian Arthur Franck and producer Edvin Franck, also work with their fathers on different documentary projects.

Joanna Gutt-Lehr
Joanna Gutt-Lehr served in several different capacities, including chair, programmer, or artistic director for 12 out of 14 editions of the Austin Polish Film Festival (APFF) in Austin, Texas until 2019. Since 2008, has been programming and running the Polish Monthly Film series open to the general public in the city free of charge. Curated several Polish poster exhibits, including one devoted to film posters. Cultivated and grew several partnerships between the APFF and cultural and educational institutions in Austin, like Radio, Film, and Television Department or Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, both of the University of Texas at Austin, and the Honors College at the Texas State University. Joanna is on the Board of Directors of two cultural nonprofits in Austin: Classical Music For the World and DotDotDot…Connect. She is a faculty member at the Department of Mathematics at the Texas State University.


Susan Morgan Cooper
Susan Morgan Cooper is a Director/Producer/ Writer and her credits include:
To the Moon and Back, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2016 (A cinematic act of love and courage’ … Broadway World) – Hopper [In his own words] Documentary, Producer/Writer 2013 (“I was moved to tears” Mike Medavoy) – Mulberry Child, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2012 (‘A powerful and touching film’… 31/2 stars. Roger Ebert) – An Unlikely Weapon [The Eddie Adams Story]..Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2008 ( ‘A terrific documentary’ The Hollywood Reporter) – Making Of Shadows in The Sun, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2005 – Heroes And Sheroes. Television Series, Director/Producer/Writer 2000
Mirjana: One Girl’s Journey, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 1997 – Stringers, Narrative Short Director/Producer/Writer 1990 – Hadley’s Rebellion, Narrative Feature Associate Producer 1989

Adam Shepherd
Adam Shepherd, President and Chief Executive Officer of Go Energistics (GoE), is a champion for social awareness and an avid supporter of numerous non-profit organizations centered on the idea of healing. As the founder of GoE, a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Adam is devoted to serving the men and women of our Nation’s military, including Veterans and military families, by supporting the health care systems that serve them.

Adam’s appreciation for the arts, especially cinema, and its power to globally unite people, drives him to serve a higher purpose that goes beyond traditional borders. Adam’s philosophy and core belief that each of us can have a positive impact in our world is echoed through GoE’s sponsorship of the Bridging the Borders Award. Continually moved by the spirit of people, Adam actively seeks out opportunities to encourage and enact positive social awareness and change. Adam is an active Board Member for multiple charitable organizations – including the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which provides assistance to Veterans recovering from service-related injuries, and Living Proof Cancer Warriors, which provides financial support to patients during their battle against cancer.

Adam has received numerous service awards during his 23-year career in the U.S. Army including the Military Bronze Star and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

Bijan Tehrani
Bijan Tehrani, founder and director of I, Immigrant and founder of Cinema Without Borders (CWB) and CineEqual is an award-winning author of children’s books and short films. Tehrani has been a passionate advocate of human rights, which he has actively pursued as a filmmaker, -historian, and -critic over the past five decades.
Tehrani initiated CineEqual, a multi-faceted program that includes I, Immigrant and is administered by the CWB Foundation, in 2018. Since its founding in 2005, CWB has interviewed and introduced over 2,000 filmmakers from around the globe, a majority of them champions of social justice and human rights.

Terry George, Academy winner and director of Hotel Rwanda, had this to say on the 10th anniversary of CWB: ”At a time when media consolidation is threatening diverse and unique voices, Cinema Without Borders provides a forum for underrepresented perspectives and stories. Now more than ever, we need to reach across cultural, political and national lines. Cinema Without Borders is part of this critical work.”

James Ulmer
James Ulmer A contributing writer for The New York Times, James Ulmer’s 20-year journalistic career has included penning two national columns for Premiere magazine, and writing and directing for the BBC in London. He was a senior analyst and executive producer at the internet company Creative Planet, and served for eight years as international editor and columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, where he reported from over 50 festivals and markets worldwide. Ulmer is the author of James Ulmer’s Hollywood Hot List — The Complete Guide to Star Ranking from St. Martin’s Press., and founded the Hollywood database company The Ulmer Scale ( He has been interviewed in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Time and Newsweek, and his commentaries have been featured on “Entertainment Tonight,” “CBS This Morning,” and the BBC, CBS, CNN, HBO, and E! networks. He has frequently been seen on the Reelz Channel as a commentator and on-camera presenter. A graduate of Harvard College and an Iowa native, Ulmer discovered his passion for Italy as a teenager living in Naples, where he often spent weekends haunting his favorite piazzas.

Abbas Yari
Abbas Yari is an Iranian journalist and film critic. He was born in the city of Arak, Iran in 1951. Abbas graduated as a cameraman from the School of Television and Cinema in 1975. He started his professional career as a journalist, writing for a few well-known daily newspapers and weekly magazines such as Sobh e Emrouz, Tehran Mosavvar and Kayhan. In 1968, while still a student, he presided over the Cultural Foundation for Youth in his hometown, Arak, organizing journalistic, poetry, and theater events. In the early nineteen seventies, he entered the field of theater by writing and directing several plays. Shortly after that, he turned his interest to writing about movies. Abbas Yari was the editor of the cinema section of Ettela’at Haftegi, a weekly publication during 1976-1977, and contributor editor at Setareh Cinema between 1973 and 1977.

He is one of the three founders of FILM Monthly, the oldest post-revolutionary film magazine in Iran (founded in 1982 with Massoud Mehrabi and Houshang Golmakani). He still is the executive director of this magazine. Abbas Yari was also one of the founders of Film International Magazine in English and Cinema Yearbook.

In 1988, he co-founded the Iranian Art Critics and Writers Foundation, which deals with Iranian cinema. Abbas Yari also oversees the programming for the Iranian Cinema Museum in Tehran.

The nominees for 2019 GoE Bridging The Borders Award were:
The Dress (Sukienka) by Tadeusz Łysiak, Roots (Czarny character) by Kuba Gryzewski, Tumble (Fikołek) by Milena Dutkowska, Skin (Skora) by Mateusz Zdaniecki, The Reservation (Skansen) by Adam Andrzejewski & Karolina Pielesiak, Masha (Masza) by Krzysztof Chodorowski, Confession (Spowiedz) by Wiktoria Niewiadomoska, Prison Pass (Przepustka)by Łukasz Ruciński , By The River (Nad Wisłą) by Agata Korycka, Ondine (Odyna) by Tomasz Śliwiński, Logged Out by Tobiasz Walkiewicz and Synchronization (Synchronizacja) by Anna Kasinska

At a time when physical, religious, racial, cultural, and economic borders divide the population of our planet, efforts to bridge those borders should be appreciated. In that spirit, Cinema Without Borders presents Bridging the Borders Award to the films that are most successful in bridging and connecting the people of our world closer together.

Bridging The Borders Award is offered at Palm Springs International Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShoerFest Film Festival, Germany’s LUCAS International Festival for Young Film Lovers, Australia’s Veteran Film Festival, Southeast European Film Festival, LA, Polish Film Festival, LA and Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles. Bridging The Borders Award is sponsored by GoEnergistics.

About Go Energistics
Go Energistics is dedicated to “Serving Those Who Serve”
Federal and Private Sector healthcare facilities form the back-bone of an industry focused on healing environments and serving the needs of their patients. As a trusted partner of choice, Go Energistics’ mission is to dramatically improve healthcare buildings and delivery systems to empower optimal performance and promote the best possible care. Whether it is planning services, design, procurement assistance, medical equipment installation, logistics support or “all-of-the-above,” Go Energistics is committed to “Building Solutions that FiT Your Healthcare Needs.”


About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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