The Hero wins MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award at Polish FF LA


At the award ceremony of 22nd edition of Polish Film Festival LA,  MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award jury members, Pamela Anchang,, Hermon Farahi and Bijan Tehrani announced the recipients of the Honorary Mention and Best Polish Short Film.

Bridging The Borders Award is presented by Cinema Without Borders and Sponsored by MOZAIK Philanthropy.

Milena Dutkowska, director of The Hero, winner of the MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award for the Best Short Polish Film, wrote in a note that: “Good evening, ladies and Gentlemen. I am really sorry I can’ be in Los Angeles in person, as I did two years ago.
I am do grateful jury of MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award. Also, I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to: Cyprian Grabowski (main actor) for your vulnerability and talent, Igor Połaniewicz, Nikodem Chabior for extraordinary compassion and patient. Władek Juszkiewicz and Marek Dzida for providing me with the opportunity of participating for the third time at Polish Film Festival LA”

Here is MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award jury statement: ” Welcome to the MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award for the best Polish short films of 2021.

We had nine nominees, nine amazing short films from Polish filmmakers all dealing with important topics and issues of our world today and excellence in use of language of cinema.

The MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award Honorary Mention, which is our special jury award, goes to a film that poetically addresses a tragedy of our time, when modern fanaticism tries to impose its rules on the life of pregnant women, even teenage girls in the name of siding with unborn life. In this

fantastic film, Alice, a teenage girl, takes refuge in the world of fantasy and dreams in order to survive the horrific situation she has been trapped in. Let’s congratulate Olga Boladz, director of Alice and the Frog, for making this beautiful and timely film.

The winner of the Cinema Without Borders Bridging The Borders Award, sponsored by MOZAIK Philanthropy, is a beautifully made short film dealing with the universal subject of growing up and overcoming the loss of the dearest in your life. In this visual poetry, a ten-year-old orphan, raised by his beloved grandmother, dreams of becoming a true hero. When his grandmother dies, Cyprian is threatened with being sent to an orphanage. Now he will have to confront true loss and what it means to be a hero in the face of suffering. The winner of 2021 MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award for the Best Polish short film is The Hero, written and directed by Milena Dutkowska. Congratulations.”

CWB Jury Members are:
Pamela Asobo Anchang, Editor, TV/Radio Host, IMpact/ Africa Speaks, The Immigrant Magazine
Pamela A. Anchang was born in Cameroon, Africa. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a journalist, a passion that she cultivated as a young child radio-host in her native Cameroon for a program called Children’s Magazine. Finding it almost impossible to pursue her dream in Cameroon, she left for the United States of America amid political upheavals.

She created The Immigrant Magazine online in 2003 as a medium to publish her articles and provide informative resources to immigrants. In 2004 she started a free print publication that grew from 4-60 pages. In 2013 for greater and national circulation the print magazine morphed into a daily web blog and weekly e-newsletter. This platform is currently being transformed into an online TV network that will aggregate and distribute compelling digital content about immigrants in the US. Her magazine has served companies and institutions such as Walt Disney, The City of Los Angeles, AIDS Walk NY/LA, The Hollywood Carnival, MoneyGram International, Los Angeles Metro, multiple small businesses, famous ethnic film festivals, and multi-cultural events in Los Angeles for outreach to immigrant communities. Today Pamela is the creator and host of IMPact With Pamela Anchang on KPFK Pacifica Radio for Los Angeles, Southern California,

Keely Badger is Executive Director of MOZAIK, a new millennial-led philanthropic organization committed to exploring and modeling new practices in philanthropy with disruptive, creative, and catalytic potential. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Keely leads the foundation’s strategic grantmaking, programs and community engagements, working with a range of nonprofit organizations in the local, national and international advocacy space.

As a millennial expert and advocate on international human rights and development issues,
Keely pioneers’ durable solutions for underrepresented voices, communities and causes by working to democratize philanthropy through participatory grantmaking praxis.

Hermon Farahi is an award-winning, first-generation Iranian Korean American filmmaker, author, scholar-activist, social impact strategist, multidisciplinary creative director, and former candidate for U.S. Congress (NV-03), trained as a cultural anthropologist and documentarian grounded in critical race theory and decolonial praxis (MA, The George Washington University). His lived experience raised in a multicultural immigrant family has deeply informed his work as a storyteller and change-agent. Faced with family separation due to the “Muslim ban”, Hermon was inspired to run for Congress, ultimately suspending his campaign to work on the Emmy-nominated, Academy Award-shortlisted Netflix Original Documentary, Knock Down The House, winner of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival Favorite Award. Genuinely committed to inclusion and antiracism, Hermon has collaborated with many impacted BIPOC communities, locally and globally. As a senior advisor to Rep. Cori Bush, Hermon’s polymathic skill-set helped propel her campaign to a historic victory over a 52-year political dynasty to become Missouri’s first Black Congresswoman. His award-winning feature debut, When They Awake, a decolonial indigenous music documentary, has screened in 50+ International Film Festivals. He has consulted for several grassroots and international organizations, including The World Bank and USAID, and even traversed Mt. Everest while filming for a cancer foundation.

Michael Franck is an internationally awarded documentarist, who has directed and produced more than 150 documentaries and fact programs for tv-networks. His films main focus are on Finnish and Nordic culture, political history and entrepreneurship and future living conditions seen from a scientific perspective. Many of his films also feature socio-political and human bridge building in the Middle East, where his family has been working and living for three generations. Many of his films have been shown also internationally. Both in Europe, the US and in the Middle East, where hos family has lived and worked for three generations.

Between 1989 and 1995 he lived and worked as producer in Hollywood, where he together with professionals from both this leading entertainment community, Iran and Scandinavia, was developing the major animated film “Sindbad. Due to the crash of the economy in his home country Finland in the early 1990-as, this project could not be completed. During this time in Los Angeles, he also participated in Rand Corporation´s Middle East and Central Asia Studies Group.

Michael Franck´s recently published documentary, featuring the 100 years history of Finland´s orden tradition, including also his interview with current President Sauli Niinistö and former president Tarja Halonen, was published and screened first time on Finlands Independence day December 6, 2019, on the Finnish public television channel YLE TV 1 as well as and Michael Franck´s film portrait “My Godfather & 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-ies decided to disagree with. The film opens a historic perspective on the cold war time in Finland, the role of the country´s long time President Urho Kekkonen, and his way of ruling the country. his film will be published on Finlands TV 1 on the country´s Independence day of this year, December 6.

Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, “Simin” is a multi – award- winning Iranian actress who has over 80 national & international prizes.
She started her career in theatre as a teenager and has years of experience in improvised theater performance.
She became one of the most distinguished and respected actresses from Iran.
In her career Simin has appeared in over 70 films and collaborated with some of the master directors of Iranian cinema such as Abbas Kiarostami , Mohsen Makhmalbafand Rakhshan Bani-Etemad
She has starred in films, TV series ,theaters and puppet theater
She made her directorial debut by directing a documentary about Iranian ex-president Mohammad Khatami followed by her second directorial attempt with another documentary on the subject 7 powerful women in Asian cinema!
She is a professor of cinema and theater at the prestigious university of Isfahan.
Among her numerous awards, she won the best actress award from Montreal film festival in 2011 and received the prestigious Henry Langlois prize in 2012.
best actress in Urania awards in Vienna ,BOGACICI Film Festival ,SPECIAL MENTION IN ASIA PACITIC 2015 . The best actor in Iran’s history of cinema from the critics point of view in 2017
She has Served as a Jury member of more than 60 international film festivals , she is Doing Master class & workshop around the world .
Motamed-Arya is a founding member of The Performers Society of The Iranian Cinema.
The First Female president of Iranian Actor union, still in this position from 2018
She is an ambassador of several charities in Iran and is one of the most admired personalities on the Iranian cultural scene. Fatemeh Motamed-Arya is among 15 international figures whose portraits are on display at a multimedia exhibition titled ” The Transformative Power of Art ” at the UN in New York in 2015

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language & History of film workshops and organizes film screening events and festivals. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children’s books.

Bijan runs several events every year in order to promote international cinema in the US, including ELAC International Animation Day Festival.

For the tenth anniversary of Cinema Without Borders, Bijan received Ambassador of International Cinema Award from South east European Film Festival, Friend of the Festival Award from Polish Film Festival, LA and Gateway to International Cinema Award from Hungarian Film festival. CWB will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2022.

The Hero, Winner of the MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award
Cyprian, a ten-year-old orphan, raised by his beloved grandmother, dreams of becoming a true hero. When my grandmother dies, Cyprian is threatened with being sent to an orphanage. Now he will have to confront true loss and what it means to be a hero in the face of suffering.
Director Milena Dutkowska
Screenplay: Milena Dutkowska
Cinematography: Igor Polanowicz
Music Marcin: Markowicz, Teoniki Rozynek
Production Designer: Paulina Mazoń
Producer Krystyna: Doktorowicz

Grandmother: Anna Seniuk
Cyprian: Cyprian Grabowski
Uncle: Krzysztof Dracz
Aunt: Edyta Torhan

Alice and the Frog – MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award Honorary Mention
A story of fast growing up, which Alice – the main character does not want to decide on. It is a story about how the problem cuts you off from reality, because it is so hard that it is unreal. Together with the protagonist, we move into a fantasy world where it is beautiful and scary. As in a fairy tale, it is full of symbols and hidden meanings. But this is the only place where Alice deals with the problem in her own way. It’s about abortion – a difficult topic for which there is no one answer, and probably none is right. It all depends on the man and his decisions. But can it be independent?
Director: Olga Boladz
Screenplay: Olga Boladz, Magdalena Lamparska, Julita Olszewska, Jowita Radzińska
Cinematography: Piotr Niemyjski
Misic: Mikolaj Dobber, Jan Krolikowski
Art Director: Jagna Dobesz
Producers: Jerzy Kapuscinski, Ewa Jastrzebska

Alaicja Raczynska: Julia Kuzak
Alicja’s Mother: Agnieszka Suchora
Tomek: Grzegorz Prasalski
Doctor: Jan Frycz
Tamar: Magdalena Boczarska
Tamer: Janusz Chabior
Tamer: Lukasz Simlat



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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