The Pavel Koutecký Award went to the film Intensive Life Unit

Published May 23, 2022

On Thursday 19 May, the jury of the fifth ELBE DOCK International Film Festival (12 May – 21 May 2022) in Ústí nad Labem awarded the film The Intensive Life Unit by Adela Komrzý and special mention to How I Became a Partisan by Vera Lacková.

Pavel Koutecký Award for Feature Film

For the 16th time, the Pavel Koutecký Award for the best first and second documentary film was presented. This year, five nominated feature documentaries and five nominated short documentaries out of 75 submitted films competed for the Pavel Koutecký Award.

The Pavel Koutecký Award and a financial prize of CZK 100,000 for the first and second feature documentary films went to the film The Intensive Life Unit by director Adela Komrzý. This impressive documentary from behind the scenes of palliative care presents the reality of the last moments.

Jury statement:
“Although the action of the film takes place in only a few rooms, it is a very dynamic film – the filmmakers have guided the audience through the story of each person filmed, as well as the evolution in their thinking and their family’s view. The result is a documentary that is very professional and important. A documentary that mutes and takes away the fear of death.”

Adéla Komrzý

Adéla Komrzý (*1992) studied History of Art at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University and in 2020 she graduated from the Master’s degree in Documentary Film at FAMU. In 2018, she was on an internship at the prestigious German university Filmuni Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, where she studied directing. The same year she was selected for the Berlinale Talents. For her bachelor film Education for War, she won the main prize of the Andrei “Nikolai” Stankovich Award. For The Intensive Life Unit she won the Czech Lion and the Czech Film Critics Award for Best Documentary.

Pavel Koutecký Award for Feature Film – Special Mention

Special mention went to How I Became a Partisan by Vera Lacková.

Jury statement:
“The director has done invaluable and important work for her family and all Roma people: she has highlighted a painful subject and beautiful family relationships, pain, dignity, the tragedies of World War II, but also the goal and the result.”

Other feature film nominees include Francesco Montagner’s Brotherhood, Tomáš Hlaváček’s To Live Against All Odds and Milan Klepikov’s Preparations for T.

Pavel Koutecký Award for Short Film

The Pavel Koutecký Award for Short Documentary Film and a cash prize of 40,000 CZK went to director Josef Švejda with his film JANG.

The jury’s statement:
“For conveying a sense of freedom that is important for artists and human beings in general. For a great demonstration of the desire for freedom and for capturing the difference in life values between two generations. Through the initially seemingly trivial “punk story” of a socially maladjusted individual, the artist has managed to open a pathway into the protagonist’s soul, step by step, by kaleidoscopic layering of colourful and sunny images, not as a desperate man on the fringes of society, but as a man firm in his convictions.”

Four other films have been nominated for the Pavel Koutecký Award for Short Documentary: Dear Dad by Diana Cam Van Nguyen, The Land of the Raven from the Ark by Květa Chaloupková, Amplified Silence by Marek Mrkvička and The Siren’s Test by Hana Slanina.

The festival will conclude its programme on Saturday 21 May at Dresden’s former freight station GEH8, where the ELBE DOCK AWARD for Central European short films (fiction, animation and documentary) will be announced. The programme also continues in Ústí nad Labem, where an exhibition focusing on the future and artificial intelligence entitled Behind Open Eyes is running until Saturday in a unique former bunker. In the Hraničář Public Hall, there will be a screening of a silent Japanese film with live music by the Austrian group Okabre.