Sections

This year's competition of feature-length documentaries for the 2021 WATCH DOCS Award features ten films selected from more than 3,000 submissions. Six Polish premieres, films from five continents, made in the last two years, appreciated at the world's biggest film festivals, such as Cannes, Venice or IDFA.

A panorama of contemporary documentaries on human rights. Socially committed filmmakers who pose difficult questions in their films. Current topics, figures and events in the spotlight for human rights defenders: migrants and whistleblowers, bioethics and feminism. Watch these films if you want to see what the world is really like.

The most interesting Polish films of the last season on social issues. A bit of history, a story about the border that unites and divides, and two strong Belarusian accents.

Films for everyone interested in what is happening in the East. New films devoted to the countries that emerged after the collapse of the USSR - and are still in the orbit of the Kremlin's interests. Topics include corruption and propaganda in Azerbaijan, the situation of LGBT people in Georgia, the Belarusian war on drugs, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Extraordinary films by an artist whose works have been presented at WATCH DOCS for 15 years. His films combine formal experimentation with great sensitivity and political commitment. Using unique archival materials and unconventional staging, Périot's films address issues such as the origins of European terrorism, the evolution of the left, and even the therapeutic role of choir singing.

This year's selection of short documentaries consists of three sets. The first one includes experimental forms by Jean-Gabriel Périot: this year's laureate of Marek Nowicki Award. The second one features three films showing the current situation in Belarus. The third set consists of two Dutch films. The first is devoted to underage migrants, the second to the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague.

Although the migrant crisis has been going on for many years, the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border has become more relevant than ever. In addition to films about crossing borders on the way to Europe, we will see documentaries about climate refugees, refugees from Belarus and Donbass, and Syrian artists who create art inspired by the traumatic experiences of war.

Thanks to our cooperation with player.pl, we are making a selection of films from this year's WATCH DOCS program available for free. Among them: the last year's WATCH DOCS Award winner, a film about this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, a documentary about skinheads trying to break up with their neo-Nazi past, and a film about a Chechen refugee, starring the Stuhr family.