23rd Faludi International Film Festival and Photo Competition

Award of the Ecumenical Jury Goes to Polish Short Film
A Day Like Today (Magda Strzyżyńska)

Film still from "A Day Like Today"

On the evening of 21 November, 2020, the program of the 23rd Faludi International Film Festival in Budapest ended with an online award ceremony.  Prizes were awarded in 13 categories, including the award of the Ecumenical Jury. The festival was held entirely online for the first time in its 23-year history, due to the epidemic situation. The basic aim of the event is to launch a creative dialogue on social issues within the world of visual culture and to encourage creativity, and it is also important that applicants have the opportunity to interact with each other and experienced film professionals.

The Ecumenical Jury chooses traditionally only one film from the entire competition program (50 films in 11 competition blocks). In 2020 the jury awarded its prize to Magda Strzyżyńska for her short feature, A Day Like Today (OTDzień jak co dzień), which is also the director's first film.

„Dreams, hope dashed by reality, and how to deal with it: Magda Strzyżyńska tells us the story of a mother and her 13-year-old daughter at a local talent show," says the jury in the explanation of their choice. "Ordinary parents, ordinary teenagers, and their unshakable will to be someone in this world, which – in this day and age – means on stage. Whose perseverance will be stronger, the daughter’s or the mother’s?

Within roughly twenty minutes, the Polish director sketches the drama of life, the pains of growing up, coping with the plans of the parents, the attempts of bending reality to make it fit  our ideas or what is said to be written in our stars. Life, however, doesn’t work that way. Life is the art of loving your child even if they fail, the art of letting your dreams behind in order to set your children free to dream their own future. Education means you do whatever it takes for your child, what you think is important for him or her, sensing at what point you need to stop your well-intentioned efforts – and knowing that your child will be more likely to copy your own way of dealing with failure than wanting to pursue the dreams you have not achieved yourself.

The formal aspects of the film support the storyline and the development of the two main characters: exposition of the figures and the plot in the introduction, growing stress before the audition, unexpected behaviour of both the mother and the daughter, and finally a somewhat hopeful outcome insofar as both generations have taken healthy steps in the relationship with one another as well as in their respective lives. The secondary characters are not just staffage, but help move the short movie towards its climax. The music, rather than being background noise, mirrors in its form and content what we ourselves deal with while witnessing the failing protagonists. Will they attend four more talent shows like the mother’s friend and her daughter?”

The members of the Ecumenical Jury in 2021 were Jean-Paul Käser (Switzerland), freelance translator, member of the institutions Filmgilde and Filmpodium Biel; Matías Zemljič (Slovenia), Argentinian-Slovenian director, screenwriter and film editor; Gergely Nacsinák (Hungary), orthodox priest and writer; and Balázs Paksa (Hungary), journalist and editor.

Link: Closing Ceremony

Link: Round table discussion of the Ecumenical Jury

Link: Festival website