First award: Film Love in Belarus fascinates Poles

20 months of work, hundreds of letters and the fate of a young couple. The film describes the ultradramatic love story of Zmitser Dashkevich and Nasta Palazhanka, members of Belarusian youth organisation Young Front. In front of the cameras they read their letters – while serving their terms the youngsters sent more than a thousand letters to each other. After the 2010 post-election protests Zmitser and Nasta were thrown into jails. Zmitser was sentenced to two years of imprisonment; having spent a year in the KGB prison, Nasta received a suspended sentence. They even got married behind bars; Nasta took her husband’s surname. In August, 2013 Zmitser was released.

The film directed by Andrey Kutsila and Viachaslau Rakitski was firstly showed by Belsat TV on December 24, 2013.

On April 10, 2014 festival ‘The Art of Fact’ (Sztuka Faktu) started in Toruń. It gathered the authors and makers of TV reports and documentaries. This year the first prize has been given to the film touching grim Belarusian realities.

‘In my opinion, the judging panel was deeply impressed by the story we told, by the love story of two young people separated by prison bars. For modern democratic Europe, for Poland this story is unique. But unfortunately, it is not uncommon in Belarus. I hope the judges got a feel of its very dramatism,’ Viachaslay Rakitski told Belsat TV.

{movie}Love in Belarus / Каханне па-беларуску|right|15952{/movie}

According to the director, as the win is their first one it is of high importance for him and Andrey Kutsila. Moreover, the prise was awarded by their Polish colleagues, and in Poland the school of documentary has long-standing traditions and deserved authority, he says. Mr Rakitski also hopes that the stunning love story will come into the public eye and raise awareness of the situation of the Belarusian political prisoners. The film was translated into English, and its creators are ready to participate in international festivals.

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