The American director Kate Ryan and her documentary Welcome to Nowhere, a story of Romani inhabitants in Bulgaria’s capital city, have won the Grand Prix at the 4th HumanDOC International Documentary Film Festival “Global Development in Cinema”. The prize was presented, on behalf of MFA Undersecretary of State Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, by Mirosław Sycz, deputy director of the Department of Development Cooperation.
Welcome to Nowhere tells of Romanis living in Sofia and people of goodwill who struggle to obtain council flats, give Romani children a better future, and find their own place in the world. The movie was awarded for making the public sensitive to the problems ethnic minorities have to grapple with, and for showing how difficult it is to make members of such groups part of functioning society.
The presentation ceremony took place at Warsaw’s Kinoteka cinema and was the culmination of the international festival, which had kicked off on 28 November. HumanDOC is the first retrospective in Central and Eastern Europe and the third worldwide to focus on global development issues.
“In our part of Europe, this event is quite unique both in its cinematic and educational dimensions, offering as it does the opportunity to reflect on global problems that for the most part stem from unequal development opportunities,” deputy director of the Department of Development Cooperation Mirosław Sycz said. “Developed countries respond to problems of the poorest global regions by extending development assistance. Poland, too, has been increasingly engaged in this assistance,” he added.
The festival was co-funded by the MFA under the Polish Aid programme, and took place in Warsaw, Poznan and Wroclaw. Until the end of December, a number of films presented during HumanDOC will be screened at arts cinemas in ten Polish cities, including Krakow, Przemysl, Opole and Lodz, as well as on the iplex.pl website.