The Polish documentary by Kacper Lisowski received an award at the Millennium Documentary Film Festival in Belgium, which ended last night.

The Millenium Documentary Film Festival is one of the most important film events held in Brussels. What makes it different from other festivals is the subject matter of the films included in its program. It primarily concerns human rights. Organisers also deem it important to support innovative projects and young, independent creators. The festival was founded in 2009 by Lubomir Gueorguiev and Zlatina Rousseva.

This year, the Human Rights Award went to Kacper Lisowski for Judges Under Pressure. It is worth mentioning that the documentary not only stole the hearts of the jury but, above all, of the audience, as it received a 10-minute-long standing ovation.

Judges Under Pressure tells the story of unwavering judges who defend the Constitution and the separation of powers. One of them is judge Igor Tuleya, who – against external pressure – passes verdicts unfavourable for the government. This makes him enemy number one for the authorities and the face of judicial rebellion for protesting citizens. The film shows the consequences of his uncompromising attitude. We look at the effects political pressure has on his life. At the same time, we are witnessing the extraordinary solidarity shown by both judges and ordinary citizens. Meanwhile the rule of law in Poland is being dismantled in plain sight. Following the ruling of the politicised Constitutional Tribunal on abortion, Poland sees the largest wave of social unrest in its history. Judges take to the streets to stand shoulder to shoulder with citizens in defence of the rule of law.

You can read more about the festival here.