The documentary by Łukasz Kowalski received a special mention at the Athens International Film Festival which has just concluded.

The Athens International Film Festival Opening Nights was created in 1995 by the non-profit Athens Film Society. Their goal was to draw the attention of viewers to niche and independent cinema. Hence its program features lesser-known gems from around the world. The event attracts approximately 60 thousand viewers. This year's edition ran from 28 September to 9 October.

This time, the program included The Pawnshop by Łukasz Kowalski. The film was liked so much that it returned from Athens with a special mention. 

The awarded film is a moving, humorous story about people who fight for their own survival while helping those in even greater need. Jola and Wiesiek are a couple of eccentric businesspeople from Bytom. Together with three employees, they run what is probably the largest pawnshop in Europe. However, it's well past its prime due to mines closing in the vicinity and rising unemployment. With less and less means to live, the citizens of the “Polish Detroit” try to pawn increasingly obscure and useless items. Wiesiek's crazy marketing stunts do little to help the failing business and neither does Jola's tender heart, who supports their customers not only with a good word but also with hot soup or a warm jacket. Although the pawnshop brings losses, it becomes an important spot for the local community. Soon, however, it teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, putting Jola and Wiesiek's relationship to the test. In the face of impending disaster, the owners will make one last attempt to save their business and love.

You can read more about the awards given in the documentary segment here.