Łukasz Kowalski's production triumphed at yesterday's Polish Film Awards gala. The film was voted best Polish documentary.

The “Eagles” Polish Film Awards, the annual awards of the Polish Film Academy, have been organised for the Polish Film Academy by the Independent Film Foundation since 1999. The idea came from Dariusz Jabłoński, film director and producer, current President of the Polish Film Academy.

The following films were nominated for best documentary: Angels of Sinjar by Hanna Polak, The Fledglings by Lidia Duda, Silent Love by Marek Kozakiewicz, The Hamlet Syndrome by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski, and the winner – The Pawnshop by Łukasz Kowalski.

It's 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 find the list of all winners here (in Polish).