It was a great week for Two Polish documentaries. Films by Mariusz Rusiński and Aliaksander Tsymbaliuk were awarded at the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival.

The Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival was established in 1994. The event showcases documentaries from all over the globe. The main aim of its organisers is to promote the genre. The festival's program includes award-winning titles as well as some less obvious titles and unknown productions by aspiring creators.

First the award at ZagrebDox, and now the title of best social documentary at the Belgian festival. Sister of Mine follows Zuzia, an artistically gifted and very sensitive teenager struggling with drug addiction. Mariusz Rusiński – her brother and the film's director – decides to take a closer look at the family to understand what could have led to this situation. This is a story about both recovery and how much the relationships within a family influence the specific decisions of its members. The director directs the lens of the camera at his loved ones in their most intimate moments and tries to capture the flashpoints and sources of conflict and lack of mutual understanding.

The film by Aliaksandr Tsymbaliuk received the Special Youth Jury Award at the prestigious Swiss festival Vision du Reel and returned from Belgium with the title of best medium-length documentary film. Koka is set somewhere along the coast of the Bering Sea. A father and son are making a living from fishing in a community that seems suspended outside of time. The film brings us closer to both protagonists, capturing the harsh conditions of life and the rigorous education in equal measure, softened only by paternal love and the carefree spirit of the younger protagonist.  

You can learn more about the festival from its official website.