Gold Medal at the New York Film Festivals and TV Awards for the film “Escapes through wires - underground shelter”
"Underground shelter”, the first of documentary films produced as part of the series "Escapes through wires” received a gold medal in the category “Docudrama” at the prestigious international competition New York Film Festivals and TV Awards 2018. The film director is the 2005 Oscar nominee Andrzej Celiński, producer Bartosz Klinik, and the narrator - the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński.
Film productions from more than 50 countries participated in the New York Film Festivals and TV Awards and were evaluated by an international jury comprising of experts from 36 countries: directors, producers, screenwriters, actors and representatives of other professions of the film industry. Among the movies shown at the festival are animated, documentary and feature films, film trailers, music videos, TV dramas or short digital forms.
The film producer is K Film. The film was co-produced by Telewizja Polska SA (Polish Television), the x Auschwitz-Birkenau vas well as the Krakow Festival Office and MFX Film Studio. The film was co-financed, by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, among others.
“Underground shelter” tells the story of the escape of prisoners: Kazimierz Andrysik (camp no. 89), Zdzisław Michalak (no.180), Ryszard Kordek (no. 10291) and Józef Papuga (no. 12049). In the mid-July 1944, they escaped from the area of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. First, the hid in a pre-prepared bunker at the construction site of section BIII. After escaping from the area adjacent to the camp, they met with the liaison officer who led them to the tugboat "Piast" moored on the Vistula in the area of Gromiec near Oświęcim. The Polish crew of the tugboat hid the fugitives in a special compartment and carried them to the port in Dąbie near Cracow. Then the fugitives entered Nowy Korczyn, from where they joined a unit of the Home Army.
The narrator of the film is the Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński. On the one hand, it tells the story of the escape, but also brings the whole context closer, embedding the events of July 1944 in the general history of the German Auschwitz camp.
‘The film presents a very interesting escape from the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp of a group of Polish political prisoners, realised with the help and involvement of the armed resistance movement operating in the area of the camp. It is very important for us that the docudrama about this topic was noticed and appreciated by the international jury of the New York festival,’ said Piotr Cywiński.
‘It is the first of the planned series of films about escapes from Auschwitz. Such a significant international recognition for the film shows that the entire series may be an important voice in preserving the memory and courage of the refugees, who brought to the attention of the world the drama unfolding inside the camp,’ he added.
The creators of the film consulted the details of the production with the Museum so as to faithfully present the reality of the concentration camp world on the screen. It is always extremely difficult because you have to take into consideration several details - both those from the accounts of former prisoners that tell about the escape itself, as well as those relating to general issues, such as architecture, prisoners’ clothes, etc. All this to make the film as close as possible to the historical truth.