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31. 07. 2014.

"Arena", a fiction short film by Martin Rath, a final year direction student, gets the best short film prize at the 17th Motovun Film Festival (26 - 30 July).

Martin Rath made the film based on his own screenplay with photography by Bartosz Świniarski, starring Marcin Kowalczyk (who also played the part of "Magik" in "Jesteś Bogiem" by Leszek Dawid).

The film was made under the artistic supervision of Mariusz Grzegorzek and Ryszard Lenczewski. It is the unusual story of a young hitch-hiker who joins a group of strong, original and charismatic inhabitnants of the Bieszczady Mountains. Fascinated by them and the surrounding wilderness, the young man decides to face the challenge.

"Arena" got a distinction at the 33rd New Jersey International Film Festival (29 May - 14 June) and in November, 2013 it won the 58th Cork Film Festival. “From the first to the final frame, “Arena” maintains a threatening ambiguity. Shot in a perpetual twilight, things are always about to get dark, and Rath’s immense skill is to hold the tension as the film oscillates between machismo and sensitivity.” (Extract from jury statement at the 58th Cork Film Festival, where Martin Rath’s film won the Grand Prix International.)

"Arena" by Martin Rath also won the 1st Prize in the Polish competition: STUDENTS at the International Short Film Festival Zubroffka in Bialystok (4 - 8 Dec, 2013). The prize was awarded for the "natural and straightforward portrayal of interpersonal relationships within a closed group of people".