For each of the past 21 years, the Krzysztof Mętrak Prize has gone to the best young critics in Poland. As custom dictates, this year's laureate, Sebastian Smoliński, will present his film selection at the festival. Mr. Smoliński has selected Microkosmos, the nature documentary by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou. The 2017 Krzysztof Mętrak Prize ceremony will be held before the film screening.
A patch of meadow inhabited by insects and mollusks where the rules of the game familiar to humans do not apply. Uninterrupted by words, this series of images and sounds brings us closer to a world that we do not have access to on a daily basis. Microcosmos is a milestone in the development of nature films, offering a spectacle that was so incredibly difficult to produce and that used such an exquisite formula that no one has been able to match it to this day. Without relying on anthropomorphizing voiceovers, Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou tell the story of the smallest inhabitants on Earth, whose adventures grow on-screen to almost mythic proportions. The documentary, which was largely shot under studio conditions, is the crowning achievement of the French tradition of animal films that started back in the silent era by the brilliant Jean Painlevé. Despite the intervening years, Microcosmos remains the most outstanding film ever made about the non-human experience: a dark, searching lullaby from an animal's point of view. Total cinema at a truly micro-scale.
Cannes IFF 1996 – Grand Technical Prize; César Awards 1997 – Best Music, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Producer
Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou are a French duo of biologists, photographers, and filmmakers. Before they made their breakthrough in nature cinema with Microcosmos, they were involved in nature photography. They have published several books of their photography, including Photographier la nature (1980) and La Planète des insectes (1983). They have made three feature films so far, but neither Genesis nor The Field of Enchantment was able to repeat the success of Microcosmos. Their work explores the form of the nature essay, sometimes combining it with documentary footage and fictionalized episodes.
1996 Mikrokosmos / Microcosmos: Le peuple de l’herbe / Microcosmos
2011 La clé des champs / The Field of Enchantment