Berlin: Polish Screenwriter Kuba Czekaj Wins 'Baumi' Script Development Award

Kuba Czekaj

The prize, named in honor of late German producer Karl 'Baumi' Baumgartner, was for Czekaj's unproduced script 'Sorry Poland.'

Polish screenwriter Kuba Czekaj has won the second annual 'Baumi' Script Development Award for his screenplay Sorry Poland, a story about a 40-something folk dancer perpetually banned to the second row who hopes his troupe's tour of Taiwan could be his big break.

The Baumi Award comes with a €20,000 ($21,000) endowment to go towards the development of the winning script. The prize is named in honor of the late German producer Karl 'Baumi' Baumgartner, whose credits included Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria and Emir Kusturica's Palme d'Or winner Underground.

Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki, whose latest pic, The Other Side of Hope, is a frontrunner to take this year's Berlin Golden Bear for best film, was the guest juror for this year's prize, joining the award's founders, production company Pandora Film, the Baumgartner family and regional subsidy body the NRW Film Board in picking Sorry Poland from 47 international submissions.

“I like the style, he seems to be a clever guy,¨ said Kaurismaki of Czekaj and his script. ¨Poland is a film nation where Baumi began supporting young talents very early on and worked closely with many film artists. Kuba Czekaj and his story idea, which has a nicely subtle and fine political touch, would be exactly to [Baumi's] liking."

Czekaj's latest film, as a screenwriter and director, is The Erlprince, which premiered at Sundance before screening in Berlin's Generation 14plus section.

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