Cinema and film awards have a rich tradition in Kraków. The Krakow Film Festival, running since 1961, focuses on documentaries, animations and short features and is regarded as one of the most important events of its kind in Europe. Currently, the festival features four competitions for documentaries, short films, Polish films and DocFilmMusic (added in 2013). Its prestigious awards include the Golden and Silver Horns, Golden and Silver Lajkonik, Golden Hejnał and the Dragon of Dragons – an individual prize awarded since 1998 for lifetime achievement in documentaries and short films. Past winners include Jan Lenica, Werner Herzog, Marcel Łoziński and Jerzy Kucia.
Another important competition forms part of the Etiuda&Anima festival, launched in 1994. Winners of the ETIUDA competition receive Golden, Silver and Bronze Dinosaurs, while the ANIMA.PL national competition presents Golden, Silver and Bronze Żmij for auteur films, children’s films and professional debut. Golden, Silver and Bronze Jabberwockies are awarded in the ANIMA Competition.
Launched in 2008, the International Festival of Independent Cinema Mastercard Off Camera is one of the most important events of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe, awarding major cash prizes. The Main Competition “Making Way” presents ten debut or follow-up productions by filmmakers from all over the globe vying for the Krakow Film Award. Director of the winning film can apply for co-finance from the Polish Film Institute for their next production, as long as at least some of the shooting takes place in Poland. The cash prize is one of the highest in the world. An important element of the programme is the Polish Feature Film Competition, with the best productions vying for the Kulczyk Foundation Award; the prize is split between director and producer. Off Camera also includes a competition for amateur filmmakers and another for young scriptwriters.
Authors of scripts for films set in Małopolska compete for prizes in the Three Crowns Competition – Małopolska Film Award. Launched in 2008, the competition is organised by the Małopolska Region, the Polish Film Institute and KBF. Three prizes are awarded for features and one for a documentary script.
Additionally, the Krakow Regional Film Fund, financed by the Kraków Municipality and the Małopolska Region, holds an annual Film Production Support Competition for films linked with Kraków and Małopolska. Awarded since 2009, the fund financed over 30 features, documentaries and animations until the year 2020.