Prizes are given away! Which PSFF 2023 films were the best?

We are proud to present the winners of the Prague Science Film Fest, the international festival of popular science films, taking place from 16th to 19th October 2023 at the Campus of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague. The winning films were awarded as part of the ceremony at the Přítomnost Cinema in Prague. The awards were given out in four categories. 

In the competition section of this year’s PSFF programme, eleven films from the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States competed for the title of Best International Science Documentary. The Czech Republic was also represented in the competition with Wild Prague. It was the one that attracted the young viewers the most and won the Student Jury Award. “The film reveals the diverse species of plants and animals in urban environments, highlighting their ability to adapt to urbanization and highlighting the impacts of climate change. Its extremely impressive visuals and valuable contribution to the awareness of urban wildlife impressed the jury and deservedly earned it the win.”

The jury of the international competition, composed of Czech University of Life Sciences representatives and its management, was most impressed by the documentary Planet Soil by Mark Verkerk and Ignas van Schaick. The jury was particularly impressed by the film’s remarkable aesthetic, which “offers stunning macro shots that introduce us to the fascinating world of soil insects. Through these close-ups, we are introduced to a previously unknown and mysterious world that often goes unnoticed.”

The CZU president Professor Petr Sklenička awarded a special prize to the documentary film True Places Never Are for its quality and unique combination of themes. “The winning film takes us to an island where ornithology and quantum physics combine in a novel view of the world. This remarkable film invites us to think about what we are looking for in the world around us. “

Same as last year, the award ceremony concluded with the Grand Prize, awarded jointly by the PSFF and its festival partner Academia Film Olomouc. This prize is competed for by eleven PSFF competition films as well as the International Competition of this year’s 58th AFO, which took place at the end of April this year. The jury, composed of experts in the fields of science popularization and documentary film, awarded this prize of 10 thousand US dollars to the film TheArc of Oblivion. The jury called director Ian Cheney’s film “a truly original and larger than life film that poses profound and existential questions with a lot of humor, humility, sincerity and a uniquely playful cinematic language.” According to the jury, the film is “a sincere quest to capture the deposition of memories in nature and the human desire to leave a trace in this world – and not least, to build a giant ark.”

The Grand Prize jury had a difficult decision to make due to the high quality of all the participating films. Therefore, it decided to award an honorable mention to the documentary Smile and Wave, which “introduced a precious being that filled the entire space and encouraged their desire to explore further.” 

The awards are now with their winners, and we would like to thank all visitors for participating in the screenings and debates!