FESTIVALS:
* ArtDocFest
* Göteborg
* Magnificient 7
* Thessaloniki
* Ambulante
* Lubljana Doc Film Festival
* Belfast International Film Festival
* Hot Docs
* Docs Against Gravity
* Docaviv
* Yerevan International Film Festival
* Melbourne International Film Festival
* Lemesos IDFF
* Lima Film Festival
* Tartu Love Film Festival
* IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary 2015
* DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (Finland)
* ZagrebDox (Croatia)

AWARDS:
* Best Nordic Documentary Nordisk Panorama
* Silver Apricot at Yerevan International Film Festival
* Special Jury Mention, DOCAVIV (Israel)
- Jury's justification:
This director succeeds to bring us closer to a world that is usually distant and inaccessible. In a troubling and thought-provoking journey, the viewer delves deep into the soul of Oleg, a 22-year-old autistic student, and his attempt to break the circles of fear and loneliness.
* My Generation Award, ZagrebDox
- Awarded by the festival director, Nenad Puhovski
My Generation Award goes to the film Don Juan by Jerzy Sladkowski, for its skill to identify and document an everyday story about a person whom we are quick to judge for his lack of social skills in communication with so-called regular people, and for it turning an archetypal story of a narrow-minded system of fixed habits and mutual expectations. First of all, because of the humanity and open approach he uses force us to take a look inside, whether we take the side of the autistic young man, or of those who wish to cure him, we sincerely wish Oleg to win his own way. That is why Jerzy Sladkowski is a great master of (documentary) cinema.
* Dragon Award for Best Nordic Documentary
* VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary




Don Juan

Category |Health, Human Interest, Social Issues
Year | 2015
Country | Sweden/Finland
Running time | 92’
Format | HD
Production | Ginestra Film AB, MADE Oy
Director | Jerzy Sladkowski


Twenty-two-year-old Oleg doesn’t live up to his mother Marina’s idea of a real man. She thinks he’s an autistic loafer. He’s enrolled at the University of Nizhny Novgorod and is supposed to be watching online lectures, but his mother says all he actually does is hang around watching TV. Oleg doesn’t have any need for friendships, either. Marina wants him to improve his life and subjects him to a series of unconventional treatments. In one particularly uncomfortable scene, we see the therapist riding him as if he were a horse. Another psychiatrist tells Oleg how useless he is and that he will always be alone. Strangely enough the camera seems to be welcome everywhere, and it closely follows these dramatic developments. This gives this documentary a slapstick feel – with a nice dose of satire for good measure. Nonetheless, heated kitchen table conversations between Marina and her own mother reveal the bitter seriousness of the matter, and Marina’s mother wants her to adopt a more positive attitude towards Oleg. Don Juan raises questions about the distinction between introversion and autism. When will Oleg be allowed to be himself at last? Salvation eventually comes from an unexpected source. It is an encouraging victory for humanity, as well as a comment on mental health care.

PRESS IMAGES: (click to preview)

     



Interview with Jerzy Sladkowski