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Polish film & theatre people
Walerian Borowczyk (born 1923) - graphic artist, director of feature and animated films. He has made a name for himself with his posters, lithographs, cartoons and satirical drawings. His most interesting films are the animated film 'Home' (1958) with Jan Lenica; and the feature films 'Goto, Island of Love' (1969), 'Blanche' (1972), 'Lulu' (1980), and 'Immoral Tales' (1975).

Jerzy Grotowski (1933 - 1999) - film director, art theoretician, extraordinary drama tutor, reformer of the art of acting. Founder and director of the innovative Theatre of the Thirteen Rows, later known as the Laboratory. He also won acclaim for his direction of the classics of Polish theatre, like Mickiewicz's 'Forefathers' Eve'(1961), Wyspiański's 'Acropolis' (1962), and Słowacki's 'Kordian' (1962), as well as Marlowe's 'Dr. Faustus' (1963), 'Książę niezłomny' (The Constant Prince), a Calderon play in a Polish adaptation by Słowacki(1965) and 'Apocalypsis cum Figuris" (1968). After 1983 he worked in the USA, later in Italy, where in Pondera he established a theatre centre which conducted a research programme. After 1985 he was a professor at the College de France, Paris, where he lectured on drama.

Jerzy Grzegorzewski (born 1939) - director and scenographer. He has worked at theatres in Łódź, Cracow, Wrocław and Warsaw. His best productions have been of Kafka's 'America', Gombrowicz's 'Ślub" (The Wedding); Wyspiański's 'November Night', 'Wesele' (The Wedding) and 'The Judges', a production 'Halka Spinoza' based on Witkacy, etc. He is the director of the Teatr Narodowy in Warsaw.

Barbara Hanicka (born 1960) - scenographer. Her career began with her work with Grzegorzewski in his productions of Tadeusz Różęwicz's 'Trap' (1984) and Brecht's 'Threepenny opera' (1986). Her most interesting recent work includes projects for Wyspiański's 'Wedding' (1998), and Gombrowicz's 'Operetta' (2000). Winner of many Polish awards, and in particular at the Opole Threatre of Confrontation, where in 2000 her work for Gombrowicz's 'Ivona Princess of Burgundy' won an award.

Agnieszka Holland (born 1948) - film, theatre and television director. Since 1981 she has been living and working abroad. She is a member of the European Film Academy and was nominated for an Oscar for 'Angry Harvest' (1985). Her best known films are 'Provincial Actors' (1978, awarded the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes), 'Fever' (1980, won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival), 'A Lonely Woman' (1981), 'To Kill a Priest' (1988), 'Europa, Europa' (1990, Golden Globe), 'The Secret Garden' (1993), 'Total Eclipse' (1995), 'Washington Square' (1997), 'The Third Miracle' (1999) and 'Julie Walking Home' (2001).

Sławomir Idziak (born 1945) - film operator, nominated for an Oscar for his work on Ridley Scott's 'Black Hawk Down' (2001). The films he has worked on include 'Mountains at Dusk'(1970), 'The Conductor' (1979), 'Imperative' (1982), 'The Double Life of Veronique' (1991), 'Three Colours: Blue' (1993) and many others. He works in the USA.

Krystyna Janda (born 1952) - theatre and film actress. She made her debut in Andrzej Wajda's widely discussed film 'Man of Marble' (1976), and later starred in 'Man of Iron' (1981), 'The Ten Commandments, Parts 2 and 5' (1988), 'Dad' (1995), 'Early Spring' (2000, also known as 'Spring to Come'). A versatile actress, she is excellent in both tragedy and comedy, a wonderful singer and cabaret artist.

Jerzy Jarocki (born 1929) - actor, theatre director. He has worked with theatre companies in Cracow (Teatr Stary), Warsaw and Wrocław. He has created over 70 productions ranging from the classics (Shakespeare, Różewicz, Witkacy, Mrożek, Gombrowicz, Chekhov)to modern playwrights. An advocate of working in consultation with the actors and simple scenography.

Janusz Kamiński (born 1959) - film operator, lives and works in the USA. In 1993 he won an Oscar for his work on Steven Spielberg's 'Schindler's List' (and a BAFTA award and film critics' prizes in Los Angeles and New York). Famed for his work on 'Jurassic Park' (1997), 'Saving Private Ryan' (1998, Oscar), and 'Artificial Intelligence' (2001). He is a member of the American Association of Film Operators - an organisation whose members include the world's best operators.

Tadeusz Kantor (1915 - 1990) - painter, graphic artist, director, scenographer. Professor at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts, an experimental theatre director in Cracow, which operated clandestinely during the Second World War (1942-1944). After the War he set up his own avant-garde theatre, Cricot 2. Its productions included the works of Witkacy: 'Mątwa' (The Cuttlefish - 1953), 'W małym dworku' (In the Country Cottage - 1961), 'Wariat i zakonnica' (The Madman and the Nun - 1963), 'The Water Hen' (1967) and 'Nadobnisie i koczkodany' ( Beauties and baboons - 1973). His most important works are 'Umarła klasa' (The Dead Class - 1975), 'Wielopole, Wielopole' (1980), and 'Nigdy tu nie wrócisz' (You will Never Return Here - 1985). His best known paintings are 'Man with umbrella' (1949), the 'Torby przemysłowe' (Industrial bags) series (1964), 'Ambalaże'Emballage' (1964 - 1975), the 'Dalej już nic' (No More) series (1986 - 1990) and 'Klęska wrześniowa' (September Defeat - 1990).

Krzysztof Kieślowski (1941-1996) - film director and script writer. His career started in 1966 with short films, for example 'Workers '71' (1972) and 'Resume' (1975). His subsequent films brought him his first film festival awards, for 'The Scar' (1976) from the Gdańsk festival and 'Camera Buff' (1979) awarded in Moscow and Chicago. However, the 'Ten Commandments I - X' made in 1988-89 marked his permanent position in the film world (the FIPRESCI award). He had similar successes with 'The Double Life of Veronique' (1991), 'Three Colours: Blue' (won the Golden Lion in Venice), 'Three colours: white' (Silver Bear in Berlin) and 'Three Colours: Red' (nominated for an Oscar), made in 1993-94 by a Polish and French team. He won dozens of awards and distinctions for his work in film, for example the Felix from the European Film Academy.

Tadeusz Łomnicki (1927 - 1992) - actor, theatre and film director, lecturer and rector of the Drama College, Warsaw. When he was a student, thanks to his exceptional talent, he was already acting at the Stary Teatr in Cracow. He marked out a place for himself in the history of Polish theatre with his wonderful performance as Kordian in Słowacki's play of the same title. He also acted in many films, such as 'Generation' (1955), 'Eroica' (1958), 'The First Day of Freedom' (1964), 'Pan Wołodyjowski' (1969), 'The Deluge' (1964), and 'Man of Marble (1977).

Marcel Łoziński (born 1940) - director of documentary films. His films may be casssified in the cinema of moral anxiety. Many of them have been awarded prizes at both Polish and foreign festivals, for example, for 'Head On Collision' (1975) he was awarded the Cracow Golden Hobby-Horse; for '89 mm to Europe' (1993) he received a prize at the Oberhausen film festival; and an Oscar nomination and the Golden Dragon Grand Prize in Cracow for 'Anything Can Happen'(1994) .

Krystian Lupa (born 1943) - theatre director and scenographer. Winner of many prestigious awards, including the Swinarski Award for a Polish stage adaptation of Robert Musil's 'Man Without Qualities' (1988); a Polish production of Herman Broch's 'Die Schlafwandler' brought him the French Critics' Award for the best foreign production in 1998/1999. In 2001 the Austrian government honoured Lupa with a prestigious award in recognition of his for distinguished service in promoting the works of Austrian authors. For many years he has been connected with the Teatr Stary of Cracow, and since the mid-1990s he has put on productions at the Teatr Polski in Wrocław.

Roman Polański (born 1935) - actor, director, script writer; he has made films in England, the USA, andFrance. His career began at the Łódź Film Sschool, he was already winning international awards when he was a student there, for 'Two Men and a Wardrobe' (1957, awarded at the EXPO-58 International Film Festival in Brussels, the Grand Prix in experimental film in San Francisco, and an award at Oberhausen), 'The Fat and the Lean' (1961, an award at Oberhausen) and 'Mammals' (1961, Grand Prix in Tours and Oberhausen). He has also made 'Knife in Water' (1962, Oscar nomination, FIPRESCI at Venice, Grand Prix at Prades), 'Repulsion' (1965, Silver Bear at Berlin), 'Cul-de-Sac' (1966, winner of the Golden Bear in Berlin), 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968, Oscar nomination), 'Chinatown' (1974, Golden Globe in Hollywood), 'The Tenant' (1976), 'Tess' (1980, Caesar Award for film and director), 'Pirates' (1986), 'Frantic' (1988), and 'The Pianist' (2001, Golden Palm at Cannes). He has been a member of the French Academie des Beaux Arts since 1999.

Wojciech Pszoniak (born 1942) - actor. Initially connected with one of the best theatre companies in Poland - the Stary Teatr (Old Theatre) of Cracow, where he made a name for himself in the classical repertoire - Shakespeare, Dostojevsky, Chekhov. He later acted in the Teatr Narodowy (National Theatre) and Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw. He has live in Paris for some years, and has been successful in work in the French theatre. He is also a well-known film and TV personality and has starred in 'The wedding Party' (1973), 'The Land of Promise ' (1975), 'Danton' (1983), and 'Korczak' (1990).


Zbigniew Rybczyński (born 1949) - film operator, director of animated films. His career in Poland began with short films, for example 'Soup' (1974), 'New Book' (1975), 'Media' (1980). These films won awards at festivals, from Cracow, to Chicago to Melbourne. His 1980 film 'Tango' brought him an Oscar. He has lived and worked in the USA since 1983, where he has made films like 'Steps' (1987), 'Manhattan' (1990), and 'Kafka' (1994), many using modern computer techniques.

Andrzej Seweryn (born 1946) - actor. Made his debut at the Teatr Ateneum in Warsaw. He later acted in films, unforgettable works like 'The Land of Promise' (1975), ' Man of Iron' (1981), 'The Border' (1978), 'Pan Tadeusz' (1999), 'The Primate: Three Years out of the Thousand' (2001), where he played Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. Since 1980 he has lived and worked in France. The Association of French Theatre Critics hnoured him with Best Foreign Actor of the Year Award in 1995. He lectures at the Drama College in Warsaw.

Jerzy Skolimowski (born 1938) - director, screen writer, occasional actor. His most important films are: 'Identification marks: none' (1964), 'Walkover' (1965, awarded at Mannheim and in Arnheim for screen writing and acting), 'Barrier' (1966, awarded for screen writing at Bergamo and Valladolid), 'Start' (1967, won the Golden Bear in Berlin), 'The Shout' (1979, won a prize at Cannes), 'Moonlighting' (1983), 'Ferdydurke' (1982). He works mainly abroad, in the US, Germany and France.


Konrad Swinarski (1929 - 1975) - one of Poland's most acclaimed film directors and scenographers. He started his creative career as an assistant to Bertolt Brecht. Subsequently he was connected with Warsaw's theatres: the Współczesny), the Ateneum, the Wielki, and also with the Stary Teatr (Old Theatre) in Cracow. His renowned theatre productions include Zygmunt Krasiński's Romantic 'Nie-boska komedia' (THe Un-divine Comedy - 1965), Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream' (1970), Mickiewicz's 'Dziady' (Forefathers' Eve - 1973), and Wyspiański's 'Wyzwolenie (Liberation - 1974). He directed productions in Norway, Israel, Finland, the USA and other countries. He also directed television plays. He was a professor at the Cracow Academy of Drama.


Daniel Szczechura (born 1930) - director of animated films. Graduated from Warsaw University in the History of Art, and later studied in the film operators' faculty department of the PWSTiF Łódź Film School. His films have won awards at the film festivals in Oberhausen, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Paris, Philadelphia and Melbourne. The films which have already entered the history of animated films include 'The Chair' (1964), 'The Diagram' (1966), 'Hobby' (1968), 'The Ant's Journey' (1970), 'Burning Fingers' (1976), and 'Jump' (1978).

Mariusz Treliński (born 1962) - screen writer and film director. He was awarded the Polish Cinematography Committee Prize for his film directing debut, 'Pożegnanie jesieni' (Farewell to Autumn - 1990) . His film 'Łagodna' (A Gentle Woman - 1995) was awarded at the Gdynia Film Festival, and also at the Strasbourg European Film Festival. His most recent film 'Egoiści' (The Egoists - 1999) stirred a fair share of controversy in Polish film circles. Treliński also directs opera, for example, Puccini's 'Madame Butterfly', Szymanowski's 'Król Roger' and Verdi's 'Otello'.

Andrzej Wajda (born 1926) - director, member of the Immortal Circle of the French Academie des Beaux Arts. He was honoured with the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1998 for his contribution to cinema. He also won a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 2000. He has held a wide range of social and political offices. For many years he was President of the Association of Polish Film-makers (1978-83) and a Senator in the Polish Senate (1989-1991). He is the principal representative of the Polish film school. He best films are 'Generation' (1955), 'Canal' (1957, awarded the Silver Palm at Cannes), 'Man of Marble' (1977), 'The Land of Promise' (1974, nominated for an Oscar, won awards in Gdańsk and Moscow) 'The Maids from Wilko' (1979), 'The Conductor' (1980), 'Man of Iron' (1981, awarded the Golden Palm at Cannes), 'Danton' (1985, won the Prix Delluc), 'Korczak' (1990), 'Pan Tadeusz' (1999), and 'Revenge' (2001). He has also directed plays based on works by Sławomir Mrożek, Dostoyevsky, Witkacy, and Shakespeare. He has been awarded the French Legion d'Honneur and the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun. In 1996 he was awarded the Silver Bear in Berlin. In 2001 the President of Germany awarded him the Bundesverdienstkreuz.

Krystyna Zachwatowicz (born 1930) - scenographer and actress. She has worked with the best Polish directors: Jerzy Jarocki for many performances of Witkacy's plays at Cracow's Stary Teatr. She did the scenography for Shakespeare and Krasiński plays directed by Swinarski . For many years she and Andrzej Wajda have been partners in a renowned husband-and-wife team, working together on many productions, like Wyspiański's 'Noc Listopadowa' (The November Night - 1974); a Polish dramatic adaptation of Dostoyevsky's 'Crime and Punishment' (1984); and Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' (1989). She has also acted in two of Wajda's award-winning films : 'The Maids of Wilko' (1979), and 'Pan Tadeusz' (1999).


Krzysztof Zanussi (born 1939) - educated in physics and philosophy; professional training and experience in film directing and screen writing. He has a wealth of films to his name, including 'The Structure of Crystals' (1969), 'Family Life' (1971, awarded in Chicago and Colombo), 'Illumination' (1973, Grand Prix in Locarno), 'Quarterly Balance' (1975, awarded in Berlin), 'Camouflage' (1976, Grand Prix in Gdańsk, awarded in Teheran), 'The Year of the Quiet Sun' (1984, Grand Prix in Venice), 'Our God's Brother', (1997: based on the play 'Brat naszego boga' by Karol Wojtyła, now POpe John Paul II), 'Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease' (2000, the Golden Lion in Gdańsk), and 'Supplement' (2001). He has been honoured on many occasions with awards and distinctions at the Cannes, Venice, San Remo and Gdańsk film festivals.

Zbigniew Zapasiewicz (born 1934) - actor and drama tutor. He has worked in all of Poland's best theatres: the Współczesny, Dramatyczny, Powszechny; he was director of the Powszechny. He has given some fine perfomances, in Euripides' 'Iphigenia in Tauris" (1961), Wyspiański's 'The Wedding' (1974), Shakespeare's 'King Lear' (1978), Brecht's 'Baal' (1995), and Mrożek's 'Ambassador' (1995). He has acted in the films made by Poland's best directors: Zanussi's 'Camouflage' (1977), Wajda's 'Land of Promise' (1975), and Kieślowski's 'Ten Commandments, 5' (1988). In 2000 at the Gdynia Film Festival he won an award for the leading male role in Zanussi's 'Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease'.

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