Platinum Lions: a screening of The Maids of Wilko, a masterclass and an exhibition from Allan Starski

Platinum Lions: a screening of The Maids of Wilko, a masterclass and an exhibition from Allan Starski

This year’s Polish Film Festival award for lifetime achievements goes to a brilliant production designer Allan Starski. He will receive the Platinum Lions award during the Closing Gala of the 48th Polish Film Festival.

Joanna Łapińska, the Artistic Director of the Festival, comments: Platinum Lions will go to the artist gifted with an immense imagination and sensitivity. Allan Starski can feel the matter of the cinema brilliantly and his projects always elevate the story to a whole new level. Moreover, he’s incredibly captivating while talking about his work, as the viewers of this year’s edition will see for themselves.

I received the news of me winning the Platinum Lions with sincere joy! It was a genuine, pleasant surprise. It made me look at the films I participated in from a broader perspective. I felt proud that the legacy of my production design includes works not only rich visually, but also significant for the Polish and global cinematography – said Allan Starski.

At the 48th PFF we’ll see Andrzej Wajda’s The Maids of Wilko. The screening will be preceded by an introduction of the Platinum Lions winner Allan Starski. Starski started his collaboration with Wajda in 1976, while designing the sets of The Shadow Line. Since then, Starski has co-created the most iconic works of the famous director, such as Man of Marble, Man of Iron and Danton. In 1979, he shared an award for set design at the PFF in Gdańsk with Maria Osiecka-Kuminek for The Maids of Wilko. The film tells a story of a forty-year-old Wiktor Ruben who, having lost his friend, visits his aunt and uncle in the countryside, where he spent his youth in a manor house with a group of girls. Ruben’s visit, his memories and attempts to bring back the past disturb the ladies of the house, exposing their complicated life paths, tragedies and failures.

The viewers at the festival will also be able to participate in Allan Starski’s masterclass. This unique meeting with the Platinum Lions winner will be moderated by a remarkable operator Paweł Edelman. It’s going to be an in-depth discussion on Allan Starski’s films, inspirations and projects, illustrated with excerpts from the analysed films.

The special event of the 48th PFF will be an exhibition of Allan Starski’s projects, which will be available in the Gdynia Film Centre Gallery.

Allan Starski has received many prestigious awards, the most important of which is an Oscar for production design on Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List. Three-time winner of the Eagle award – for Pan Tadeusz (dir. Andrzej Wajda), Aftermath (dir. Władysław Pasikowski) and The Pianist (dir. Roman Polański) which also secured him the most important French film award – a Cesar. He has worked with many Polish and foreign directors, such as Agnieszka Holland, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Peter Webber and Stijn Coninx.

Recently, Starski designed the sets for The Cut (dir. Fatih Akin) and The Coldest Game (dir. Łukasz Kośmicki) with Bill Pullman in the lead role. He is also the author of set designs for theatre plays and teleplays. His most renowned productions include those awarded at the Festiwal Polskiej Twórczości Telewizyjnej (Polish TV Productions Festival) for a teleplay Uncle Vanya (dir. Aleksander Bardini), The Crucible (dir. Zygmunt Hübner) and Conversations with an Executioner (dir. Andrzej Wajda) staged by the Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw.

In 2006, Allan Starski created the stage design for the European Film Academy’s ceremony. He’s been teaching in international workshops and master classes on set design for years. Additionally, he’s the author of the book titled Scenografia valued by both students and professionals.

The 48th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia will take place on 18th–23rd September 2023