The Platinum Lions Prize is awarded by the GFF Organizational Committee in recognition of the lifetime achievement. The prizewinner is suggested by the Programme Committee in consultation with the Polish Filmmakers Association. On 19th September 2015, at the Closing of the 40th Gdynia Film Festival, the Platinum Lions Prize will go to the remarkable Polish director and screenwriter, Tadeusz Chmielewski. The former prizewinners include such outstanding figures as Jerzy Antczak, Witold Sobociński, Tadeusz Konwicki, Roman Polański, Jerzy Wójcik, and Sylwester Chęciński.

Michał Oleszczyk, the Artistic Director of the Festival, emphasises that he is an enthusiast for the films of this year’s prizewinner. “Tadeusz Chmielewski’s films have accompanied me since my early age, and “Eve wants to sleep” has remained my favourite Polish comedy. Chmielewski, like probably nobody else in our cinematography, combines sociological observation, comedy know-how, and poetical sensitivity. His films, for example “I hate Mondays”, are as brilliant satires on the life in the Polish People’s Republic as Stanisław Bareja’s films, but in Chmielewski, there’s always some kind of poetical surplus, gentleness of look, and elegance of form. His “Broiled Squabs”, a wonderful comedy about the need of everyday kindness, ends with a beautiful sentence: “Tadeusz Chmielewski, the director, would like to kindly thank you for the attention”. I think we, the audience, owe him the same gratitude.”

Tadeusz Chmielewski – a director, screenwriter, film producer. He was born on 7th June 1927 in Tomaszów Mazowiecki. He graduated from the Directing Department of the Łódź Film School. His directing and screenwriting debut “Eve wants to sleep” (1957) brought him the Golden Shell of the San Sebastian Festival. Other films by Chmielewski also became highlights of the native cinematography. Predominant among them are comedies full of elements of the French burlesque branded by René Clair and the old slapstick comedies. “My point of view changed radically when the school obtained the copies of French comedies including the legendary “Under the Roofs of Paris” by Clair and “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday” by Tati,” the Platinum Lions prizewinner recollects his inspirations in a conversation with Piotr Śmiałowski for “Magazyn Filmowy SFP”. “It was then that I saw how rewarding a genre the film comedy can be and how coarse humour is presented by the native films (of course, excluding “The Treasure”).” His three-part farce “How I Unleashed World War II” (based on Kazimierz Sławiński’s novel, with the unforgettable role of Marian Kociniak, 1969) belongs to the most often watched Polish films. His works include a number of comedies: “The Knave of Spades” (1960), “Where Is General?” (1963), “Broiled Squabs” (1966), “I hate Mondays” (1971), “It’s Spring, Sergeant” (1974), as well as detective films: “Two Gentlemen N” (1961) and “Quiet Is the Night” (1978). In 1987, he was awarded the Gdańsk Silver Lions in recognition of his adaptation of “The Faithful River” by Stefan Żeromski (1983; due to censorhip, the premiere was in 1987). As one of few directors, he began to make films based on his own screenplays at a time when literary works were the main inspiration for filmmakers. He is the author of screenplays for the films of other directors: “Full Moon Overhead” (dir. Andrzej Czekalski, 1974) and “U Pana Boga za piecem” (dir. Jacek Bromski, 1998, aka Zofia Miller). An activist for the film environment. In the years 1983-87, he was the Deputy Head of the Polish Filmmakers Association, in 1984-2009 he was the Director of the Team, and then of the “Oko” Film Studio where the famous films of Andrzej Barański, Jacek Bromski, Wojciech Wójcik, Marek Piestrak, Stanisław Jędryka or Dorota Kędzierzawska were made. He was a member of the Cinematography Committee and belongs to the Polish Film Academy. In 2010, he was awarded the Silver “Gloria Artis” Medal, and in 2011 the “Eagle” reward in the “Lifetime Achievement” category.

Filmography – directing:

  • “Chleb” (school short film, 1953)
  • “Eve Wants to Sleep” (1957)
  • “The Knave of Spades” (1960)
  • “Two Gentlemen N” (1961)
  • “Where Is General?” (1963)
  • “Broiled Squabs” (1966)
  • “How I Unleashed World War II” (1971)
  • “I hate Mondays” (1971)
  • “It’s Spring, Sergeant” (1974)
  • “Quiet Is the Night” (1978)
  • “The Faithful River” (1983)

Phot. A. Kędzierska/SF Kadr