The Jury of the 43rd Polish Film Festival

The Jury of the 43rd Polish Film Festival

We already know the names of the jury members who will decide on awards in three film competitions during this year’s Polish Film Festival in Gdynia: the Main Competition, the Visions Apart Competition and the Short Film Competition.

The Jury of the Main Competition of the 43rd PFF: Krzystek (Chairperson of the Jury), Elżbieta Cherezińska, Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieślak, Dorota Kobiela, Marcin Koszałka, Rafał Listopad, Joanna Napieralska, Elwira Pluta, Joanna Szymańska

The Jury of the Visions Apart Competition of the 43rd PFF: Piotr Dumała (Chairperson of the Jury), Łukasz Ronduda, Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz

The Jury of the Short Film Competition of the 43rd PFF: Maria Sadowska (Chairperson of the Jury), Norah McGettigan, Leszek Starzyński


Jury of the Main Competition

Waldemar Krzystek – Chairperson of the Jury

Film and television director and screenwriter. Born on 23rd November 1953 in Swobnica. He graduated in Polish Studies from the University of Wrocław and from Directing from the Radio and Television Faculty of the University of Silesia in Katowice. Awarded multiple times, esteemed director of full-length features and several Television Theatre plays. Maker of TV series. Winner of the top awards at the festivals in Koszalin, Gdynia, San Sebastian, Moscow, Chicago, New York, Houston for his films Suspended, The Last Ferry, Dismissed from Life, Polish Death, Little Moscow, 80 Million and The Photographer. In 2014, decorated with the Gold Cross of Merit for his contribution to the development of Polish culture and for his creative and artistic achievement. At the 2015 Kołobrzeg Suspense Film Festival he received the Latarnik award for the director ‘who uses the principles of the genre cinema to make films that are artistically important but also enjoyed by the audience’. Member of the Polish Filmmakers Association and the Polish Film Academy.

Elżbieta Cherezińska

She graduated in the Theatre Studies from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. Author of historical novels. She made her debut in 2005 with a literary biography of the ambassador Shevah Weiss which she co-wrote with him, Z jednej strony, z drugiej strony. She went on to publish a novel based on memoirs from the Łódź ghetto Byłam sekretarką Rumkowskiego. Dzienniki Etki Daum [The Diary of Etka Daum. I Was the Secretary of Chaim Rumkowski]. She started her adventure with the Polish Middle Ages in her 2010 book Gra w kości. At the same time, one after another, she published her novels from the Północna droga cycle, set in Scandinavia at the turn of the 10th and the 11th century. She found herself among best-selling authors in 2012, along with the first of her Odrodzone Królestwo cycle novels. Her two-volume story about Świętosława, The Widow Queen [Harda Królowa], also enjoys huge success. Elżbieta is also interested in World War II which her novel Legion is about, and in the diplomatic game of the empires of the 19th century, a story which she tells in her monumental work, Turniej cieni. When she’s writing she collaborates with historians, archaeologists and experts of other fields. She is not afraid to use fantasy elements too.

Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieślak

Born 1951 in Gdańsk. Characteristic romantic lead, in the cinema – Magda in To Kill This Love (1972) and Basia Białasówna in Morgenstern’s Polskie drogi (1976), Anna in Zbigniew Kamiński’s Madame Bovary, That’s Me and in Andrzej Kostenko’s Face to Face (both in 1977), Mgiełka in Piwowarski’s John Heart (1981), Eva – awarded in Cannes – in Károly Makk’s Another Way (1982), Ada in Kutz’s The Brothers Will Come Soon (1985), the Mother in Maciej Dejczer’s 300 Miles to Heaven (1989), Barbara Makowska in Mirosław Dembińskis’s The Call (1996) and Joanna in Michał Rosa’s Scratch (2008). On stage, she played leading roles in plays directed by e.g. Dejmek, Jarocki, Prus, Cieślak, Warlikowski, Libera, Lupa, Glińska at the Dramatical Theatre; by Dejmek at the Polish Theatre, by Hanuszkiewicz at the National Theatre, by Szajna at the Studio Theatre, by Jarzyna at the Rozmaitości Theatre, by Cywińska at the Ateneum Theatre.

Dorota Kobiela

Writer and director. A graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Dorota Kobiela was awarded the ‘Minister of Culture scholarship’ for special achievements in painting and graphics for four consecutive years. Concurrently with her studies at the Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw in 2004, she began her education at the Warsaw Film School in the directorial department. She directed a short feature which combined actors and animation as well as other short animated films – including the award-winning Little Postman (2011). Her latest project about Vincent van Gogh, Loving Vincent, was created by over 100 painters from around the world in three studios, in Gdańsk and Wrocław (Poland) and Athens (Greece). Dorota Kobiela conceived the idea, co-wrote the script and co-directed the film. The film had its world premiere at the Animated Film Festival in Annecy in 2017 where it won the audience award. At the 20th International Film Festival in Shanghai the film received the main prize in the animated film. It received the European Film Award for Best Animated Feature. In its native country the film was awarded two “Eagle” awards for Best Editing and Best Set Design. Since the premiere the film has picked up 26 prizes at international festivals as well as receiving nominations for prestigious awards such as the Oscars, BAFTAs and Golden Globes. Financially, the film was equally successful cashing in a box office sum of $40 Million

Marcin Koszałka

Cinematographer, director, screenwriter, film school lecturer, two-time winner of the award for Best Cinematography at the PFF in Gdynia and the Bronze Frog at the Camerimage, three-time Eagle nominee. Member of the Polish and the European Film Academy. Having made two school shorts, in 1999 he made his debut as the director of Such a Nice Boy I Gave Birth To, a documentary about family relationships. The film was awarded at the festivals in Berlin, Krakow and Nyon. In 2016 it was listed among the top ten Polish documentary films in history, a list announced during the 100/100 Epoka Polskiego Filmu Dokumentalnego project, and it ranked second in the audience poll. His next films were awarded many times e.g. in Karlovy Vary, Chicago, Leipzig, Krakow, Tampere, Tehran, Trento. His feature debut, The Red Spider, had its premiere as part of the Main Competition in Karlovy Vary, received many awards at film festivals abroad and numerous nominations, e.g. for the 2016 Eagles. The film also won the Special Award of the Jury at the PFF in Gdynia in 2016. Recently, Koszałka has filmed Love 1. Dog by the Romanian director, Florin Serban, and also Borys Lankosz’s Dark, Almost Night.

Rafał Listopad

Graduate, and currently lecturer of the Łódź Film School. Editor and teacher, member of the European Film Academy, the Polish Film Academy and the Polish Cinema Editors. Editor of features, documentaries, Television Theatre plays, music videos and commercials awarded in Poland and abroad. His works encompass over fifteen feature-length films, about a dozen documentaries, a few hundred commercials. He collaborated e.g. with Andrzej Wajda, Juliusz Machulski, Marcel Łoziński, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Jacek Petrycki, Michał Marczak, Katarzyna Maciejko-Kowalczyk, Maciej Drygas, Magdalena Łazarkiewicz, Filip Marczewski and Maciej Sobieszczański.

Joanna Napieralska

Graduate of the Department of Sound Engineering from the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy (currently, the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music). Employed as a FCUM professor at the Chair of Sound Engineering. She collaborates with the Łódź Film School and the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz. Since 1986, active as the author of layers of sound for many cinema and television films, winner of awards for sound, she worked e.g. with Wojciech Marczewski, Jacek Koprowicz, Sławomir Fabicki, Jan Kidawa-Błoński. Holder of scholarships from the BBC TV Centre and Nipkow Programme in Berlin. Member of the Polish Film Academy, the European Film Academy and the Motion Pictures Sound Editors. Initiator of the European Film Award for Best Sound Designer. Author of books: Weiser dramaturgiczna rola dźwięku and Sound Design droga emancypacji dźwięków filmowych, scientific editor of a two-volume monograph Multimedia, vol. 1: Estetyka – dźwięk, vol. 2: Obraz – interakcje.

Elwira Pluta

Production designer, set designer, author of installations. She studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Central Saint Martins School of Art. She also studied film set design at the Kingston upon Thames University. Author of production and set designs for almost thirty feature films awarded many times with the Golden Lions for Best Film, Best Debut, with the Eagle for Best Film of the Year, awards at the Young and Film festival and other festivals in Poland and abroad. The films she worked at, Body, Courage, All That I Love, The Magic Tree, Hi Tessa, won the most important awards at festivals in Poland and abroad. Apart from feature films she is also a production and set designer of HBO series In Treatment and The Pact, Television Theatre plays, music videos and commercials. At the 2009 PFF in Gdynia she was awarded for Best Art Direction for two films: All That I Love and the children’s favourite The Magic Tree. She has worked with many first-time and experienced filmmakers alike. Recently she finished working on Xawery Żuławski’s film, based on Andrzej Żuławaski’s screenplay entitled Mowa ptaków.

Joanna Szymańska

Film producer and industry activist. She produced numerous short and feature-length films as well as documentaries, including international co-productions. For producing the film Milky Brother (dir. Vahram Mkhitaryan) she received the Best Producer of Shorts and Documentaries Award at the 2014 Krakow Film Festival. Berlinale Talent Campus (2011) and EAVE Producers Workshop (2015) alumnus. She graduated in Law and is involved in activities aiming at developing the Polish film industry. Head of Studies at script development programme “Atelier Scenariuszowe”. Co-founder of the Emerging Producers Section of the Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce (KIPA) and its President between 2013 and 2016. As an independent documentary consultant, she co-operates with HBO Poland. Since 2017, a member of the Polish Film Institute Board and a Board Member of the European Film Academy. Her most recent feature-length project, Adventures of a Mathematician, a biopic about Stanisław Ulam, received the Alfred Sloan Award at 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

Jury the Visions Apart Competition

Piotr Dumała – Chairperson of the Jury

Director, screenwriter and production designer of animated and feature films, graphic artist, author of posters, book and press illustrations, lecturer, essayist, critic, novelist and songwriter. Born in 1956 in Warsaw. Leader of animated film workshops in Poland and abroad. Winner of over 100 accolades for his films, e.g., Grand Prix at festivals in Krakow, Zamość, Espinho, Bielsko-Biała, Zagreb, Łagów, Bydgoszcz, Ottawa, Montreal, Amsterdam and Cyprus as well as the Special Award for unique artistic valour and the Golden Claw at the 2016 Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. Professor at the Lodz Film School and Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk. From 1997 to 2001, Professor at Konstfack College of Art in Eksjö (Sweden) and from 2001 to 2004, lecturer at Harvard University (Cambridge, USA). Decorated with the Golden Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis. Recipient of the Grand FeFe for “doing his own thing in film art” at the 2003 FeFe Film Festival in Warsaw and Luna de Valencia Award for lifetime achievement at the 2003 International Animated Film Festival in Valencia.

Łukasz Ronduda

Film director, screenwriter, writer, curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. He graduated in Directing and Screenwriting programmes from the Wajda School. In 2017 his film, A Heart of Love, on the narcissistic love of our times, had its premiere in Rotterdam and Berlin. In 2015 his debut film Oskar Dawicki in the Performer (co-directed by M. Sobieszczański) had its premiere at the IFF in Berlin for which he received the Think: Film Award for ‘the creative use of the film medium to artistically capture and render geopolitical contexts’.

Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz

Screenwriter and director. She graduated from the Wrocław Fine Arts Academy (1978) and the Radio and Television Faculty of the University of Silesia in Katowice (1982). In 2008 she got her PhD title in film art. Author of many documentaries awarded in Poland and abroad; in 1988 she received the Stanisław Wyspiański Award for career achievement in that area. She also makes feature films and TV Theatre plays. Lecturer of the Łódź Film School. In 2013 decorated with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta for “outstanding merit in researching, documenting and commemorating the history of March ‘68”.

Jury of the Short Film Competition

Maria Sadowska – Chairperson of the Jury

Singer, director, composer and author of lyrics. She graduated from the Directing Department of the Łódź Film School. She has been successfully doing both music and film projects for years. Her feature-length debut, Women’s Day, had its premiere at the Gdynia Film Festival 2013. It was awarded many times in Poland and in the world. The artist is one of the few female directors who composed the music for their own films – the Women’s Day album got favourable reviews and showed her involvement in women’s affairs. The whole project received e.g. the prestigious Okulary Równości award. The artist is also a popular singer, defiant and uncompromising. She has had hits known all around Poland. She’s been on the Polish music stage for over twenty years. Her versatility enables her to combine such different genres as jazz, funk, electronic music or pop. She released eleven albums (incl. two in Japan). The breakthrough in her career was the Tribute to Komeda album (Golden Album), which found its place in the history of Polish Music. She collaborated with many Polish and foreign artists. She performed with Michele Legrand as the only Polish singer at the prestigious, jubilee edition of the Jazz Jamboree festival. She also worked with e.g. Michał Urbaniak, Jan Ptaszyn-Wróblewski, Bogusław Mec and Urszula Dudziak. In 2013 she accepted the invitation to become the coach in the biggest TV talent show “The Voice of Poland” and was hugely successful there. In April 2014 she released her album Jazz na ulicach (Golden Album). In 2017 her latest film, The Art of Love, had its premiere. The film won lots of positive reviews and ranked top of the Polish box office.

Norah McGettigan

Writer, film director. Born in North West Ireland. She graduated in Theatre Studies from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, then Film Directing from the Łódź Film School where she now is a lecturer and works on her Ph.D. thesis. Her award-winning shorts, The Water Fight and A Song for Rebecca, were officially selected for the Cinéfondation competition at the IFF in Cannes. Her 30-minute film What’s It Like to Be My Mother won awards all around Europe and North America. In 2012 she completed her debut feature-length film, Sanctuary. It received many awards, including a nomination in the Best Film category at the British Independent Film Awards 2013 and a Best Actress nomination (Anne-Marie Duff) at the Irish Film and Television Awards 2013. Since 2014 she has been focusing on the musical side of her career. She recorded an album with CBB Ensemble. She travels to West Africa annually to better understand the music and culture which has become the integral part of her life. She is also successful at producing music videos.

Leszek Starzyński

Editor, producer. Member of the Polish Film Academy and the Polish Cinema Editors. Lecturer at the Gdynia Film School. Co-producer of the award-winning The Fastest directed by Łukasz Palkowski, co-producer of Maciej Pieprzyca’s films acclaimed by the audience and critics – I‘m a Killer (2016) and Life Feels Good (2013). Editor of many feature films, e.g. Silent Night (dir. Piotr Domalewski), I‘m a Killer and Splinters (dir. Maciej Pieprzyca), Courage (dir. Greg Zgliński). As an editor he also worked on TV series, e.g. Ultraviolet, Paradoks or The Londoners. Winner of the Best Editing award at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia in 2008 (for Splinters) and at the Two Theatres Festival in Sopot 2004 (for the TV play The Hairdresser). Two-time Eagle nominee.

At the Festival, out-of-competition jury will also discuss, among others, Jury of the Polish Federation of Film Discussion Clubs (Paweł Kamiński, Mateusz Rudak, Krzysztof Sienkiewicz), the Young Jury selected in the Criticize! Contest (Paweł Kamiński, Mateusz Rudak, Krzysztof Sienkiewicz) and other councils granting out-of-competition awards.

The 43rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia will be held from 17th to 22nd September 2018.