Born in 1926 in Suwałki. The master of Polish cinema. One of the most prominent Polish film and theatre directors.
The student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow who changed a paintbrush for a camera and graduated from the Lodz Film School. Aleksander Ford’s assistant. Thanks to him, in 1954, he debuted with “A Generation” – the film breaking social realism conventions inspired with Italian Neorealism.
Co-founder of the Polish Film School and the author of the canonical works of the movement: “Kanał” (1956) and “Ashes and Diamonds” (1958). Both films take up his key theme of war and the tragedy of Polish fate, at the same time treating history as an excuse to talk about modernity.
The author of numerous adaptations who reaches equally eagerly for modern as well as classic literature retold anew (Żeromski, Mickiewicz, Wyspiański, Reymont). Recognized theatre director in the country (the excellent decade of 1970s in Teatr Stary in Krakow) and abroad.
The discoverer of young talents, i.a. Krystyna Janda and Zbyszek Cybulski and the mentor of young filmmakers. The founder of Wajda Film School and Zespół Fimowy “X” (1972-1983) where the Cinema of Moral Anxiety was born.
The winner of the most prestigious awards, including the Academy Honorary Award (2000) and the Palme d’Or (“Man of Iron”, 1981).