Polish TV Company brings you the best of the best in the film industry. Today, we’ve chosen the most prominent Polish directors whose works have millions of admirers around the world.

ANDRZEJ WAJDA (6 March 1926 – 9 October 2016)

ANDRZEJ WAJDA

One of the fathers of Polish film school, an Academy Award-winning director Andrzej Wajda passed away on October 29. His career in film and theater lasted for 65 years has left us the legacy of over 50 masterpieces.

The first masterpiece to point out among Wajda’s works is a trilogy: A Generation (1954), Kanał (1956), and Ashes and Diamonds (1958). “Three War Films” explore the theme of Polish heroism during the German occupation and the largest resistance movement of WWII - Warsaw Uprising.

The most fruitful period in the director’s career came in 1970’s including Man of Marble (1976), a story behind the Stalinist industrial propaganda, and psychological dramas The Birch Wood (1970) and The Maids of Wilko (1979).

Wajda’s last work Afterimage (2016) was screened in the Masters section at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. It was also selected as the Polish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.

WHAT TO WATCH:

  1. Ashes and Diamonds (1958): life of insurgents during Warsaw Uprising in;
  2. Korczak (1990): a story of a Jewish-Polish director who took care of orphans during WWII;
  3. Katyn (2007): a massive execution of Polish nationals by the NKVD in April-May, 1940 known as Katyn massacre.

KRZYSZTOF KIESLOWSKI (27 June 1941 – 13 March 1996)

KRZYSZTOF KIESLOWSKI

It’s impossible to imagine Polish cinema without its most influential art-house director. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Although lived only 54 years, Kieslowski’s legacy includes 25 documentaries mostly focused on the everyday lives of city dwellers, and 14 feature films and TV dramas.

The 1988 TV series Dekalog brought Kieslowski his first international fame. Inspired by the Ten Commandments, each episode explores moral and ethical issues faced by characters. Dekalog received many positive acclaims from critics, including director Stanley Kubrick, and won 2 awards at 1989 Venice Film Festival.

WHAT TO WATCH: 

  1. A Short Film About Love (1988): romantic drama about love between a young post office worker Tomek and his promiscuous older neighbor Magda;
  2. The Double Life of Veronique (1991): Two identical women, Polish Weronika and French Veronique, don't know about each other’s existence, but their lives are profoundly connected;
  3. The Three Colours trilogy (1993-1994): anti-tragedy, anti-comedy, and an anti-romance explore the motto of the French Republic: liberty, equality, fraternity.

ROMAN POLANSKI

ROMAN POLANSKI

A truly international director, Roman Polanski has created successful films and screenplays in Poland, France, the UK, and the United States. His feature-length film debut Knife in the Water (1962) brought Poland its first ever nomination for Oscar (Best Foreign Film).

In total, Polanski has received 5 Academy Award nominations and won Best Director for 2002 historical drama The Pianist. His remarkable European achievements include 2 BAFTAs (Best Director and Best Film for The Pianist), 4 Césars (Tess (1979), The Pianist (2002), The Ghost Writer (2011), Venus in Fur (2014), and 2002 Palme d’Or for The Pianist (2002).

Roman Polanski is known as both commercial and art-house film director and has acted in over 30 films.

WHAT TO WATCH:

  1. Tess (1979): a drama about a country girl who’s descended from the noble line and becomes the affection of two men;
  2. The Pianist (2002): a memoir by the greatest pianist of 1930’s Poland, Władysław Szpilman, during the Nazi German occupation of Poland;
  3. The Ghost Writer (2010): a political thriller about a ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) who writes an autobiography of the former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan).