'In Darkness' on Oscar Shortlist

In Darkness


W ciemności (In Darkness) by Agnieszka Holland has been shortlisted for the Academy Award nominations for Best Film in a Foreign Language. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Nine Shortlisted Projects

In Darkness was shortlisted alongside eight other films: Bullhead, directed by Michael R. Roskam (Belgium); Monsieur Lazhar, directed by Philippe Falardeau (Canada); Superclásico, directed by Ole Christian Madsen (Denmark); Pina, directed by Wim Wenders (Germany), A Separation, directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran), Footnote, directed by Joseph Cedar (Israel), Omar Killed Me, directed by Roschda Zem (Morocco), and Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, directed by Wei Te-sheng (Taiwan). The films shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Academy Award were selected among 63 candidate films by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Voting closed on January 13, 2012.

A Co-Production Between Poland, Germany, and Canada


In Darkness tells the story of a Polish man named Leopold Socha, who helped a group of Jewish refugees from the Lvov ghetto hide in the city’s sewer canals. Risking his own life, he saved the lives of a number of men, women, and children, whom he helped spent almost 14 months underground in hiding. The role of Socha was played by Robert Więckiewicz. Other key parts were played by Agnieszka Grochowska, Kinga Preis, Julia Kijowska, Marcin Bosak, and German actor Benno Fürmann. The film was lensed by Jolanta Dylewska.


In Darkness was produced by Zebra Film Studio, and co-produced by Hidden Films Inc. (Canada) and Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv GmbH (Germany). The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The production also received support from the Łódź Film Fund. The film’s Polish distributor is Kino Świat.

Another Success for In Darkness

Being shortlisted for Oscar nominations marks yet another highlight in the film’s recent string of success. On January 17, 2012, Agnieszka Holland’s feature was nominated for the 32nd Canadian Film Awards in the Best Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Sound categories, having previously been nominated for the 17th Critics’ Choice Awards. In Darkness also received the Golden Frog award for Best Cinematography (Jolanta Dylewska) at the 19th Plus Camerimage Film Festival in Bydgoszcz, the Audience Award at the Mar del Plata festival in Argentina, and the Best Director Award at the 56th Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain.

Polish Films Compete for Nominations

Two Polish animated films also have a chance to win an Oscar: Paths of Hate by Damian Nenow, and Zaczarowany fortepian (Magic Piano) by Martin Clapp have both been shortlisted for Academy Award nominations in the Best Animated Short Film category. Both films were co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Nominations announced on January 24

Shortlisted films in all categories will be reassessed by a specially selected jury that will narrow the lists down to three to five pictures per category. The final list of nominees will be announced on January 24, 2012. The 84th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on February 26, 2012.


Paulina Bez


Translated by Karolina Kołtun