Award for Jerzy Skolimowski

The 18th edition of the Plus Camerimage film festival will launch on November 27, 2010 in Bydgoszcz. The Lifetime Achievement Award for a Polish Director with Unique Visual Sensitivity will go to Jerzy Skolimowski. This acclaimed director, screenwriter and producer will be the guest of honour at this year’s Camerimage festival. Festival hosts are also planning a retrospective of his key achievements as a film director.


Jerzy Skolimowski graduated from the University of Warsaw in ethnography. He also studied film directing at the Łódź Film School. He has co-worked with some of the most prominent Polish filmmakers. He authored the script for Niewinni czarodzieje (Innocent Sorcerers) by Andrzej Wajda, and co-wrote the script of the acclaimed Roman Polański feature Nóż w wodzie (Knife in the Water).

Skolimowski’s directing debut was the 1964 feature Rysopis (Identification Marks: None), based on fragments of his works. His later features, including Walkower (Walkover, 1965) and Bariera (Barrier, 1966), were dubbed “mental landscapes”; they portrayed people who were searching for their place in society in vain. When in 1967 the censor bureau rejected his feature Ręce do góry, Skolimowski left Poland. He worked in Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It was in this period that he made some of his most acclaimed films – winners of awards at the world’s key film festivals. In 1967 the Berlinale jury awarded Skolimowski the Golden Bear award for his film Start. His films also received several awards in Cannes: from the jury prize [Wrzask (The Shout), 1978], to Best Screenplay [Fucha (Moonlighting), 1982], to the special jury prize (The Lightship, 1985). The 1991 feature Ferdydurke also brought Skolimowski a Golden Lion nomination in Venice. In 2003 he received the Eagle Polish Film Award for “the independent stance of a Polish filmmaker making worldly films.”


In 2008, Skolimowski returned to Poland to shoot Cztery noce z Anną (Four Nights with Anna), starring Kinga Preis. In 2009, Four Nights with Anna brought Skolimowski the Best Director Eagle Polish Film Award, while his cinematographer Adam Sikora won Best Cinematography. Four Nights with Anna also screened in the Main Competition and Polish Competition of the 2008 Plus Camerimage festival.


Skolimowski’s latest project is the political thriller Essential Killing, starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Vincent Gallo. Essential Killing is screening in competition at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.


Jerzy Skolimowski, for most primarily a film director, is in fact a very versatile artist. He published two volumes of poems, and also writes theatre plays. He has experience with painting and jazz music. This year’s Plus Camerimage festival will bring the release of a commemorative album publication on the life and works of Jerzy Skolimowski.


Press release


Translated by Karolina Kołtun