"Papusza" Awarded in Istanbul

Papusza, Photo by Wojciech Staroń, Krzysztof Ptak


Papusza, a film by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze, received the Special Jury Prize at the 33rd Istanbul International Film Festival. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Prestigious Award for Papusza

The award for Papusza is the festival’s second highest film prize. This year’s festival jury members included Iranian director, author of the Academy Award-winning A Separation Asghar Farhadi, composer and actress Defne Halman, director Philippe Le Guay , screenwriter Rӑzwan Rӑdulescu, and head of the National Film&TV School Lynda Myles. The Golden Tulip Grand Prize of the Istanbul IFF went to Norwegian director Eskil Vogt for Blind.

“Papusza”: A Voice Out of the Ordinary

The jury statement regarding the award for Papusza reads as follows: “We found the voice of this film out of the ordinary: loving but respectful, resisting the anecdotal, sometimes even distant and just observant, as required by such a sensitive topic – a gipsy woman poet who gets condemned by the very community the memories of which she tries to preserve.”

Another International Award

The Special Jury Prize of the Istanbul IFF marks another international award for Papusza. The film has previously received Special Mention of the Main Competition Jury at the 48th Karlovy Vary IFF, two top prizes: for Best Foreign Film and Best Foreign Director at the 12th Pune IFF in India, and the audience award at the 54th Thessaloniki IFF. At the 34th Manaki Brothers IFF in Macedonia, Wojciech Staroń and Krzysztof Ptak received the award for Best Photography. Papusza also received three awards at the 58th Valladolid IFF in Spain: Best Director, Award of the Youth Jury, and the award for Best Actor for Zbigniew Waleryś as Papusza’s husband Dionizy Wajs.

A Biopic About Bronisława Wajs

Based on a true story, Papusza tells the moving story of the first gipsy poet to ever write down her poetry and the first to have her works translated into Polish and officially published. This was the result of the efforts of two men: Jerzy Ficowski, poet and historian specializing in the life of the Romani community in Poland, and poet Julian Tuwim. Papusza was written and directed by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze, authors of award-winning films Plac Zbawiciela (Saviour’s Square) and Mój Nikifor (My Nikifor). The lead role of Papusza was played by Jowita Budnik, with Zbigniew Waleryś and Antoni Pawlicki as her two male counterparts.

Polish Presence at the Istanbul IFF

The award for Papusza is not the only recognition Polish filmmakers have enjoyed at the Istanbul IFF. Andrzej Wajda received the lifetime achievement award. In addition to Papusza, the festival screened a number of Polish films, including Ida by Paweł Pawlikowski, Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei (Wałęsa. Man of Hope) by Andrzej Wajda, and Psie Pole (Field of Dogs) by Lech Majewski.


Further details are available at film.iksv.org/en.


Magdalena Wylężałek


Translated by Karolina Kołtun