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08. 10. 2018.

Friday evening, October 5, 2018. There’s joy, there’s a crowd as it is the School’s Birthday. Check out the birthday album!

Friday night. The school celebrating its 70th anniversary is buzzing as hundreds of people have come to see each other again, to share memories and future plans connected with this place at 61/63,Targowa Street. Subsequent generations come and develop a special relationship with their predecessors.

The evening started with memories recalled and shared with us by Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz, Bronka Nowicka, Sabina Kubik, Jagoda Szelc, Filip Bajon, Jan Jakub Kolski, Ryszard Lenczewski, Bogdan Parzyjagła, Piotr Dzięcioł, Magnus von Horn and Maciek Musiałowski. The host of the evening which sparkled with unusual anecdotes was Mariusz Grzegorzek himself. Here are a few fragments of the recollections:

‘For sure, the school for me is a place that exists here, but it also exists inside me. At those times when I wasn’t here, I felt homeless in a way. (…) Now, that I’m back here again feels like coming back home’, said Bronka Nowicka, our graduate who returned to school a few years later as a lecturer.

‘Prof. Bosak told me what film was in a single class. He managed to do it painlessly and in fact without my participation. Later on, I became a fanatical admirer of his and still am one. (…) He transformed my prosaic thinking to film thinking and that is the marvel of the Film School’, said Filip Bajon. ‘When I came here I absolutely loved and admired the informal, relaxed atmosphere. There was no distance between the professors and the students, the positions and posts did not matter; it felt like one, big, amazing community.

This is what Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz said about her work with the students. ‘The most important thing is to teach the students to look and see. As Prof. Karabasz used to say – ‘Most people stare, but you should look. Does the student see, or doesn’t he see?’ This is how Grażyna Kędzielawska and I analyze student films as we are both documentary film teachers.

"Is there some kind of recipe for teaching at the school? Some formula to follow? I don’t know how to teach – I’m discovering it – I hope I’ll never fully discover it because then I might lose interest in the work. I try to discover who I’m dealing with; what’s behind those pairs of eyes of different colours, what the person’s temperament is, and finally whether it’s going to work. I try to be a supervisor, but sometimes I assume the role of a nurse and provide plasters’, said Jan Jakub Kolski.

For some, their stay in Targowej Street was not that easy at all. For example, Maciej Musiałowski, who as Mariusz Grzegorzek said, ‘had problems at the School’. He was thrown out a couple of times. ‘I am very happy that I got into this school. I was able to be in a place where there were no limitations. If I hadn’t studied at the school, I could have probably invested in a circus which I once wanted to start. And now? I’m here now, will be off to give a concert shortly, I am thoroughly enjoying my life; it was here that I met my artistic mentors with whom I consult before I make life-decisions’, (I call Mariusz Grzegorzek!)’, said Maciej Musiałowski.

‘It wasn’t easy. Filip Bajon asked me during the entrance exam if I knew any Hungarian poet’, recalled Jagoda Szelc. ‘I didn’t. Listen, if you don’t know any Hungarian poets, you won’t feel good here because we all know them". I passed the exam though and later on kept asking everybody about those Hungarian poets. Nobody knew them!’, added Jagoda. ‘You don’t know much about things. Is there anything you know something about?’, shouted Prof. Kryński. ‘About the human soul’, I replied with tears in my eyes. At the time, it seemed to me the worst possible answer, but now, in retrospect, I think it was the best thing I could have said then.’

The evening of memories was followed by a party until dawn. Together at the table and on the dance floor, representatives of various generations of graduates, professors, school staff and students, all of them having a good time. The first year acting students wished all the best to their new home.

If you couldn’t be there, have a look at the photo album to soak up some of the atmosphere.

Photos: Filip Szkopiński and Adrian Jaszczak