„The school is guided by universal ethical rules, freedom of tuition, creative liberty and freedom of research in the field of art and artistic creativity, in respect for truth, solidarity, democracy and tolerance in this way referring to the general Polish university and artistic educational tradition.”
(Polish National Film School Statute)
The Film School in Lodz, one of the oldest film schools in the world, puts special emphasis on practical work in its teaching programme.
The school educates directors, directors of photography, animators, photographers, screenwriters, editors, film and television production managers and actors. Studies comprise practical workshop classes accompanied by history, culture and art theory contributing to a thorough artistic development. We are convinced that it is not until students get onto a real film set that they learn the profession and gain experience and independence. We provide future filmmakers with the latest generation sound and lighting equipment including digital cameras. Daily classes are held at our film and television studio facilities as well as at post-production and special effects computer classrooms. Full- time film school employed camera operators and sound recordists, with all their wealth of knowledge and experience help the students make their first films. What differentiates the Film School from others is the possibility of working with established professional 35mm film stock. We provide cameras, editing tables, and a sufficient amount of practice to exploit every ambitious idea and develop young talent.
The school Film Production Unit organizes and carries out the production of about 300 film projects a year. With its help the following student films are made: fiction and documentary films of film directing students, directors of photography films, animation films and television dramas. Films made during workshops or regular classes are recorded on all kinds of media; traditional optical film stock as well as analogue and digital video. All areas of film production work in units: camera equipment, sound, editing, scenery, props and set design are all involved in the making of every film from the shooting stage to the production of the final print. We are trying to keep up-to-date with each technical innovation as it appears in the world of contemporary film technology. Each year, new equipment is purchased and the film and television studios are equipped so that the school can give a taste of professional production, so that students, the future filmmakers, feel at home in this environment.
1983 – Zbigniew Rybczyński – „Tango” – Oscar in the category: best short animation
2000 – Andrzej Wajda – Oscar – Life Achievement Award
2003 – Roman Polański – „Pianist” – Oscar in the category: best director
1981 – Andrzej Wajda – „Man of Iron” – Palme d’Or
1988 – Krzysztof Kieślowski – „A Short Film about Killing” – Special Jury Prize
2002 – Roman Polański – „Pianist” – Palme d’Or
1966 – Roman Polański – „Cul-de-sac” – Golden Bear
1967 – Jerzy Skolimowski – „The Start” – Golden Bear
2006 – Andrzej Wajda – Golden Bear - Life Achievement Award
1960 – Kazimierz Karabasz – „Muzykanci” – Złoty Lew
1984 – Krzysztof Zanussi – „Rok spokojnego słońca” – Złoty Lew
1993 – Krzysztof Kieślowski – „Trzy kolory. Niebieski” – Złoty Lew
Jerzy Toeplitz (1909-1995)
Film historian and theoretician, the author of multi-volume ‘Film Art History’, erudite and connesuer of the Europena Cinema History. After 1945, co-organizer of Polish cinematography and co-founder of the Lodz Film School. Lodz Film School lecturer and director, and then Rector (1957-68). General editor of ‘The Film Quarterly’ and ‘Cinema’. In 1968, supported student protests and was removed from the post of the rector. In the 70s, left for Australia, where he founded the Sydney Film and Television School. Chairman of the International Film Archive Federation (1948-72), Vice-Chairman of UNESCO International Film and Television Council (1966-72), Vice-Chairman of CILECT, the International Film and Television Schools’ Centre (1976-79). After returning to Poland he continued his scholarly work at the Polish language and literature department at Warsaw University.
Granted the degree of the Lodz Film School Doctor Honoris Causa on 3 March, 1993.
Andrzej Wajda (born in 1926)
Film and theatre director, screenwriter and art director. Studied fine art and then film direction at the Lodz Film School. Oscar as Life Achievement Award winner (2000). Co-creator of the ‘Polish school of film’, one of the most important trends in post-war cinema (‘Generation’, ‘Canal’, ‘Ashes and Diamonds’, ‘Speed’). Author of extraordinary screen adaptations of Polish literature (Wedding’, ‘Promised Land’, ‘Pan Tadeusz’). Head of the ‘X’ Film Studio (1972-83) and the chairman of Polish Film-makers Society (1978-83), and later its honorary chairman. Author of the film triology, ‘Man of Marble’ (1976) , ‘Man of Iron’ (1981) and ‘Walesa. Man of Hope’ (2013). Founder of the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw (2002). As a theatre director has worked with the Stary Theatre in Cracow.
Granted the degree of the Lodz Film School Doctor Honoris Causa on 27 October, 2000
Roman Polański (born in 1933)
Director, screenwriter, actor and film producer, Lodz Film School graduate, Oscar nominee for the full-length feature debut film ‘Knife in the Water’ (1962). Since 1963 has lived in the West making films in Great Britain, the US and France: ‘Repulsion’ (1965), ‘Cul-de-sac’ (1966), ‘Dance of the Vampires’ (1967), ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968), ‘Macbeth’ (1971), ‘Chinatown’ (1974), ‘The Tenant’ (1976), ‘Pirates’ (1986), ‘Bitter Moon’ (1992), ‘the Ninth Gate’ (1999). The greatest actors such as Catherine Deneuve, Jacqueline Bisset, Mia Farrow, Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Emmanuelle Seigner, Johnny Depp, Jodie Foster, Kate Wintslet and Christoph Waltz have played in his films. Master of pastiche and black humour, sophisticated narration; in an original way he talks about cruelty, sex and insanity. For the film Pianist’ (2002) awarded the Palme d”Or in Cannes and Oscar for best direction.
Granted the degree of the Lodz Film School Doctor Honoris Causa on 27 October, 2000.
Jerzy Kawalerowicz (1922-2007)
Director and screenwriter. In the years 1946-49, studied at Cracow Film Arts Academy; also finished the Film Foundation Course (1946). The fiction film ‘The Village Mill’ (1951) was his debut. The author of many distinguished literary adaptations: ‘Mother Joan of the Angels’ based on Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz’ short story (1960; Palme d’Argent at IFF in Cannes), ‘Pharoah’ based on Bolesław Prus’ novel (1965), ‘The Inn’ based on Julian Stryjkowski’s novel (1982). As a film director he was fascinated by juxtaposing outbursts of mass hysteria with rationalism. This motif is present in almost all of his film. He was a consummate draughtsman of the complexity of human nature. Since 1955, Head of the ‘Kadr’ Film Studio. One of the co-founders and the first Chairman of the Polish Film-makers Society (1966-78), in the 80s – lecturer at the Lodz Film School.
Granted the degree of the Lodz Film School Doctor Honoris Causa on 27 October, 2000.
Wojciech Jerzy Has (1925-2000)
Director, screenwriter, pedagogue and great vissionary of Polish cinema.. His debut film ‘The Noose’ (1957) was based on Marek Hłasko’s short-story. In his film masterpieces inspired by literature and art Has created unforgettable poetic imagery starting with ‘Lydia Ate the Apple’ (1958), ‘How to be Loved’ (1962), ‘The Manuscript found in Saragossa’ (1964), The Hour Glass Sanatorium’ (1973), through ‘An Uneventful Story’ (1982), ‘Write and Fight’ (1984), ‘Memoirs of a Sinner’ (1985) up to the last one ‘The Tribulations of Balthazar Kobera’ (1988). Has is famous for creating rich visions, dream-like realities inhabited by characters – individuals and outsiders trying, in vain, to find their place in the world. Has was a profesor at the Lodz Film School from 1974, Dean of the Direction Department from 1989-90 and the Rector - 1990-96. He was also head of the Index Film Studio affiliated with the Lodz Film School. Under Has’ artistic supervision over two hundred student films and a numer of significant feature film debuts were made .
The Lodz Film School honoured its distinguished professor with the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa granted to him posthumously on 27 October, 2000.
Vittorio Storaro (born in 1940)
Italian director of photography involved in filmmaking since 1968. Three time Oscar winner for best photography for the films ‘Apocalypse Now’ by Francis Ford Coppola, 1979; ‘Reds’ by Warren Beatty, 1981; ‘The Last Emperor’ by Bernardo Bertolucci, 1987. Storaro describes his original painting-like style of cinematography as ‘painting with light and shadow’. He points out that choice of colours and their intensity and the way of filming and frame composition are equally important as the director’s narrative to create meaning and evoke emotions. He has worked as director of photography with the best film directors including Bernardo Bertolucci, with whom he has made many unforgettable films: ‘The Conformist’ (1970), ‘The Spider’s Strategem’ (1970), ‘Last Tango in Paris’ (1972), ‘1900’ (1976), ‘The Last Emperor’ (1987), ‘Sheletering Sky’ (1990) and ‘Little Budda’ ( 1993).
Granted the degree of the Lodz Film School Doctor Honoris Causa on 6 December, 2001.
Jerzy Mierzejewski (1917-2012)
Artist (painter), educated several generations of filmamkers. Since 1950, lecturer at Lodz Film School, Dean of Direction of Photography Department (1963-68), Dean of Direction Department (1968-74) and Vice-Rector of the School (1974-75). The School owes its world reputation, as the alma mater of outstanding directors of photography, to his talent and didactic sensitivity. Winner of prestigious Jan Cybis Prize, granted to painters by Warsaw section of the Polish Artists Association and Golden Frog of the Camerimage International Festival of Cinematographers for his contribution to the development of Polish film art. He exhibited his paintings in art galleries all over the world – the USA, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
Granted the degree of the Lodz Film School Doctor Honoris Causa on 5 October, 2006.
Zbigniew Rybczyński (born in 1949)
author of experimental films, director, director of photography, screenwriter and art director, multimedia artist, new audio-visual technologies pioneer. Lodz Film School direction of photography graduate, co-founder of avant-garde group Film Form Workshop. He finished his film studies with the diploma films ‘Take Five’ and ‘Plamuz’. His later films e.g. ‘Square’ , ‘Soup’, ‘Holiday’ and Oscar winning film ‘Tango’ were produced at SE-MA-FOR, the Small Film Forms Studio in Lodz. Since 1983, he has worked in the USA, where he became popular thanks to making over 30 music videos, among others for John Lennon (‘Imagine’), Mick Jagger and Simple Minds. In the years 1994 – 2001, was a co-founder of Centrum Fur Neue Bildgestaltung – the Experimental Film Centre in Berlin and was a lecturer at Koelner Kunsthochschule fuer Medien. In March 2009, he returned from Los Angeles to Poland and became the director of the Audiovisual Technology Centre in Wroclaw.
Granted the degree of the Lodz Film School Doctor Honoris Causa on 6 June, 2008.
Tadeusz Różewicz (1921-2014)
Poet, prose writer, playwright and screenwriter. His literary works have been translated into 58 languages. He is one of the most outstanding representatives of the Theatre of the Absurd and his ‘The Card Index’ is the first play of this trend written in the Polish langauge. His later plays such a: „The Group of Laocoon”, „The Witnesses, or Things are Almost Back to Normal”, „The Old Woman Broods” and ‘White Marriage’” also met with great interest. Together with Kornel Filipowicz and Stanisław Różewicz, his younger brother, wrote screenplays for films directed by Stanisław: ‘’Three Women (1956), ‘A Place on Earth’ (1959), ‘Birth Certificate’ (1961), ‘The Voice from Beyond’ (1962), ‘Echo’ ( 1964), ‘Hell and Heaven’ (1966), ‘Husband under the Bed’ (1967), ‘Loneliness for Two’ (1968), ‘The Wicket Gate’ (1973).
On 4th October, 2010, for extraordinary achievements in creating a new drama language exposing the poetic meaning of theatre in the creation of a metaphoric picture of the world, the Senate of the Lodz Film School granted Tadeusz Różewicz the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa.
Martin Scorsese (born in 1942)
American director, screenwriter, editor, actor and film producer. In 1964, he got his first prize for the film ‘It's Not Just You, Murray’ in the Jesse L. Lasky intercollege competition. In 1966, he earned his MFA degree from NYU’s School of the Arts (today known as the Tisch School of Arts). He was one of the editors of Michael Wadleigh’s documentary film, ‘Woodstock’. As a filmmaker, he belongs to the generation called ‘movie brats’. Amongst his famous friends are: Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma and George Lucas. His filmography includes such masterpieces as ‘Alice doesn’t live here anymore” (1974), ‘Taxidriver’ (1976), ‘New York, New York’ (1977), ‘Raging Bull’ (1980), ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ (1988), ‘The Age of Innocence’ (1993) , ‘Kundun – The Life of the Dalai Lama ’ (1997), ‘Gangs of New York’ (2002), ‘Aviator’ (2004) and ‘The Departed’ (2006), for which he got an Oscar.
Granted the degree of the Lodz Film School Doctor Honoris Causa on 9 December, 2011.
Michael Haneke (born in 1942)
Austrian director and screenwriter. Studied philosophy, psychology and drama at Vienna University. He made 12 films for television and directed classical plays in theatres in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna and Munich. In 1989, he directed his first full-length cinema film ‘The Seventh Continent’, followed by ‘Benny’s Video’ (1992), ‘71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance’ (1995), ‘Funny Games’ (1997), ‘Code Unknown” (2000), ‘The Piano Teacher’ (2001, Palme d’Or in Cannes), ‘Time of the Wolf’ (2003), ‘Hidden’ (2005, Best Direction prize in Cannes and European Film Academy Award), ‘The White Ribbon’ (2009, Palme d’Or in Cannes, Golden Globe, Oscar nomination) and ‘Amour’ (2011, Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Palme d’Or in Cannes and dozens of other prizes). For his latest film, Haneke employed retired actors: Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Haneke - the ‘master of distance’ - makes his films in a conventional, formal style touching on themes of malfunction in the contemporary world: violence, alienation, dysfunctional human relationships and detachment from real life caused by omnipresent media. Haneke cooperates with his favourite actors: Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil and editor, Monica Willi.
Granted the degree of the Lodz Film School Doctor Honoris Causa on 11th October, 2013.
Janusz Gajos (born in 1939)
During his artistic life, actor, Lodz Film School acting graduate and long-term lecturer, Janusz Gajos has played over 300 roles in film and theatre. His film debut role was Pietrek in Maria Kaniewska’s “Panienka z okienka” (1964). The most well-known of his film creations are roles such as Michał Szmańda in Filip Bajon’s “Wahadełko” (1981), Major from Ryszard Bugajski’s “Przesłuchanie” (1982), Mikołaj from Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Three colours. White” (1993), censor Rabkiewicz from Wojciech Marczewski’s “Ucieczka z kina Wolność”, Brother Zdrówko from Jan Jakub Kolski’s “Jasminum” (2007), and prosecutor Koprowicz in Małgorzata Szumowska’s film “Body/Ciało” (2015). Gajos is also adored by millions of viewers for his cult role of Janek Kos in the TV series “Czterej pancerni i pies”. As for his drama career he has performed at the Jaracza Theatre and Warsaw theatres: Teatr Komedia, Teatr Kwadrat, Teatr Dramatyczny, Teatr Na Woli, Teatr Powszechny , and since 2003 at Teatr Narodowy, producing many excellent roles. Amongst his numerous acting awards are the Eagles – Polish Film Academy Awards (in 2016 Janusz Gajos received the Eagle Life Achievement Award) ; a number of Lions – Gdynia Film Festival Awards (in 2015 at the 40th Gdynia Festival he received the Diamond Lions for the Best Actor of the 40-year-long festival history).
On 7 October, 2016, Janusz Gajos was granted Doctor Honoris Causa Degree of the Lodz Film School.