24.03.2021 - online

Legacy online: Pollywood, or how Polish Jews built the film empire in the USA

Tomasz Raczek will be talking to author Andrzej Krakowski about his album titled Polskie Oskary/Polish Oscars. Event is a part of the Legacy program dedicated to Polish Jews who made outstanding contributions to the arts, sciences, economics, politics, and other fields in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Oscar—the Holy Grail in the realm of the Tenth Muse. Polish filmmakers have also basked in its glory, and deservedly so. Wajda, Pawlikowski, Polański, Starski, Kaczmarek, Braun or Kamiński are names which are associated with Poland in the film world and beyond. Did you know, however, that the first woman nominated for an Oscar in the best director category was a Pole Wanda Jakubowska, that the famous Max Factor was born in Zduńska Wola, that Bronisław Kaper, an outstanding Hollywood composer and winner of an Oscar for the music to the film titled Lili, passed his baccalaureate exam at the Stanisław Staszic secondary school in Warsaw, and that the "Oscar-winning" producer Goldwyn was born in Warsaw, too?

Among the dreamers who built one of the most powerful industries in the world—film industry that has ruled our imagination ever since—were a large bunch of people more or less connected to the Polish lands. Polskie Oskary/Polish Oscars is a book devoted primarily to them, but not only them—it is a richly illustrated history of the origins and development of the legendary film award. By extension, it is a history of Hollywood.

The bi-lingual edition of the book Polskie Oskary/Polish Oscars was published by the Blue Bird publishing house.

Andrzej Krakowski - film director, scriptwriter, producer, pedagogue, writer and cartoonist; professor at the City University of New York with a PhD in film studies. He studied film direction at the legendary Film School in Łódź. Stripped off his Polish citizenship while on a scholarship in Los Angeles in 1968, he continued his studies at the American Film Institute. Andrzej Krakowski made about 70 movies and TV series. He produced, among others, the Oscar nominated California Reich, he won the Emmy Award twice for the series titled We Are New York and for the popular Broadway musical King David. He directed the widely awarded Looking for Palladin, Farewell to my Country and Campfire Stories. He is the author of 18 film scripts and books, among them: Triumph of the Spirit, Eminent Domain, Managua, Tides of War, Genghis Khan, and the popular Pollywood: jak stworzyliśmy Hollywood, Pollywood II: uciekinierzy w raju, Bronisław Kaper. Od początku do końca and The World Through the Eye of a Screenwriter. In the 1980s, Krakowski worked as a cartoonist for Business of Film magazine which comes out in London and Los Angeles, and for Foreign Confidential and Reunion’68. His bilingual book of drawings titled Dziura w całym/Hole in the Whole was published in 2017 by the Blue Bird publishing house. In 2021, a bilingual album titled Polskie Oskary/Polish Oscars by Krakowski was published by Blue Bird, too.

Tomasz Raczek - film critic, editor-in-chief of the Association of Polish Filmmakers Movie Magazine, author of Raczek movie program at the Nowy Świat radio station, owner of a YouTube movie review channel. He runs a cinema-therapy (together with psychologist Armen Mekhakyan) in cinemas, radio and in the Internet. Formerly, among others, literary director of the Oko Film Studio, editor-in-chief of the Polish edition of PLAYBOY and of the FILM monthly, head of TV and radio channels and deputy director of the TVP2 Polish national tv channel.