The Carpathian Film Trail features films which are set in the borderlands between the Małopolska Voivodeship and the Prešov Region and thus correspond to the cultural and artistic heritage of that region. The films have been classified into two fundamental categories – feature films and documentary films. Many a film aficionado finds discovering the genuine locations of their favourite films to be an entertaining and rewarding activity. One nationwide example of taking advantage of film tourism in Poland is the website polskanafilmowo.pl.
The following description includes both Polish and Slovak motion pictures. They are frequently evidence of how much these two countries have in common. It is true for the legends of the highwayman Jánošík, for instance, which are part of both the Polish and Slovak heritage. The trail features such popular films as Juraj Jakubisko’s Tisícrocná vcela (A Thousand-Year-Old Bee), but it by no means excludes the pictures which are more underground, but still a must-see, a perfect example of the excellent documentary being W Nowicy na końcu świata (In Nowica at the End of the World) by Natasza Ziółkowska-Kurczuk.
The second building block of the Carpathian Film Trail is providing the profiles of the people of the cinema who are somehow connected with the said borderlands region. These include the creators (directors, actors, screenwriters) who were born here, and sometimes worked here as well. Each artiste has been assigned to the town he was born in.
Ryszard Antoniszczak (born Ryszard Antonisz) – Nowy Sącz / Poland
Like his older brother Julian, Ryszard Antoniszczak chose to earn his living as a director of animated films. However, the techniques he employed were more traditional than the non-camera method. The artist has lived in Sweden since 1981. He is a director, screenwriter, and visual development artist for animated films.
He was born on 7 January 1947 in Nowy Sącz. In 1971, he graduated from the Faculty of Painting and Graphic Arts at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. He then started working in the Kraków Studio of Animated Films.
In 1974, he made his debut with the light-hearted story Żegnaj paro!, which was awarded the Brązowy Lajkonik (Bronze Hobby-Horse Award) at the Kraków Film Festival. His later works demonstrate his fascination with the achievements of animation (the 1975 Miki Mol and the 1976 Fantomobil). In recent years, he has been redirecting his creative energy to computer animation. In Sweden, he works as Richard Antonius.
1974 Żegnaj paro! (Farewell to Steam!) – director, writer, visual development, animation
1975 Miki Mol (Miki Moth) – director, writer, visual development, animation
1976 Fantomobil – director, writer, visual development, animation
1978 Sexi Lola Automatic – director, writer, visual development
1996 Miki Mol i Straszne Płaszczydło (Miki Moth and the Horrible Monstercoat) – director, writer, visual development
1999 Piano concerto – director, writer, visual development, animation, production
Stefan Schabenbeck – Zakopane / Poland
Born in 1940 in Zakopane, Stefan Schabenbeck is a graduate from the Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television, and Theatre in Łódź – he earned his degree in 1967. He is a director, screenwriter, and animated films cinematographer.
Schabenbeck’s debut was one of the most famous in the history of Polish animation. The 1966 seven-minute picture Wszystko jest liczbą portrays a man’s rebellion against the domination of numbers. Shortly after the premiere, the film commenced its triumphant march through a number of film festivals abroad. It was appreciated in Oberhausen, received the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and the first prize for Best Animated Film in Buenos Aires.
All Schabenbeck’s subsequent works were equally successful. The 1967 Wykrzyknik received the Brązowy Lajkonik Award at the Kraków Film Festival in 1968. A year later, he was presented with the same award for the film Schody, and in 1971 – for Inwazja.
The filmmaker’s artistic prolificity lasted only five years as later he left Poland and dedicated his life to teaching at film schools.
1966 Wszystko jest liczbą (Everything is a Number) – director, writer, cinematography, animation, visual development
1967 Wykrzyknik (Exclamation Mark) – director
1968 Schody (Stairs) – director
1969 Wiatr (Wind) – director, writer, set decoration
1969 Susza (The Drought) – director (with Henryk Ryszka)
1970 Inwazja (The Invasion) – director
1971 Ślizgawka (The Ice Rink) – writer
Stanisław Jaskułka – Nowy Targ / Poland
Rumour has it that Stanisław Jaskułka invariably emphasises that he is a genuine highlander. Born on 16 October 1948 in Nowy Targ, he is a 1971 graduate from the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków. In the same year, he made his stage debut. He performed in many theatres, including the Bałtycki Theatre in Koszalin (1971-72), the Juliusz Osterwa Theatre in Lublin (1972-75), the Współczesny Theatre in Wroclaw (1975-79), the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Łódź (1979-95), the Jerzy Szaniawski Theatre in Płock (1995), the Studio Teatr Test in Warsaw (1996, 1998, 2002), the Aleksander Węgierko Theatre in Białystok (1996), and the Sabat Theatre in Warsaw (2001).
He made his cinema debut in 1975, but for many years after he was cast mostly as a supporting actor. It was not until his role in the series Plebania that his face became recognisable to a wider TV audience. Recently, he has appeared in the series Szpilki na Giewoncie.
Selected filmography (actor)
1975 Kazimierz Wielki (Casimir the Great)
1982 Klakier (The Applause Getter)
1982 Dom (TV series)
1985 Spowiedź dziecięcia wieku (Confessions)
1986 Ostatni dzwonek (The Last Schoolbell)
1987 Kingsajz (King Size)
1989 Żelazną ręką (The Iron Hand)
1989 300 mil do nieba (300 Miles to Heaven)
1990 Ucieczka z kina Wolność (Escape from the ‘Liberty’ Cinema)
1991 Pogranicze w ogniu (Borderland on Fire) (TV series)
1995 Kamień na kamieniu (Stone upon Stone)
1996 Ekstradycja 2 (TV series)
1996 Autoportret z kochanką (A Self-Portrait with a Lover)
1998 Poniedziałek (Monday)
1999- 2000 Na dobre i na złe (TV series)
2000 – 2001 Złotopolscy (TV series)
2000 – 2010 Plebania (TV series)
2010 – 2012 Szpilki na Giewoncie (TV series)
2011 Sztos 2 (Polish Roulette)
Piotr Cyrwus – Waksmund / Poland
Born in 1961 in the village of Waksmund (the Nowy Targ commune), Piotr Cyrwus is not only the famous Rysiek from Klan (one of the most popular Polish soap operas). Above anything else, he is a theatre actor. In 1985, he graduated from the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków. He performed on the stages of the Polish Theatre in Warsaw (1985–86), the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Łódź (1986–89), the STU Theatre in Kraków (1989–92), and the Stary Theatre in Kraków (1992–2009). Since 2012, he has worked in the Polish Theatre in Warsaw.
One of his major theatre successes was the award he received at the International Meetings of One Actor Theatres Festival in Toruń in 1990 for his performance in the monodrama Zapiski oficera Armii Czerwonej.
His silver screen debut took place in 1988 in the film Pomiędzy Wilki by Juliusz Janicki. He has appeared in numerous motion pictures and TV series. Despite his brilliant roles in such productions as Śmierć Dziecioroba by Wojciech Nowak, Cwał by Krzysztof Zanussi, or Pan Tadeusz by Andrzej Wajda, many viewers know him mainly as Ryszard Lubicz from the soap opera Klan.
Selected filmography (actor)
1988 Pomiędzy wilki
1990 Śmierć dziecioroba (Death of a Childmaker)
1991 Dzieci wojny
1993 Lista Schindlera (Schindler’s List)
1994 Śmierć jak kromka chleba (Death as a Slice of Bread)
1994 Miasto prywatne (Private Town)
1995 Cwał (In Full Gallop)
1996 Ekstradycja 2 (TV series)
1997 – 2012 Klan (Clan) (TV series)
1999 Pan Tadeusz (Pan Tadeusz: The Last Foray in Lithuania)
1999-2005 Historia filozofii po góralsku według ks. Józefa Tischnera (The Highlander's History of Philosophy According to Rev. Jozef Tischner) (TV series)
2006 Jegomość Tischner i jego filozofia po góralsku (Reverend Father Tischner and his Highlander’s Philosophy)
2010 Ojciec Mateusz (TV series)
Jan Wieczorkowski – Rabka / Poland
Born on 24 February 1972 in Rabka-Zdrój, Jan Wieczorkowski is a graduate from the Aleksander Zelwerowicz State Theatre Academy in Warsaw. He was awarded for his diploma performance – the eponymous role in Roland Topor’s play Joko świętuje rocznicę (Joko is celebrating his anniversary) - at the II Festival of Diploma Plays in Łódź in 1997.
His love affair with the cinema started in 1996. His role as Michał Chojnicki in Klan, the first Polish soap opera, brought him wide recognition.
His life’s work also includes several interesting film roles, e.g. in U Pana Boga za piecem by Jacek Bromski or in Siedem grzechów popcooltury by Doman Nowakowski and Adam Bortnowski.
Today, TV series lovers can admire his acting in Czas honoru and Szpilki na Giewoncie.
Selected filmography (actor)
1996 Szamanka (She-Shaman)
1996 Dom (TV series)
1997 – 2004 Klan (Clan) (TV series)
1998 U Pana Boga za piecem (As Snug as a Bug in a Rug)
1998 Matki, żony i kochanki (Mothers, Wives, and Lovers) (TV series)
1999 Pierwszy milion (First Million) (TV series)
2000 To ja, złodziej (It’s Me, the Thief)
2000 Pierwszy milion (First Million)
2004 – 2005 Oficer (TV series)
2004 – 2007 Fala zbrodni (TV series)
2005 Siedem grzechów popcooltury
2005 Molly’s way
2007 U Pana Boga w ogródku (God’s Little Garden) (TV series)
2007 U Pana Boga w ogródku (God’s Little Garden)
2007 Tajemnica Twierdzy Szyfrów
2008 – 2009 Teraz albo nigdy! (TV series)
2008 – 2011 Czas honoru (Time of Honour) (TV series)
2009 U Pana Boga za miedzą (God’s Little Village)
2009 Nigdy nie mów nigdy (Headhunter)
2010 Milczenie jest złotem
2012 Szpilki na Giewoncie (TV series)
Bartłomiej Topa – Nowy Targ / Poland
Despite the popularity he gained due to his long-standing involvement in the Złotopolscy TV series, Bartłomiej Topa quickly managed to break free from the pigeonhole of being a typecast actor. Born on 26 May 1967 in Nowy Targ, he was a 1991 graduate from the Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television, and Theatre in Łódź. Still in the same year, he was awarded for his performances as Edward IV and Earl of Richmond in the play based on Shakespeare’s Richard III at the IX National Festival of Diploma Plays of Theatre Schools in Łódź.
Topa’s collaboration with Wojciech Smarzowski, the director and his university friend, marked a milestone in his big screen career. They started working together on the Kuracja teleplay. Topa was the leading actor, for which he was awarded the Grand Prix of the Dwa Teatry National Festival of Polish Radio and Television Plays in Sopot in 2002. His other electrifying performances include those in Smarzowski’s 2004 Wesele and 2009 Dom zły.
Bartłomiej Topa is also a film producer. He co-founded the production company Film It.
Selected filmography (actor)
1990 Zakład (The Bet)
1993 Trzy kolory: Biały (Three Colours: White)
1993 Pożegnanie z Marią (Farewell to Maria)
1994 Wrony (Crows)
1998 Demony wojny według Goi (Demons of War)
1999 – 2006 Złotopolscy (TV series)
2001 Stacja (Station)
2003 Biała sukienka (White Dress)
2004 Wesele (The Wedding) – also producer
2005 Magiczne drzewo (TV series)
2008 Trzeci oficer (TV series)
2008 Boisko bezdomnych (The Offsiders)
2009 Dom zły (The Dark House)
2010 – 2011 Szpilki na Giewoncie
2011 Sztos 2 (Polish Roulette)
Maciej Dutkiewicz – Krynica / Polska
Maciej Dutkiewicz was born in Krynica in 1958. In 1986, he graduated from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He also completed the Graduate Programme in Film and Theatre at Toronto York University.
His big screen debut was the 1996 Nocne Graffiti, starring Marek Kondrat, Katarzyna Kowalska, and Robert Janowski. Despite its cold critical reception, the picture was nominated for the Złote Lwy Awards.
Undeniably more favourable reviews were gained by Dutkiewicz’s another full-length film Fuks, starring such actors as Maciej Stuhr, Agnieszka Krukówna, and Janusz Gajos. The film won two awards at the Gdynia Film Festival – Best Supporting Actor for Janusz Gajos and Best Director for Maciej Dutkiewicz.
In 2000, Maciej Dutkiewicz was to direct the picture W pustyni i w puszczy. Sadly, he fell ill during the process and had to be replaced by Gavin Hood. Other projects Dutkiewicz collaborated on include several TV series.
1996 Nocne graffiti (Night Graffiti) – director, writer
1997 – 2010 Złotopolscy (TV series) – director (selected episodes)
1999 Fuks – director, writer
1999 – 2000 Czułość i kłamstwa (Affection and Lies) – director (selected episodes)
2003 – 2005 Defekt (TV series) – director, writer
2008 – 2012 Ojciec Mateusz (TV series) – director (selected episodes)
2010 Duch w dom (TV series) – director
Bartosz Konopka – Myślenice / Poland
Born in 1972 in Myślenice, Bartosz Konopka is a director and screenwriter of his own films. He is the film studies graduate at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. His successes both in Poland and abroad secured him a place among the most promising artistes of the young generation.
In 2004, Bartosz Konopka filmed the documentary Ballada o kozie, which earned him an award in the category of Polish documentary films at the Era New Horizons Festival in Cieszyn.
In 2006, he made Trójka do wzięcia, critically acclaimed during such events as The New York Polish Film Festival – it won the Krzysztof Kieślowski Beyond Borders Award in the category of short films.
Three years later, Bartosz Konopka directed the documentary Królik po berlińsku, which was an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Short. Moreover, the film was awarded the Złoty Lajkonik (Golden Hobby-Horse Award) at the Kraków Film Festival.
The director’s most recent achievement is the 2011 feature film Lęk wysokości, honoured with the prize for directing debut or second film at the Gdynia Film Festival.
2003 Niebo nad Europą (Sky over Europe) – director, writer, film editing
2004 Ballada o kozie (Goat Walker) – director, writer, collaboration in film editing
2006 Trójka do wzięcia (Three for the Taking) – director, writer
2009 Królik po berlińsku (Rabbit à la Berlin) – director, writer
2011 Lęk wysokości (Fear of Falling) – director, writer
Marcin Wrona – Tarnów / Poland
Born in 1973 in Tarnów, Marcin Wrona is a film, TV, and theatre director and screenwriter. In 1999, he earned his Diploma in film studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and three years later in directing at the Radio and Television Faculty of the University of Silesia in Katowice. He did not rest on his laurels, however, and in 2003 he graduated from the Wajda Film School in Warsaw. He is also a 2005 graduate from the Amsterdam Binger Filmlab.
His film-school exercise Człowiek magnes from 2001 brought him both local and international recognition. At the TriBeCa Film Festival, organised by Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese in New York, he won the Student Visionary Award. What is more, he got a Special Mention at the Munich Film Festival.
In 2007, the filmmaker signed up his script Tamagotchi for the Polish edition of the Hartley-Merrill Screenwriting Competition, and he won the Grand Prix. He received third prize in the international finale of this competition in Cannes. In 2009, he used the script as the foundation of his full-length feature debut Moja krew. A year later, he filmed Chrzest, his second full-length silver-screen story.
2000 Wizyta (film-school exercise) – director, writer, editing
2001 Człowiek magnes (Magnet Man) (film-school exercise) – director, writer, editing
2004 Telefono (film-school exercise) – director, writer, editing
2009 Moja krew (My Flesh My Blood) – director, writer
2010 Chrzest (The Christening) – director, co-producer
Artur Więcek, aka Baron – Limanowa / Poland
Artur Więcek is a director and screenwriter of feature films, documentaries, and TV programmes. Born on 10 May 1967, he has been collaborating with Witold Bereś for years, with whom he co-founded the production company Bereś&Baron Media Productions in 1997.
In the years 1999-2005, Baron directed the TV series Historia filozofii po góralsku według ks. Józefa Tischnera. His big screen debut was the 2002 Anioł w Krakowie. Its sequel, Zakochany Anioł, was made in 2005.
Artur Więcek, aka Baron, is also a documentary director. In 2001, he shot Tango – Oscar dla animacji, which tells the story of the Oscar-winning film by Zbigniew Rybczyński. The 2004 Goralenvolk presents the difficult history of Podhale during the Second World War. His later films include the following biographies - Tischner. Życie w opowieściach (2008), Marek Edelman: Życie. Po prostu (2008), and Bartoszewski. Droga (2012).
1999 – 2005 Historia filozofii po góralsku według ks. Józefa Tischnera (The Highlander's History of Philosophy According to Rev. Jozef Tischner) – director, writer, music
2001 Tango – Oscar dla animacji (Tango – the Oscar for animation) – director
2002 Anioł w Krakowie – director, writer, executive producer
2004 Goralenvolk – director, writer
2005 Zakochany Anioł (Angel in Love) – director, writer, actor
2008 Tichner. Życie w opowieściach – director, writer
2008 Marek Edelman: Życie. Po prostu – director, writer
2012 Bartoszewski. Droga – director, writer
Waldemar Dziki – Zakopane / Poland
Born in Zakopane in 1956, Waldemar Dziki is a film director and producer. Since 1989, he has been a member of the Polish Committee of Cinematography. In 1980, he obtained a degree in directing at the Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television, and Theatre in Łódź.
His full-length feature debut was the war film Kartka z podróży, completed in 1983. Three years later, Dziki made the film addressed to teenagers – Cudowne dziecko. After the 1993 Lazarus, the story of an English married couple illegally adopting a child, Dziki focussed almost entirely on film production.
The last picture Waldemar Dziki directed was Pierwszy milion, starring such actors as Zbigniew Zamachowski, Olaf Lubaszenko, Szymon Bobrowski, Przemysław Sadowski, Agnieszka Warchulska, Artur Żmijewski, and Jan Wieczorkowski.
His artistic work for children and teenagers was acknowledged in 1982, winning him the Prime Minister’s Award.
1983 Kartka z podróży (Postcard from a Journey) – director, writer
1986 Cudowne dziecko (The Young Magician) – director, writer
1993 Lazarus – director, producer
1999 Pierwszy milion (First Million) (TV series) – director, writer, producer
1999 Ajlawju – producer
2000 Pierwszy milion (First Million) – director, writer, producer
2001 W pustyni i w puszczy (In Desert and Wilderness) – producer
2001 W pustyni i w puszczy (In Desert and Wilderness) (TV series) – producer
2002 Jak to się robi z dziewczynami (Mr. Virgin) – directorial guidance, producer
2005 Pitbull - producer
Urszula Grabowska – Myślenice / Poland
Born on 27 June 1976 in Myślenice, Urszula Grabowska is one of the most well-known young Polish actresses. She made her stage debut with the role of Wiera Aleksandrówna in Miesiąc na wsi at the Bagatela Theatre in Kraków in 1998. Two years later, she graduated from the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków.
Grabowska’s first appearance on the silver screen took place in 2001. She starred in Filip Bajon’s Przedwiośnie, portraying Karolina Szarłatowiczówna. However, what really made her recognisable in Polish households was her role in the TV series Na dobre i na złe.
Urszula Grabowska’s biggest cinema success so far has been her eponymous role in the 2010 film by Feliks Falka - Joanna. She stars as Joanna Kurska, a young woman who takes care of a little abandoned Jewish girl during the Second World War. This role brought her the Orzeł (Eagle) Polish Film Award for best actress in a leading role, and the award at the Moscow International Film Festival for best actress.
Selected filmography (actress)
2000 – 2001 Miasteczko (TV series)
2001 Przedwiośnie (The Spring to Come)
2002 Przedwiośnie (The Spring to Come) (TV series)
2003 – 2008 Glina (TV series)
2004 Ono (Stranger)
2005 Pensjonat pod Różą (TV series)
2005 – 2007 Magda M. (TV series)
2006 – 2008 Na dobre i na złe
2007 – 2009 Tylko miłość (TV series)
2007 Świadek koronny
2009 Miłość na wybiegu (Love on the Catwalk)
2011 Przepis na życie (TV series)
2011 Instynkt (TV series)
2011 Bez tajemnic (Without Secrets) (TV series)