Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Poland and Hollywood: Katarzyna Smiechowicz, Marek Probosz, Matt Szymanowski on Zoom, November 14, 2020 at 3 pm

Link to Video of this event:

The Modjeska Art and Culture Club has the pleasure of inviting you to another event from the series of interviews with stars of Polish Hollywood, in a format of a Zoom meeting, held on Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 3 pm. We will meet with Katarzyna A. Smiechowicz, Marek Probosz and Matt Szymanowski.  Elzbieta Kanski will interview the stars. 


Topic: Modjeska Club Presents Polish Hollywood: Smiechowicz, Probosz, Szymanowski
Time: Nov 14, 2020 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: Link provided by email to club members and guests.


KATARZYNA A. SMIECHOWICZ sometimes acting as Kasia A. Leconte is a Polish actress who has been working in Poland and the USA. Katarzyna started her artistic career as a teenager studying acting with many excellent teachers. Initially, she was involved in ballet and theater; over time film and television have become the closest to her heart. Her passion for ballet and poetry turned to acting when a respected Polish actor, Wirgiliusz Gryn, discovered her acting talent and convinced her to pursue acting as a profession. 

Residing in Los Angeles since 2000, she studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and at the Margie Haber Studio. Throughout her career, she has appeared in over 30 feature films and television series having worked with such directors as Steven Spielberg, Krzysztof Krauze, Jacek Bromski, Tomasz Konecki, Andrzej Saramonowicz, and Olaf Lubaszenko.  Selected film roles include: 
• 2020 -“BEZ SKRUPULOW”, dir. Jacek Bromski, TV series (Wanda)
• 2019- “SOLID GOLD”, dir. Jacek Bromski, Film (Wanda Szulc)
• 2018- “DR. SUGAR”, dir. Paul Saleba - Film (k.m.) (Boo Boo)
• 2015 - “ANATOMIA ZŁA”, dir. Jacek Bromski, Film 
• 2015 - “BILET NA KSIĘŻYC”, dir. Jacek Bromski, Film (Donata KRUGER)
• 2012 - “PARADOKS”, dir. Borys Lankosz, TV series
• 2011 - “WYGRANY”, dir. Wieslaw Saniewski, Film
• 2009 - “U PANA BOGA ZA MIEDZĄ” dir. Jacek Bromski, Film (Ludmiła Niedbałko)
• 2009 - “U PANA BOGA W OGRODKU", dir. Jacek Bromski, Serial TV (Ludmiła Niedbałko
• 2007 - “TESTOSTERON” dir. Tomasz Konecki & Andrzej Saramonowicz Film (Barbie)
• 2003 - “SZPITAL NA PERYPETIACH”, dir. Krzysztof Jaroszynski Serial TV (Monika)
• 2001 - “WIELKIE RZECZY”, dir. Krzysztof Krauze - GRA (odc.2), Serial TV 
• 2000 -“ CHŁOPAKI NIE PŁACZĄ”, dir. Olaf Lubaszenko, Film 
• 2000 -“ BARDZO OSTRY DYŻUR”, dir. Wojciech Mann & Krzysztof Materna, Sitcom TV 
• 1989 - “MDM”, dir. Wojciech Mann & Krzysztof Materna Program TV 
• 1998 - “TALK SHOW JERZEGO K”, dir. Jerzy Kryszak., Program TV
• 1997 - “CIEMNA STRONA WENUS”, dir. Radoslaw Piwowarski, Film 
• 1996 -“ EKSTRADYCJA 2”, dir. Wojciech Wojcik, Serial TV 
• 1996 - “GRY ULICZNE”, dir. Krzysztof Krauze, Film 
• 1996 - “PRZECIĄG” dir. Maciej Zak & Jacek Kecik, Program TV 
• 1995 - “DZIEJE MISTRZA TWARDOWSKIEGO”, dir. Krzysztof Gradowski, Film 

Beyond film and television, she has portrayed many great parts on stage, including Katharina in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew", and Roza in Juliusz Slowacki's "Lilla Weneda." Kasia's U.S. theater debut was in the leading role of Carrie in "Cafe Hollywood."

In addition to acting in many critically acclaimed roles, Smiechowicz has written scripts and worked as a voice-over actor. She is the President of the Film and Television Studio Kasia Films, through which she aims to create international productions. She is also known for her charity work for the sick and those in need. Katarzyna constantly supports and promotes Polish culture in the USA. With a home on both continents, but a husband in the U.S., she spends most of the time in Los Angeles, but works both in Europe and the States. Her husband Dominik J. Leconte is an executive at Sony Pictures. On July 3rd 2010 Kasia and Dominik welcomed their identical twin boys, Antoni and Fabian at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The multi-talented 10-year-old sons are gaining recognition as child actors and models.


Marek Probosz, a Polish-American actor, director, screenwriter, author, and producer, has about 60 film roles to his credit. Many of these films have won awards at prestigious film festivals, such as, Cannes, Berlin, San Sebastian, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Los Angeles, and Houston. Probosz emigrated to the U.S. at the peak of his career in Europe, invited by The American Cinematheque in Los Angeles in 1987, as the “Idol of his generation.” His film and television career spans roles in Polish, Czech, German, French, Italian, and American productions and co-productions. He has guest starred on the popular CBS TV series “Scorpion”; ABC’s “Scandal”; CBS’s “Numbers”; NBC’s “JAG” and USA’s “MONK”. The film “Once Upon A Time in November” directed by Andrzej Jakimowski, in which Probosz played a doctor of law, opened the International Film Festival in Warsaw. It received the main award at the International Film Festival in Taormina, Sicily in 2018.

In 2006, he starred in an unforgettable role as the Polish World War II hero and legendary Volunteer to Auschwitz, Witold Pilecki, in the film “The Death of Captain Pilecki”, directed by Ryszard Bugajski. The film won the Special Jury REMI award at the 2007 WorldFest – Houston International Film Festival. Probosz has toured the globe with the film, participating in many international film festivals, screenings, and discussions at niversities, museums and embassies around the world. In 2012, he recorded the critically acclaimed audiobook “The Auschwitz Volunteer. Beyond Bravery” for, which is a collection of Pilecki’s reports from Auschwitz. The project received the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award in 2013 and the Best Prose Award in 2012. In 2018, Probosz directed the monodrama “Volunteer to Auschwitz: Captain Pilecki”, in which he once again transformed into one of the greatest war heroes of the 20th century. This spectacle, which he performed multiple times on Broadway for a sold out audience, won the Best Documentary Show Award 2018 at United Solo NYC Festival (best of 130 shows).

Some of the acclaimed films which Probosz is most known for include: “End of the Lonely Farm Berghof” (Main Award at Karlovy Vary 1984); “The Shadow of the Ferns” (San Sebastian International Film Festival 1985); “Ferdydurke” (Venice Film Festival 1991); “Horizontal 8” (Main Award for Independent Film Venice Film Festival 1991); “Reverse” (Golden Lion Award Gdynia Film Festival 2009); “Janosik: The True Story” (Gdynia Film Festival 2009); “Boxer” (Golden Eagle Award at Los Angeles Film Festival 2011); “Closed Circuit” (People’s Choice Award Toronto 2013, Humanitarian Society Award Chicago 2013); “I Love Cinema” (KMTF Award Turin 1988); “Our God’s Brother” (Nominee at the Japanese Grand Prix Festival in Tokyo 1997, MFF Award Teheran 1999); “Players” (Gdynia Film Festival 1995); “Time of Maturation” (Special Jury Award San Sebastian 1984); “No More Dreaming” (Bronze Lions Gdansk Film Fetival 1982); “Moth” (Silver Medal MFF Figuiera de Foz 1981). 

In the world of documentary films, Probosz has directed the feature-length “Jan Kott: Still Alive”, about the world famous Shakespeare specialist, Jan Kott. His short film “Rebel”, a psychological drama delving into the problem of suicide among American youth, was a precursor to his U.S. feature debut, “Y.M.I.”, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in (People’s Choice ABBOT Award, Los Angeles – 2004). Probosz is an Adjunct Professor at University of California, Los Angeles – UCLA, where he has taught theater and film acting since 2005. He taught at Emerson College in Los Angeles from 2000-2005, at Edgemar Center For The Arts in Santa Monica from 2008-2011, and at the Theater Academy of A. Zelwerowicz in Warsaw in 2016. As an acting expert, he has also been invited to teach film acting at the prestigious Williams College in Massachusetts in 2021. 

The actor, director, and professor is also a writer, an author of two books: Eldorado (Pub. Stentor, 2009) and Call Me When They Kill You (Pub. Latarnik, 2011). His publications include 11 original and adapted feature-length screenplays, such as “AUM, or the Torturing of Actors,” “Y.M.I.” (People’s Choice Award at The Other Venice Film Festival, Los Angeles 2004), or “Cruel Story.” He penned six screenplays for short films, and dozens of essays, book chapters, and articles. Frequently invited to serve on festival juries worldwide, Probosz received his Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and Acting in 1984 from the Polish National Higher School of Film and Theater of L. Schiller, Łódź. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Directing from The American Film Institute – AFI, Los Angeles, in 1993.

                                                         MATT SZYMANOWSKI


Matt Szymanowski wrote, produced and directed his debut feature, a Sundance Screenwriting Lab Finalist "THE PURPLE ONION". The film premiered at the Oscar qualifying Cinequest Film Festival and went on to play a dozen festivals Internationally, winning the Best Feature: Drama-Comedy at the Indie Gathering International Film Festival. The film was called “Masterfully Crafted” by Shuffle Online and “A perverse Asian-American Napoleon Dynamite“ by Flickchart. Andre Gaine of Cinemation Studios distributed the film in summer 2017 on all major VOD platforms and is also Executive Producing Matt's sophomore film GLORIOUS EMPIRE. The American-born son of Polish immigrants, Szymanowski returned to his parents native Poland to study film and theatre directing at the prestigious Polish National Film School in Lodz.


Feature Debut:

Next Film in Development:

Proof of concept short: