Sunday, December 27, 2020

Virtual Presentation of Modjeska Prize 2020 to Andrzej Seweryn, January 2, 2021, at 12:30 pm on Zoom

Link to the YouTube Video of the event:
Link to The Post Eagle article, May 9, 2021:

Dear Club Members and Friends,

It is a great honor and delight to invite you to the virtual presentation of the Helena Modjeska Prize 2020 to eminent Polish actor Andrzej Seweryn. This zoom event will take place on Saturday January 2, 2021,  at 12:30 pm The interview with our distinguished guest will be conducted by a Club member and amazing actress Katarzyna Smiechowicz. The presentation of the Prize will be from the garden of Club President Maja Trochimczyk.  

Among the most successful Polish actors, Seweryn starred in over 50 films in Poland, France and Germany. The current General Director of Teatr Polski in Warsaw, he is among an elite group of only three foreigners accepted to Comédie-Française. His critically acclaimed film and theater roles gained him multiple honors and awards, such as   He visited the Modjeska Club several times, most recently in 2017, when Andy Dowen was the president, and Ewa Barsam hosted the event in her elegant residence. 

Andrzej Seweryn with President Andrew Dowen, 2017

The link will be emailed to members and guests, not to be posted in public but to be shared with friends. 

WHEN: Saturday, January 2, 2021 at 12:30 pm

WHAT: Modjeska Prize 2020 Presentation

WHERE: Zoom Meeting by Invitation Only

WHO: Andrzej Seweryn will be the recipient of the Modjeska Prize 2020 and will be interviewed by Katarzyna Smiechowicz, with Maja Trochimczyk presenting the Modjeska Prize virtually. 

Andrzej Seweryn with Prof. Elzbieta Trybus, 2017


Andrzej Teodor Seweryn is one of the most successful Polish theatre actors. He starred in over 50 films, mostly in Poland, France and Germany. He is also one of only three non-French actors to be hired by the Paris-based Comédie-Française. He is currently serving as director general of the Polski Theatre in Warsaw. 

The biography below is from Wikipedia. Read also his biography on the portal Culture.Pl:

Seweryn was was born on 25 April 1946 in Heilbronn, Germany. His parents, Zdzisław and Zofia, were captured and forced into slave labor in Germany during World War II. After the birth of Andrzej, they returned to Poland. In 1968 he graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw and worked at Teatr Ateneum where he continued to act until 1980. Already in the 1970s he gained much fame following his appearance in numerous films directed by Andrzej Wajda, notably Without Anesthesia, The Promised Land and the Man of Iron. For his role in Wajda's 1980 Dyrygent Seweryn received the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 30th Berlin International Film Festival. In 1980 Seweryn also made his stage debut in France following the staging of Wajda's interpretation of plays by Stanisław Witkiewicz at the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers.

The imposition of the martial law in Poland in 1981 found Seweryn in France. A sympathiser of the outlawed Solidarity, he decided to stay abroad and settle in France. With time he also applied for French citizenship. During his stay in France he collaborated with some of the most renowned theatre directors. Among them were Claude Régy (La Trilogie du revoir and Grand et Petit by Botho Strauss), Patrice Chéreau (Peer Gynt by Ibsen), Peter Brook (The Mahabharata), Bernard Sobel (Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, The Good Person of Szechwan by Bertold Brecht, Tartuffe by Molière), Deborah Warner (A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen), Antoine Vitez (L'Échange by Paul Claudel), Jacques Rosner (The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov and Breakfast with Wittgenstein based on a novel by Thomas Bernhard), and Jacques Lassalle (Jedermann by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and The Misanthrope by Molière). Since 1993 he has performed in Comédie Française in Paris (receiving full membership in 1995, as the third non-French in the history of that theatre) and taught at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1996 he received Witkacy Prize - Critics' Circle Award. For his contribution to French culture in 2005 was awarded with Légion d'honneur, in addition to Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Ordre national du Mérite. 

Andrzej Seweryn appeared in over fifty motion pictures, most them Polish, French and German productions. He is best known in the United States for his portrayal as Julian Scherner in the film Schindler's List. Seweryn was allegedly chosen for the role of Scherner since he bore a striking physical resemblance to the actual Julian Scherner, based upon photographic evidence from World War II. He has also portrayed the French Revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre, in the film and mini-series La Révolution française (1989) a.k.a. (The French Revolution). His 2006 film Who Never Lived was entered into the 28th Moscow International Film Festival. In 2016, he won the Best Actor Award at the Locarno International Film Festival for the film The Last Family. 

His awards include: 

1980 - Silver Bear for his role in Dyrygent / The Orchestra Conductor at the Berlinale International Film Festival1994 - Grand Prize for acting for his role in Amok at the Cairo IFF

1996 - Witkacy Award

1997 – Minister of Foreign Affaris Diploma for outstanding merits to Polish culture abroad; Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta awarded by the President of the Republic of Poland

1998 - Award for the title role in the Television Playhouse (Teatr Telewizji) production of Slawomir Mrozek's Krawiec at the National Competition for the Staging of Contemporary Polish Plays

1999 - Order National du Merite for contributions to French culture

2000 - Polish Television's award for his role in the film, Prymas / The Cardinal at the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdansk

2001 - Golden Duck award for his role in Prymas / The Cardinal

2005 - Légion d'honneur for his contribution to French culture.

2006 - Golden Medal Gloria Artis - Merits for Culture 

2008 – the Great Bow Award / Wielki Ukłon – an honorary award of the Quest Europe in Zielona Góra; the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta

2010 – the Audience Award organised by the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków for the role in Imagine Yourself... William Shakespeare 

2012 – Santo Domingo Muestra Internacional De Cine Award for the role in Little Rose directed by Jan Kidawa-Błoński; 26th Tarnów Film Award for life-time merits to Polish ciematography, especially for an outstanding performance in Promised land directed by Andrzej Wajda

2013 – an award from the Wocław City Council and Grand Prix Geras at the Wrocław WROSTJA Meetings of One Actor and Small Forms

2014 – Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Award for outstanding performances at the Polish Theatre in Warsaw, especially in Shakespeare's plays; the Złoty Glan Award of the Charlie cinema in Łódź

2016 – the Icon of the Polish Cinema / Ikona Polskiego Kina Award for life-time achievements in acting granted at the 5th Suspense Film Festival in Kołobrzeg; Golden Leopard for the Best Actor at the 69th Locarno International Film Festival for the role of Zdzisław Beksiński in The Last Family

Portrait by A. Kruk, Wikimedia Commons, 2009.

His films include: 

  • Beata (1965) as Pupil
  • Album polski (1970, a.k.a. Polish Album) as Tomek
  • Przejście podziemne (1974, TV Short, a.k.a. The Underground Passage) as Stach
  • Ziemia Obiecana (1975, a.k.a. The Promised Land) as Maks Baum
  • Noce i dnie (1975, a.k.a. Nights and Days) as Anzelm Ostrzenski
  • Opadły liście z drzew (1975, a.k.a. Leaves Have Fallen) as Smukły
  • Zaklęte rewiry (1975, a.k.a. Hotel Pacific) as Henek (voice)
  • Obrazki z życia (1975, a.k.a. Pictures From Life) as Writer
  • Polskie drogi (1977, TV Series) as Sturmbannführer Kliefhorn
  • Człowiek z marmuru (1977) a.k.a. Man of Marble as Reader (voice)
  • Długa noc poślubna (1977, TV Movie a.k.a. Long Honeymoon)
  • Granica (1978, a.k.a. The Limit) as Zenon Ziembiewicz
  • Bez znieczulenia (1978) a.k.a. Without Anesthesia as Jerzy Rosciszewski
  • Bestia (1978, a.k.a. Beast) as Ksiadz
  • Roman i Magda (1979, a.k.a. Roman and Magda) as Roman Barwinski
  • Rodzina Połanieckich (1979, TV Series) as Bukacki
  • Kung-Fu (1979) as Marek Kaminski
  • Dyrygent (1980, a.k.a. Orchestra Conductor) as Adam Pietryk
  • Golem (1980) as Doctor Creating Pernat
  • Człowiek z żelaza (1981) a.k.a. Man of Iron as Kapt. Wirski
  • Dziecinne pytania (1981, a.k.a. Childish Questions) as Bogdan
  • Peer Gynt (1981, TV Movie) as Le cuisinier / Le propriétaire d'Haegstad / Le père de la mariée
  • Najdłuższa wojna nowoczesnej Europy (1982, TV Series) as Hipolit Cegielski
  • Roza (1982)
  • Danton (1983) as Bourdon
  • Marynia (1984) as Edward Bukacki
  • Haute Mer (1985, TV Movie)
  • Qui trop embrasse... (1986) as Marc
  • La Femme de ma vie (1986, a.k.a. Women of My Life) as Bernard
  • La Coda del diavolo (1986, a.k.a. The Malady of Love) as The pedlar
  • Na srebrnym globie (1987, a.k.a. The Silver Globe) as Marek
  • La Révolution française (1989, a.k.a. The French Revolution) as Maximilien-Marie-Isidore De Robespierre
  • The Mahabharata (1989, TV Mini-Series) as Yudhishthira
  • La bonne Âme de Setchouan (1990, TV Movie) as Wang
  • Napoléon et l'Europe (1991, TV Series)
  • La Condanna (1991, a.k.a. The Conviction) as Giovanni, Public attorney
  • Indochine (1992) as Hebrard
  • L'Échange (1992, Short)
  • Amok [fr]
  • Schindler's List (1993) as Julian Scherner
  • Podróż na wschód (1994, TV Movie, a.k.a. A Journey East) as Jakub
  • Le Fils du cordonnier (1994, TV Mini-Series) as Célestin
  • Ohnivé jaro (1994)
  • Total Eclipse (1995) as Mr. Maute De Fleurville
  • Lucie Aubrac (1997) as Lt. Schlondorf
  • Généalogies d'un crime (1997, a.k.a. Genealogies of a Crime) as Christian
  • Billboard (1998) as Agency Manager
  • Ogniem i mieczem (1999, a.k.a. With Fire and Sword) as Jeremi Wiśniowiecki
  • Pan Tadeusz (1999, a.k.a. Tadeusz or the Last Foray in Lithuania) as Judge Soplica
  • Prymas - trzy lata z tysiąca (2000, a.k.a. The Primate) as Stefan Wyszyński
  • Zemsta (2002, a.k.a. The Revenge) as Rejent Milczek
  • Par amour (2003, TV Movie) as François
  • À ton image (2004) as Professor Cardoze
  • Kto nigdy nie żył... (2006) as Ordynator
  • Ekipa (2007, TV Series) as President Juliusz Szczęsny
  • Laa rounde de nuit (2007, a.k.a. Nightwatching) as Piers Hasselburg
  • La Possibilité d'une île (2008) as Slotan
  • Różyczka (2010, a.k.a. Little Rose) as Adam Warczewski
  • Uwikłanie (2011) as Witold
  • You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet! (2012) as Marcellin
  • Sep (2013) as Reatorski
  • Zblizenia (2014) as Andrzej Milewski
  • Anatomia zla (2015) as Roman Szerepeta
  • The Last Family (2016) as Zdzisław Beksiński
  • The Mire (2018, TV series) as Witold Wanycz
  • Solid Gold (2018) as Tadeusz Kawecki


The Board of Director of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club in Los Angeles, a 50-year old Polish cultural organization in California, is delighted to present its annual Helena Modjeska Prize for the year 2020 to distinguished Polish actor Andrzej Seweryn. This presentation took place on January 2, 2021 in a virtual format, using Zoom. It included an extensive interview with the distinguished guest, conducted by a noted Club member, well-known Polish actress Katarzyna Smiechowicz. Club President, Dr. Maja Trochimczyk and Board Member Anna Sadowska presented the Prize from Dr. Trochimczyk’s California garden.   

Among the most successful Polish actors, Seweryn starred in over 50 films in Poland, France and Germany. The current General Director of Teatr Polski in Warsaw, he is among an elite group of only three foreigners accepted to Comédie-Française. His critically acclaimed film and theater roles gained him multiple honors and awards, such as   He visited the Modjeska Club several times, most recently in 2017, when Andy Dowen was the president, and Ewa Barsam hosted the event in her elegant residence.  In 2003, he received the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit from the Polish government in a ceremony held in Santa Monica. Club President at that time, Ms. Jolanta Zych, also received this distinction from the hands of the Consul General of the Republic of Poland. At that time Mr. Seweryn was visiting California and lived permanently in France. 

The interview was conducted by Katarzyna Smiechowicz

During the event, Mr. Seweryn discussed his career highlights and challenges, artistic interests, and insights about the professional training and skills of actors.  He commented,”I am honored to be able to talk to you, and that I have the honor of receiving this extremely important award today. I know something about the fate of an actor, an actress who works not in his or her own language, not in his or her country. Naturally, it is difficult to compare my life to that of Modrzejewska, I would never dare to do something like that, but I know what it means to work in a different environment. I do not know how many times Ms Helena Modrzejewska had to repeat the text before entering the stage, but I assure you that it could have been many times; for me – a few thousand.”  Remarkably, Andrzej Seweryn achieved a feat practically impossible for a foreign-born actor in France: he was admitted to the Comédie-Française) and received  Légion d'honneur for his contribution to French culture in 2005.  His hard work led to an astounding success!

The Modjeska Prize presentation included also a diploma and a huge bouquet of roses, with flags of Poland and the U.S. given on camera to the eminent actor by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, Club President, and Anna Sadowska, a Board member.  Maja Trochimczyk stated: “It is a great honor for us, here in California, to have such an incredible friend in Poland, and to have been visited so many times here in Los Angeles to witness his talent in person.  We also know and admire his films and TV roles. Few of our members have ever had a chance of attending his performances in Poland. We are in awe of the breath of Mr. Seweryn’s knowledge: not only the expertise in acting techniques, but also the whole scope of world literature, from Shakespeare, to Moliere, to Mickiewicz, and Witkacy… Mr. Seweryn’s has achieved so much in one lifetime, we’d have to split into several lives to match it.”   


In 2010, in order to commemorate its patron, Helena Modrzejewska (Modjeska) and honor the achievements of outstanding artists of Polish stage, the Club established an annual award for lasting contributions to Polish culture in the field of acting: "The Modjeska Prize.” The Modjeska Prize is designed as a “life-time achievement” award and includes a crystal statuette and a diploma. In October 2010, the distinguished Polish actor Jan Nowicki received the first prize. In 2011, the prize was awarded ex aequo to actors Anna Dymna and Marian Dziędziel. In 2012, Barbara Krafftówna was the laureate. In 2018, the Club honored with the Helena Mojeska Prize its long-time Honorary Member, eminent actress Jadwiga Barańska. In 2019, the award was given to two actresses from the Polish Theater in Toronto - Agata Pilitowska and Maria Nowotarska. In 2020, Andrzej Seweryn was the recipient of this important award. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Christmas Carols with Prof. Stanislaw Gorka, December 20, 2020 at 12:20 on ZOOM

Link to Video Recording of the event on YouTube:

Welcome, in a mood for Christmas! We invite you to Christmas Caroling with Prof. Stanislaw Gorka from Krakow, who will sing for us Christmas carols and read Christmas poems. During our event at the McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga, that seems so long ago,  as if in the last century, when we were able to meet in person, Prof. Gorka created a wonderful, warm, festive atmosphere, truly Polish and homey ... We hope that he will manage this miracle while using the cold computer screen...

The Zoom meeting invitation is sent via email, with links. Only people with their own names or previously reported unusual names in Zoom will be able to visit our meeting - due to the danger of nasty hackers we deny admission to "Iphone users" "Administrators" and especially "John Williams" who regaled us with Russian music and profanities last time around....

WHAT: CAROLING IN ZOOM (not to be confused with ZOMO)

WHO: Prof. Stanislaw Gorka

WHEN: Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 12:20 pm


1. Song from TV series "Plebania" "Stoisz sam pośrodku świata" - You Stand Alone in the Middle of the World 

2. Wśród nocnej ciszy  - In the Night's Silence

3. Na całej połaci śnieg - Snow on the Whole Field

4. Przybieżeli do Betlejem pasterze - Shepherds Ran to Bethehem

5. Powrót (Wiersz K.I. Gałczyński) - Return (Poem by Galczynski)

6. Lulajże Jezuniu - Hush, Baby Jesus

7. Chwalmy imię Pana (Joanna Kulma/Katarzyna Gaertner) - Let's Praise Lord's Name

8. Jezus malusieńki - Tiny Jesus

9. Cicha noc - Silent Night

10. Kolęda (wiersz Jana Lechonia) - A Carol (Poem by Lechon)

11. Pójdźmy wszyscy do stajenki  - Lets All go to the Stable

12. Gdy śliczna Panna - When the Lovely Virgin

13. Wesołą nowinę - A Joyous News 

14. Ciemno tej nocy Betlejemskiej było - It Was Dark, This Betlehem Night

15. O maluśki, maluśki - Oh, So Tiny, So Tiny

16. Bóg się rodzi moc truchleje  - God is Born, Powers Tremble

17. Serca Wam się zgoją (Wojcich Młynarski/Jerzy Derfel) - Your Hearts Heal

Prof. Stanisław Górka - Theater, Film and TV Actor, Teacher

A graduate of the State Higher Theater School  of Al. Zelwerowicz in Warsaw. Since graduating in 1977, he performed in the team of the Współczesny Theater in Warsaw (until 2006), he also collaborated with the Dramatic and New Theaters in Warsaw, the Baltic Dramatic Theater in Koszalin and the Polish Theater in Bydgoszcz. 

A long-term academic teacher at PWST Al. Zelwerowicza in Warsaw, where he taught students voice emission using his own method, and currently teaches voice emission at the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw.

Viewers remember Stanisław Górka mainly from the series "Plebania", in which he played the role of Zbyszek - the Church, but also from films by Kazimierz Kutz: "Turned", "Pułkownik Kwiatkowski" and Andrzej Wajda: "Conductor" and "Biesy".

He is the leader of the "Pod Górkę" Theater Society - a theater specializing in chamber vocal and acting forms founded in 1992. With almost thirty premiere performances, the actors of the "Pod Górkę" Theater traveled all over the world, playing several thousand performances.

Prof. Stanisław Górka in 2011 was awarded the Gold Cross of Merit, in 2013 - the Gloria Artis Medal; in 2015, he received the act of awarding the title of professor of theater arts from the President of the Republic of Poland.

  Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year 2021! 


Photoshop by Syl Ves