Thursday, March 14, 2024

Polska i Brazylia - Grazyna Auguscik and Paulinho Garcia at the Illusion Magic Theater, Santa Monica, 7 April 2024 at 7pm

Modjeska Club has the pleasure of inviting its members and guests to a unique jazz concert "Polska i Brazylia" by famous Polish jazz vocalist Grazyna Auguscik with guitarist Paulinho Garcia, originally from Brazil, now living in California.  The concert will take place on Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 7 pm at the Illusion Magic Theater (formerly known as Magicopolis: 1418 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401).  

Free to Club members and $30 per person for guests. Dear guests: please make your checks payable to "Helena Modjeska Art & Culture Club" and send to Modjeska Club, PO Box 4288, Sunland CA 91041-4288.  Alternatively you can pay via PayPal to "" 

Dear members: please RSVP to ""  by April 2, 2024 to make sure you have a reserved seat.  Do not bring any beverages or desserts; instead, purchase items from the venue's bar. Parking is on the same street, two buildings down.  

Photo by Kasia Jarosz

Grazyna Auguscik

Singer, composer, arranger, and producer Grazyna Auguscik has won the praise and admiration of music critics, jazz enthusiasts and even non-jazz audiences with a singular voice that speaks a universal language. She is one of the most intriguing contemporary vocalists on today’s world jazz scene. Her elusive style challenges traditional definitions of jazz and shows a vocalist and musician without boundaries. Her unorthodox approach to rewriting classic works pays tribute to their authors and at the same time is an adventure into uncharted territory. Her original music gives a fresh taste of uncanny flavor.

She began her professional music career in Europe, and then completed her studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1992. Since then she has become a prolific collaborator shearing the stage with such jazz notables as Michael and Randy Brecker, Jim Hall, John Medeski, Paul Wertico, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Robert Irving III, Michal Urbaniak, Urszula Dudziak, Patricia Barber, John McLean, Matt Ulery, Paulinho Garcia, Jarek Bester. Andrzej Jagodzinski and many others. Grazyna has recorded, produced and distributed 21 albums, 13 of which were under her own record label, GMA Records, and has appeared as a guest on as many projects.

Her album Pastels was chosen one of the best of 1998 by National Public Radio listeners. Her 2002 release River placed her as one of the hottest young jazz talents in the country. In 2003 Grazyna received Twirlie Nomination for Top 15 FEMALE VOCALISTS and was nominated for Best Female Vocalist of 2002 by 22nd Annual Chicago Music Awards. She was named Best Jazz Vocalist of 2002, 2003, 2004,  2006 and 2016 by a prestigious European Jazz Forum Magazine

In 2002 Fujitsu Concord Jazz Festival awarded her with the TOP VOCALIST title, and the album Homage - Three for Brazil recorded for Pony Canyon Records in Japan was on a TOP 20 JAZZ ALBUMS list in Asia.


 “Auguscik may be on the brink of innovation,” says a Chicago Tribune critics review.

Find out why the LA Times says "Grazyna Auguscik is doing important work in advancing the potential for imaginative jazz singing. She is a singer to be watched.”

The Grazyna Auguscik Orkestar Universale Project, presented at Millennium Park in Chicago in 2006, received a standing ovation, reaffirming that music can communicate across boundaries of language. Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune said about her performance: 

“Auguscik and her ensemble sound like nothing else you ever heard; they are out of this world. This must-see performer is one of the best voices to be heard today.”  

The album Andanca received great review at DownBeat Magazine radio stations around the country and abroad. Her  concert Chopin World Sound at Millennium Park in Chicago on July 25, 2010 with 14 musicians on stage, gathered over 10,000 people in the audience and was chosen one of the 10 most important performances during last three decades in Chicago area, next to Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Wynton Marsalis Septet, Frank Sinatra, Marcus Roberts, Tropicana Orchestra, Danilo Perez, Oscar Brown Jr., and Igor Butman.

 In 2011 she received the Outstanding Pole Aboard Award from the Teraz Polska foundation, and the Annual Award of the Polish Ministry of Culture.

In 2017 she received Silver Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis awarded by Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland

In 2018 she received award from National Polish TV “Polonia Artist without Borders.”

In 2016 she established “Sound and Notes” non profit foundation and brought to Chicago  “Chopin IN the City” - an 8-day arts festival in Chicago.

 “She's a music machine.” – C. Loudon, Jazz Times

 “... stunning use of her lithe, mobile voice ... she is doing important work in advancing the potential for imaginative jazz singing... result is a singer to be watched.” – Don Heckman, LA Times

“Grazyna Auguscik is emerging as an individual voice in a world of sound-alike singers ... Auguscik approaches the art of jazz singing with fervor and intensity. She treats even the most well-worn fare with a spirit of adventure.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“Her name is Grazyna Auguscik and she is one of the hottest jazz talents in the country.” – American Jazz Scene

“Jazz Innovator Singer Grazyna Auguscik a fresh voice on a jazz scene ... powerful statements.” – Mark Guarino, Daily Herald

"One of Chicago's hidden treasures, singer Grazyna Auguscik is a jazz-rooted, genre-blurring provocateur.” – Michael Wojcik, Illinois Entertainment

“... she conjures otherworldly images of Yma Sumac sweating to an Esquivel beat.” – C. Loudon, Jazz Times


Solo albums:

  • 2023 2 The Light, GMA Records
  • 2019 Bossa e Outras Nova, GMA Records
  • 2019 Bossa e Outras Nova, Muzak Records
  • 2016 Never mind the rain, GMARecords
  • 2016 Koledy, MTJ Records
  • 2016 Szeptem MTJ Records
  • 2015 The Beatles Nova, Muzak Records
  • 2014 Grazyna Auguscik Orchestar Inspired by Lutoslawski, Four tune Records
  • 2012 Man behind the sun-Songs of Nick Drake GMA Records/EMI
  • 2011 Personal Collection, MTJ Records
  • 2011 The Beatles Nova, MTJ Records
  • 2008 Andanca, GMA Records
  • 2007 Sounds Live Sounds, GMA Records
  • 2005 Lulajze - The Lullaby for Jesus, GMA Records
  • 2005 The Light, GMA Records
  • 2003 Past Forward, GMA Records / Jazz Institute of Chicago Sound Archive and Recordings
  • 2002 Homage -Three for Brazil, Pony Canyon Records (Japan)
  • 2001 River, GMA Records
  • 2001 Don't Let Me Go, GMA Records (Remastered Release + BT featuring Michal Urbaniak)
  • 2000 Fragile, GMA Records
  • 2000 To i Hola, Selles Records
  • 1998 Pastels, GMA Records
  • 1997 Koledy, Voice Magic Records
  • 1996 Don’t Let Me Go, GMA Records
  • 1989 Sunrise Sunset, Polskie Nagrania

 Some records featuring as a guest (selected projects):

  • 2014 In the Ivory-Matt Ulery- Greenleaf Music
  • 2012 By  a Little Light -Matt Ulery - Greenleaf Music
  • 2011 Muzyka Polska - Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio - SRMT Records
  • 2010 My very life - Paulinho Garcia - Jazzmine Record
  • 2010 Kobiety i Jazz- Trio Inspiracje - GRAMI Records
  • 2010 Komeda Inspiration - Jan Bokszczanin, ARMS Records
  • 2009 Krzysztof Komeda - Agora
  • 2008 Music Box Ballerina - Matt Ulery’s Loom -Woolgathering Records
  • 2007 Better Angels - John McLean - Origin
  • 2005 John McLean - Welcome Everything Guitar Madness - JohnMcLeanMusic
  • 2005 Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass - Cracow Klezmer Band - Tzadik
  • 2003 -Bereshit Cracow Klezmer Band - Tzadik
  • 2003 Batizado Scottinho - Scott Anderson
  • 2003 Widow's First Dawn Rope - Family Vineyard
  • 2000 Gephart Long Quartet - Corners Gephart, Long Records
  • 2000 The City of Strangers,-Sepia Records
  • 2000 The Surrender- Sepia Records
  • 1999 Primordial Passage – vinyl, Peacefrog Records, London
  • 1999 Primordial Passage – CD, Peacefrog Records, London
  • 1999 The Sacred Spaces Epî-Underground Evolution Records
  • 1998 Fernando Huergo Living these Times, Browstone Records
  • 1998 Women Who Swing Chicago- Big Chicago Records

Paulinho Garcia

Mr. Garcia in His Own Words

 I was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

My first contact with music was very early in life, singing in a Sundays children program at Radio Inconfidencia in my hometown.

Even though vocals have been my trade from the very beginning I’ve also played some instruments, starting first on percussion then drums, and lastly the bass, which then became my main performance instrument. 

The nylon string guitar (violão) has always been my companion, for learning new songs, making arrangements or just entertaining myself. It was only after I moved to the U.S. that it became my main instrument having been discovered as a vocalist who could also simultaneously play.

Throughout my career I’ve played various styles of music, from boleros and tangos to rock and roll, to popular Brazilian genres. In my late teens I was introduced through recordings to vocal jazz i.e. Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Chet Baker…. , which increased my interest in moving to the U.S. and became the trademark of my performances.

I moved to Chicago in 1979 to join the group Breno Sauer’s Brazilian Sounds that soon after became Made in Brazil. I was part of the band until 1991 when I then started my own band, Jazzmineiro, whose eponymous 1996 CD received excellent reviews in the Chicago Tribune,Jazziz magazine, the Brazilian Music Review, and The Brazilians.


  • Best Brazilian International Vocalist – 2012 …by The Brazilian Press Award
  • Chicagoan of the year in jazz – 2010 …by The Chicago Tribune
  • Brazilian person of the year – 2010 …by The Brazil Club
  • Chicago’s best jazz entertainer – 2001 …by The Chicago Music Awards – awarded to Two For Brazil

"Paulinho ought to be considered a Chicago treasure" - Howard Reich, Jazz critic - Chicago Tribune & L.A. Times 

I am a world-touring musician, and regularly perform in renowned jazz festivals, theaters and clubs, throughout Asia, Europe and America.

Festivals abroad

  • The North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland)
  • Elite and Fujitsu Jazz Festivals (various halls, clubs in various Japanese cities)
  • Jakarta Jazz Festival (Indonesia)
  • Singapore Jazz Festival
  • Jazz w museum and Jazz nad Odrq (Poland)
  • Moscow Vocal Jazz Festival (Russia).

Festivals at home

  • Chicago Jazz Festival
  • Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz-
  • Newport Beach Jazz Party
  • Sarasota Jazz Festival
  • Miami Jazz Festival.

Music Halls

  • The Esplanade Hall (Singapore)
  • Catherine Palace Ballroom (Pushkin Russia)
  • Filharmonia Narodowy (Poland)
  • Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (Poland),
  • Millennium Park (Chicago)
  • Harris Theater (Chicago)
  • Symphony Center (Chicago)
  • Auditorium Theater (Chicago)
  • Detroit symphony Orchestra
  • Ford House (Detroit).


  • Cotton Club (Japan)
  • Blue Note (Poland)
  • The Jazz Showcase (Chicago)
  • Green Mill (Chicago)


  • The Jazz Cruise
  • Jazz Party At Sea.

My event production 50 years of Bossa Nova at the Chicago Millennium Park on July 24th 2008 was seen by a record audience of 12000 people. Alongside my 12 pieces band I brought in, from Brazil, João Donato trio for an unforgettable evening of music.

In December of the same year I shared the stage with Jeremy Monteiro and Toots Tielemans for a sold out audience of 1800 people at the famous Esplanade Hall in Singapore.

In 2016 I arranged, performed on and co-produced Mietek Szcześniak’s Nierówni CD which reach Gold Record in Poland.

I’m also a clinician and has given workshops and concerts at many prestigious universities such as:

  • Northwestern University
  • University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
  • Cornell University
  • University of Silesia in Katowice Poland
  • Hope College.

In 2009-2010 I taught in Russia at the Moscow College of Improvised Music and gave live workshops on Russian TV.

I taught Brazilian guitar and vocals at Chicago’s Old Town School of folk music for 13 years and presently I coach a Brazilian combo at Roosevelt University.

"Garcia provides constant evidence of his mastery of the art of the Brazilian song. Endlessly inventive with styles, Garcia is an innovative composer with a firmly rooted tradition." - Dave Miele, Jazz critic - Jazz Improve Magazine, New York

"He becomes the epitome of the solitary troubadour - a romantic figure hardly visible anymore even in Brazil, where, like everywhere else, popular music has grown busier, louder, and rougher. Garcia's voice, an airy baritone, has less shadow and a bit more energy than Joao Gilberto's and his languid chords and cleanly plucked lines illuminate the complicated rhythms with the cool clarity of moonlight."  - Neil Tesser, Jazz journalist and author of The Playboy Guide To Jazz.

I divide my music career into two periods: Brazil (before 1979) and USA (1979-present.)


In my hometown Belo Horizonte, I led the group Os Agitadores and played with the Celio Balona band. Both groups were frequently part of Radio and TV programs. All while simultaneously working as a successful Jingle composer for The Studio HP.

I also worked for a short period at the club Sambão e Sinhá in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro (owned by singer Ivon Cury ).


Chicago – 1979 – I joined the band Breno’s Brazilian Sounds which later became Made in Brasil. Then in 1991 I formed my own band Jazzmineiro. I produced large events at Grand Park, University Of Chicago and Old Town Of Folk Music.

In Chicago I met my associated acts: Grazyna Auguscik, Julie Koidin, and Greg Fishman.

Los Angeles – 2015 – Currently I sing, play guitar, compose, arrange, teach and produce recordings.

It's been a great musical journey, learning, creating, and sharing my gift.

- Paulinho Garcia


Monday, February 26, 2024

Golden Awards for Lifetime Achievement as Film Directors for Jerzy Antczak and Jacek Bromski, 9 March 2024

The Modjeska Club is proud to present its new Golden Awards to two eminent Polish film directors, Jerzy Antczak and Jacek Bromski. The event for Modjeska Club members and VIP guests will take place on 9 March 2024 in Beverly Hills.  The conversation with the awardees will be conducted by Katarzyna Smiechowicz, actress and Vice President of the Modjeska Club. 

The recipient are distinguished film directors Jacek Bromski, who served as president of Polish Film Association for over 26 years, and will travel for this occasion from Poland, and Jerzy Antczak, the creator of the most popular Polish film “Nights and Days,” who has settled in Los Angeles and taught at UCLA for many years. He is a Honorary Member of our club along with his wife, legendary actress Jadwiga Baranska, who is also an awardee of the Modjeska Prize (2018). 

Similarly to the Modjeska Prizes established in 2010, the Golden Awards honor lifetime achievements, but of film directors not actors, and thus fill a gap in our range of recognitions associated with our patron, actress Helena Modjeska. She emigrated to California  in 1876 to become one of the most important Shakespearean actresses of her time. She was an actress, director, producer and managed her own theatrical troupe that performed in 225 towns and cities across the continent. With her example of artistic and immigrant success, the Modjeska Club wishes to honor film and theater directors, not just actors. 

The award consists of a statuette, diploma and a commemorative gold bar, unreal, as the art of cinema is unreal and brings us into the world of creativity and imagination.... 

Film and theater director, actor, screen writer, and producer


            The year is 1958. December. I start working at Telewizja Łódzka (Łódz TV) and I am producing the drama by Vercors entitled "The Silence of the Sea." It is broadcast nation-wide.  The performance becomes an event. In Warsaw it was recognized as the show of the year. The reviews were excellent, emphasizing the excellent acting of the actors and the director's work with the television cameras: “A director with great individuality has appeared.”

  In February 1959, I produced Chekhov's one-act play entitled "By the way" for the Television Theater broadcast (Teatr Telewizji). This production also became an event on a national scale  and I received an important ZAIKS award for directing. In April 1959, I directed Chekhov's masterpiece entitled "Swan Song.". The performance became a cult event and the main actor Stanisław Łapiński received the ZAIKS award for this role. Thus, these three performances marked my presence on the national television, and the press started to include my name among outstanding directors.

       In 1960, on my initiative, the Polish government established the Popular Theater in the city of Łódź and appointed me its director. My individuality and courage were emphasized in the discussions. In 1961, the production of Zeromski's "The Faithful River" disturbed the so-called television specificity, which, according to Adam Hanuszkiewicz, consisted in a stationary camera and large close-ups. Meanwhile, in "The Faithful River", I went outdoors for the first time, using film crews, which in the future led me to film. There is not enough space to list almost all the productions of the Popular Theater which, by going outside the studio, moved away from Adam's static, "intellectual and poetic" vision locked in the studio.

       The production of "Himmelkomando" shocked the audience and the press. The action takes place in the crematorium of Auschwitz, where a group of prisoners burn bodies for three months and then become victims of this crematorium. Here, for the first time in the history of television, I used the so-called "long take", 60 minutes, when the camera moved around the interior in one shot, mercilessly recording the characters' state of mind. Following "Himmelkomando", the next success was the show entitled "Paths of Glory." The action takes place during World War I, when three soldiers are sentenced to death for alleged cowardice. Here I also used film clips, giving the show an epic breath. Both of these performances have already definitively defined me as a director who has his own unique style and gift for working with actors.

       At that time, television shows were recorded on telecording tape. Unfortunately, by Warsaw's decision, only one of my dozen or so performances was recorded. It is Nekrasov's "Autumn Boredom" with Stanisław Łapiński as Bezukhov. Embittered by Warsaw's decisions in 1962, I recorded "Swan Song" with Stanisław Łapiński on film and thus preserved the outstanding work of the Popular Theater. The photos were taken by Witold Sobociński, who was about to embark on a great career as a cinematographer.

        In 1963, I left Łódź 1963 to take up the position of Chief Director of Polish Television, replacing Adam Hanuszkiewicz.

       Warsaw. In November, he directs Słowacki's "Kordian" with Gogolewski in the title role. The audience's reaction was enthusiastic, and the press outdid each other in their assessments, with the words "brilliant spectacle" not uncommon. In December 1963, he produced "The Glass Menagerie" by Williams, with Barbara Ludwiżanka, Inek Gogolewski, Jadwiga Barańska and Władysław Kowalski. The performance was considered outstanding and after a few years was included in the "golden hundred".

      These two shows marked the beginning of my activity at Telewzija Warszawa as a director and reformer of Tear TV. It was thanks to my courage that new directorial faces appeared in TV theater. As the press unanimously emphasized (...} Antczak brought a new perspective to the Theater, which, as it turns out, in the period from 1963 to 1972 created the "Golden period" of TV Theater. 

     In 1965, I made a TV film titled "The Gunshot", after Pushkin. With Gogolevsky in both roles.. This film became a sensation. Screened in cinemas. Sold to many countries around the world, including the BBC. In Russia, "The Gunshot" was considered the best adaptation of Pushkin's masterpiece. In Poland, I received the Golden Screen for directing, just like before "Kordian" received the same distinction. In 1966, the television film "The Master" was made, with a brilliant role by Janusz Warnecki. In Palermo, at the World Television Film Festival, "The Master" received the PRIX ITALIA (television Oscar)

       In 1967, at the request of President Sokorski, he decided to record the Epilogue on film. At the 1970 World Television Film Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, "The Nuremberg Epilogue" received the Intervision Award, the Critic's Award and the Audience Award. After returning to the country, it becomes a cult event. Here are the awards: "First Degree State Award"; "Golden Screen"; “”Television Committee Award; "Audience Award"; "Critics Award. 40 years later

Earlier, in 2005, at the World Film Festival in Houston USA, Epilogue won "The Platinum Remi Award - "Platinum" for the best film in the "docudrama" genre, "Gunshot", "The Master" and "The Nuremberg Epilogue", television films opened the way for me for his film debut. In 1968, he made a feature film titled "Countess Cosel." This film reaches a record number of viewers: 10 million!!

       I'm going back to TV. Between 1968 and 1971 he directed seven productions, four of which were considered outstanding. "The Lark" by Anhouil, where Barańska and Gogolewski created, according to the press, wonderful roles; "Farewell to Maria", with the performances of Ida Kaminska and Tadeusz Łomnicki; finally, "Mourning befits Elektra" by O'neil with a wonderful cast: Zofia Mrozowska, Ignacy Gogolewski, Jan Kreczmar, Stansław Zaczyk, Jadwiga Barańska.

       The year 1972 comes. I leave television to make "Nights and Days." Recent performances include "The Proposal" and "Jubilee." Tadeusz Fijewski, Mieczysław Pawlikowski, and Jadwiga Barańska. They created great acting roles, elevating the productions to iconic places. In the same year, 1971, he directed Chekhov's one-act play "On the Harm of Tobacco Smoking" with Tadeusz Fijewski. It was the theater's first show performed in color.

       Year 1978. I leave, or rather I am removed from television, from 1979 to 1993 I live in the USA. In 1985, I won the competition for a professorship at one of the most prestigious universities in the USA, receiving tenure, i.e. lifelong status. I'm retiring in 2010. During my 25 years of work at UCLA, I am the only lecturer to receive a Student Oscar!!!

         1994. I return to Poland to direct "Dame Kameliowa" based on the script by Jadwiga Barańska.j. The years 1995 and 1996 saw two TV Theaters. "Paths of Glory" by Cobb and "Caesar and Pompey" by Monterland, both adapted by Baranska. The film, as well as both performances and the film, were received with great acclaim. Highlighting the great acting and work of "Antczak. .

       And finally, "Chopin's Desire for Love", based on the script by Barańska and Antczak. This film was met with mixed feelings in Poland, ranging from extreme enthusiasm to reminding me that it was not "Nights and Days." . However, it is worth emphasizing that it was sold to 38 countries around the world. And in Poland it is constantly broadcast.


       1975 Film Festival in Gdańsk "Nights and Days" wins the Grand Prix ex equo with "The Promised Land" by Wajda: Barańska receives the Grand Prix for the role of Barbara and Bińczycki for the role of Bogumił. Moreover: The film wins the "Audience Award" and "Critics Award."

       1976, at the World Film Festival in West Berlin, Jadwiga Barańska receives the "Silver Bear" and Antczak receives the FIPRESCI World Critics Award.

      1977 "Nights and Days" receives Oscar nominations.

      2003 "Chopin. The Desire for Love", The World Fest-Houston International Film Festival, The Platinum Remi Award - "Platinum" for the best drama.

       At the 38th Polish Feature Film Festival IN GDYNIA

      2015: Baranska and Antczak receive "Diamond Lions" for the best film Nights and Days at the 40th anniversary of the Gdynia Film Festival

       2015: Golden Owl of Polonia for film work. (Polish Oscar)

       2017 Fryderyk Award granted by Kanal Polonia "for spreading Polish culture abroad"

       It should be noted that almost all these awards were awarded to me on an equal footing with Jadwiga Barańska. .

       Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta

       Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta

       Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta

       Gold Medal for Merit to Culture Gloria Artis


Film director, screenwriter, producer

Born in 1946 in Wroclaw, Poland, Jacek Bromski studied painting in the years 1965-1970 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Then, in 1972-1974 he was a student of Polish philology  (polonistyka) at the University of Warsaw, and from 1974 to 1978 - he studed directing at the State Higher School of Film, Television and Theater in Łódź. In the 1970s he worked as a famous music presenter, hosting, among others, pop music festivals in Sopot and Opole. In 1988, together with Juliusz Machulski and Jacek Moczydłowski, he established the "Zebra" Film Group (currently: Studio Filmowe "Zebra").

In 1980, together with Jerzy Gruza, he directed a musical film in a Polish-Belgian-British co-production "Alice", based on the motifs of the novel by Lewis Caroll. In 1984, he made a full-length television film "Funeral Ceremony", for which he received the debut award at the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdańsk in 1985.

Bromski's next two films - the sensational "Kill Me Cop" and the romantic comedy "The Art of Loving" achieved great attendance success and are still among the most watched Polish films of the 1980s. "The Art of Loving" was recognized by viewers as the best film of 1988, and the film "Kill Me Cop" received the Award of the Minister of Culture and Art. 

In the years 1991-1993, he directed a television series and feature films from the "Kuchnia Polska" series, which was a panorama of the fate of several Polish families from the Stalinist era until the early 1990s. The "Kuchnia Polska" series won the viewers' poll for the most popular film of 1993.

Bromski's next two films - "Children and Fish" and "U Pana Boga za Piecem" are comedies set in the new Polish reality, extremely popular with viewers. "U Pana Boga..." (At God's Behind the Stove"), a warm picture of the Polish province on the Polish-Belarusian border, received a record number of awards (7) at the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia.

As a producer, Jacek Bromski received the Golden Lion at the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia for the films "Love Stories" by Jerzy Stuhr in 1997, "The Debt" by Krzysztof Krauze in 1999 and "Dzień Świra" by Marek Koterski in 2002.

"It's me, the thief", a moral, bitter comedy about teenage car thieves, is the film that received the largest number of festival awards among Jacek Bromski's entire oeuvre. In 2001, he received the Grand Prix at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival, as well as a distinction from the Catholic jury and a screenplay award. A few months later, the film received an award at the Wine Country Film Festival in California for screenplay and direction. 

The political satire "Career of Nikosia Dyzma" was one of the biggest cinema hits of 2002. In 2005, the director shot the first Polish-Chinese co-production "Lovers of the Year of the Tiger".

In 2008, the Filmmakers' Association, headed by Bromski, established the Munk Studio, where the talents of young creators are identified and their first projects are implemented based on the professional help of experienced filmmakers.

A continuation of the film " U Pana Boga..." made in 2007, titled "At God's Garden" attracted over 312,000 viewers to cinemas and received the Special Jury Prize at the 32nd Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia. In April 2009, the film received the award for best foreign film and the Special Jury Prize at the 42nd Houston Film Festival. The closing of the Podlasie trilogy was the film "U Pana Boga za Miedzą", shot in 2009, awarded at the Golden Rooster festival in China.

In 2010, the director returned to the action film genre, adapting Zygmunt Miłoszewski's best-selling novel "Uwikłanie", released in 2011. In 2012, he started making the film "Ticket to the Moon", a story about young people, set in the realities of the Polish People's Republic, the background of which are the events of July 1969, when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Moon. In 2013, Jacek Bromski received an award for the script he wrote for this film. In 2015, "Anatomy of Evil" was released (an award in Gdynia for Krzysztof Stroiński for the best male role).

Bromski's next film was released in 2019. As with the previous film, in "Solid Gold" Bromski remained interested in current political scandals. The main roles were played by Janusz Gajos, Andrzej Seweryn, Marta Nieradkiewicz and many outstanding actors, and in 2020, Bromski adapted his film into a thriller series titled "Unscrupulous".

He is currently finishing work on the film "U Pana Boga w Królowym Moscie", which is a continuation of the popular series of films set in Podlasie. In addition to the feature film, a 12-episode series is also being produced. Once again, excellent actors appeared in this project. This was the last role for Emilian Kamiński and unfortunately he did not see the premiere of the film.

Bromski has an incredible ability to work well with all artists, so regardless of the project's budget, there is never a problem with an exceptional cast. Furthermore, Bromski's productions are extremely popular with the audience, for 10 years the "U Pana Boga..." series has broken all records, because it has been shown over 2,000 times, and now it has already reached 2,500, which means that 200 times a year for 50 weeks, four times a week on some channel on Polish television, either a film or an episode was broadcast.

In May 2022, 75-year-old Jacek Bromski was elected for the seventh time as the President of the Polish Filmmakers Association - he received 90% of all votes.

Jacek Bromski has served as the president of the Polish Filmmakers Association since 1996. Since 2002 he was vice-president of the International Association of Film Authors, and since 2007 he also served as president of the World Cinema Alliance (Alliance Mondiale du Cinema). In the years 2007-2014, he was the vice-president of the National Chamber of Audiovisual Producers (KIPA). In the years 2005-2008 and since 2014, Bromski was the chairman of the Council of the Polish Film Institute. He is a member of the European Film Academy (EFA) and, since 2015, a member of the National Development Council of the President of the Republic of Poland.

In 2005, he was awarded the Silver Medal for Merit to Culture - Gloria Artis. In 2011, he received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Poland. In 2015, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture - Gloria Artis. In 2016, during the 35th Koszalin Film Debut Festival "Youth and Film", he received the title of "Ambassador of Koszalin" on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the city.

In 2023, Jacek Bromski unveiled his star on the Łódź Walk of Fame.


​Short films directed and written by Bromski:

1976 — Kolarz (The Cyclist), fiction short film

1977 — Aniele Boży, stróżu mój (Angel of God, my guardian dear), fiction short film

Fiction films directed by Bromski:

1980 — Alice

1984 — Funeral Ceremony (also written by Bromski)

1987 — Kill Me, Cop (also written by Bromski)

1989 — Art of Loving (also written by Bromski)

1991 — Polish cuisine (also written by Bromski)

1991/93 — Polish cuisine — TV series

1992— 1968. Happy New Year (also written and produced by Bromski)

1996 — Children and Fish (also written and produced by Bromski)

1998 — Safe Heaven AKA In Heaven as it is on Earth

2000 — It’s Me, The Thief

2002 — Career of Nikos Dyzma

2005 — The Lovers of the Year of the Tiger (also written and produced by Bromski)

2005 — And You Know What? (in: Solidarity, Solidarity; also written by Bromski)

2007 — God’s Little Garden

2007 — God’s Little Garden (TV series)

2009 — God's Little Village (also written by Bromski)

2011 — Entanglement (also written by Bromski, based on a novel by Zygmunt Miłoszewski)

2013 — One Way Ticket to the Moon (also written by Bromski)

2015 — Anatomy of Evil (also written by Bromski)

Jacek Bromski is also the producer/coproducer of many fiction films, including Love Stories by Jerzy Stuhr (1997), Kiler by Juliusz Machulski (1997), The Debt by Krzysztof Krauze (1999), Day of the Wacko by Marek Koterski (2002), and the documentary film Chodźcie, chodźcie czyli film o koszalińskich spotkaniach filmowych "Młodzi i film" Koszalin 2003 (Come, come: a film about film meetings ‘Youth and film’ in Koszalin 2003)by Adrian Panek and Marcin Pieczonka (2003). 

Jacek Bromski and Krzysztof Kolberger are co-authors of a libretto and scenic adaptation of Grimm’s brothers Snow White (Komedia Theatre 1994, Szczecin Opera 1999). Jacek Bromski also wrote the lyrics for the songs in his film The Art of Loving and the film Deja vu by Juliusz Machulski.

Author: Ewa Nawój September 2007 updated 2015, translated by NS July 2016.

Free image from Dreamstime, by Richard Thomas


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Dr. Dorota Lekka Presents "Wielka Droga" Film about 2nd. Corps of Gen. Anders (1946), 4 Feb. 2024 at 4:30pm, Bolton Hall Museum

Still-shot from the film Wielka Droga (The Great Way), 1946, Polish National Film Archives.

The Modjeska Art & Culture Club is honored to present in California a unique film made in 1946, Wielka Droga (The Great Way), with an introduction by Dr. Dorota Lekka from the National Film Archive in Poland. The film tells the story of the soldiers of the Second Corps of the Polish Army under the command of General Wladyslaw Anders, the so-called "Anders' Army." The film contains unique archival materials. The screening will take place on February 4, 2024 at 4:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m. (film screening at 5:15 p.m.) in the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga (10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, CA 91042). Admission is free, the number of places is limited. RSVP: After the screening, there will be a discussion and a small reception. The meeting was prepared in cooperation with Jerzy Barankiewicz, the president of the Polish Art Salon in San Diego, where the screening will take place on February 10, 2024.


Dorota Lekka, PhD, Head of the International Cooperation Department at Poland's National Film Archive - Audiovisual Institute. Her responsibilities include the promotion of Poland's film heritage around the world, as well as coordinating the Archive's joint projects with international and external institutional partners.

Poster for Italian screenings of the film, in 1947, with changed text due to pressure from Soviet Union, from  IMDb.



The film depicts the fate of an engaged couple separated by various circumstances of the Second World War: from the siege of Lviv in 1939 to the formation of Anders’ Army inside the USSR, through its wanderings across Iran, Iraq, Palestine, and Egypt, to the Italian campaign. The most important and valuable element of the film is its authentic documentary footage, including the Battle of Monte Cassino, in which the film's protagonist Adam is wounded.

"The Great Way" is more than 75 years old, but has only relatively recently become known to Polish audiences. The only version of this film available in Poland to date came into the possession of the National Film Archive in 1962 from the USA. However, due to its inconvenient themes around Soviet Russia, the film sat on a shelf for 25 years without ever being shown to the public. Because it contained numerous authentic recordings showing the life of the II Corps along the entire route of its march, including drills, participation in military operations, and preparations for the Battle of Monte Cassino, it was treated not as a film but documentary footage, with only excerpts of it being made available.

The first screenings of the film in its entirety, though open only to students, took place in 1988 and 1989 in Katowice and Wroclaw. In April 1991 the film was televised, which was the first time it was shown to the general public in Poland. It was only then, 45 years after its premiere, that "The Great Way" came into the consciousness of viewers across the country.

Prepared by the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, the now reconstructed film "The Great Way" stands as yet another highly important undertaking aimed at restoring the contributions of Polish filmmakers to Polish culture and collective memory. It is an act of giving due place in Polish culture to wartime and later emigrant artists, who, also being soldiers, shared the wandering fate and inconveniences of frontline conditions with the II Corps, at the same time, through their talent and the beauty they created, upholding the national spirit and faith in a return to a free homeland - which many never lived to see.

The journey of "The Great Way" to audiences in Poland was a long one. Thanks to the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, today we have the opportunity to interact with a unique relic of Polish cinematography. Following the film’s heroes, we symbolically walk the path of the "Great Way" alongside Anders’ Army.


Henryk Vars straightens Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetynski's tie. Photo from the archives of Valerie Dudarew-Ossetynska Hunken, reproduced in the book Celebrating Modjeska in California: History of Helena Modjeska Art & Culture Club (Maja Trochimczyk, Moonrise Press, 2022).


The presentation of the film is of special importance to the Club due to the unique information about the Second Corps of the Polish Army of General Władysław Anders, continuing the long-standing traditions of this thematic zone. Among the Club's activists in its first decade were veterans of Anders' Army, poet Kazimierz Cybulski and composer Henry Vars; the latter contributed to the preparation of the American premiere of Roman Maciejewski's Requiem in 1975. The Club presented Vars' music several times at private and public concerts. The first President of the Club, actor-director Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetyński, was a veteran of the Polish Army in France and a friend of Generals: Anders, Bór-Komorowski (godfather of Ossetyński's daughter, Valerie Hunken), and Stanisław Karpiński (commander of Polish pilots in the RAF). 

A meeting with Harvey Sarner, author of the book about Anders' Army, General Anders and the Soldiers of the 2nd Army Corps, took place in 1998 (President Edward Piłatowicz). The meeting with the veteran of the Second Corps, paratrooper Marcin Henzel, took place in June 2007 thanks to the efforts of President Dorota Olszewska. 

Meetings about the ordeal of Poles deported to Siberia took place in 2004 (the film A Forgotten Odyssey, with the introduction by survivor Kazimerz Cybulski, President Jolanta Zych) and 2016 (meeting with deportees to Siberia, organized by Dorota Olszewska; President Andrew Z. Dowen). A lecture about artists associated with the Second Corps, by prof. Jan Wiktor Sienkiewicz (Anders' Artists), took place in April 2017. 

The legendary actress and singer Hanka Ordonówna was also associated with the Second Corps. A play about her, written by prof. Kazimierz Braun, was presented by the Club in November 2013 (Polish Theater in Toronto at Magicopolis in Santa Monica). After leaving the camps in the Soviet Union with the Second Corps, which saved many civilians from the gulag, Ordonka took care of Polish orphans in India and Iran. Both events were held during the term of office of President Andrew Z. Dowen. 

General Anders' daughter, Senator Anna Maria Anders, appeared at the Gala Concert celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Regaining Independence in November 2018, co-organized by the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles and our Club at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles. Her speech was included in the Polish Album of the 50th Anniversary of the Modjeska Art & Culture Club (ed. Maja Trochimczyk, Elżbieta Kański and Elżbieta Trybuś), published in 2021.   

                                                                                              (summary by Maja Trochimczyk)


Secretary  Beata Czajkowska,  Prsident Maja Trochimczyk, Dr Dorota Lekka, Voicepreisdent Kasia Smiechowicz,Prezes Maja Trochimczyk

Designer Urszula Jaskolka Beaudoin i Artist Monque Chmielewska Lehman

Dr Dorota Lekka, Prof. Andrzej Targowski, Beata Czajkowska

Katarzyna Smiechowicz, Maja Trochimczyk, Dorota Lekka

Sekretarz Klubu Beata Czajkowska, Wiceprezes Kasia Smiechowicz, Dr Dorota Lekka, Prezes Maja Trochimczyk

Magdalena Alexiewicz, Guest

Thank you very much for organizing such a wonderful meeting with a film and reception. I feel truly honored to have been able to take part in it. It was wonderfully organized. The movie was fantastic and very touching. I cried silently after watching it. I saw and heard as if my parents were thrown out of Lviv in 1945 and were graciously allowed to come to Poznań and not be deported. Dad had already been assigned a job at the University of Poznań. Dad earned his doctorate in Lviv during the German occupation in underground education. His supervisor was the famous Professor Stefan Banach. I heard a lot about Lviv as a child. My parents spoke this melodious Polish language for many years... I am very, very grateful for organizing such a wonderful presentation. I felt like I was among great friends. Best regards and pay my respects.

Ryszard Szczebiot, Planned Guest

Thank you for your message and I hope that both shows took place in a calm atmosphere, i.e. without any clouds during the shows... ) We received several official warnings on Sunday not to leave the house in Camarillo due to severe winter storms. Thanks to your information, we watched several videos on YouTube about Anders' Army and the General himself, and it was also very nice and moving.

My father, Mikołaj Szczebiot, was born in August 1919 in Glebokie and died in April 1980 in Warsaw. There is his grave at Powązki Cemetery and I am even planning to apply to the Institute of National Remembrance to mark it, which may protect the grave from destruction in the future. When the Soviets entered Glebokie in 1939, they deported most, if not all, of the young men deep into Russia. My father was forcibly sent to a coal mine in Vorkuta, where the conditions were said to be terrible. The formation of Anders' Army was a kind of salvation - it was better to die fighting for Free Poland than somewhere in the depths of a Soviet mine! My father walked the entire trail with Anders' Army. He fought at Monte Cassino and Ancone. I know about the first one for sure, because Father was awarded for it, and we had many photos from Ancona with Father and his companions. Earlier, still in Palestine, Father completed the so-called "Cadet Officer School."

My father didn't like talking about the war - in fact, he was very taciturn - it must have been a great trauma for all these young people, so it doesn't surprise me today. After the war, my father found himself in England. There were a total of six cousins there - twice, three brothers each. My father returned to Poland in 1956 (I was born in September 1957) - it was my parents' love by correspondence, although I don't remember who introduced them. Father's brothers and cousins settled permanently in England, but none of them is now alive. Their children and grandchildren remain there, with whom I maintain occasional contact. After arriving in Poland, my father had serious problems finding a job. Although it was supposedly Poland after the "thaw", my father was an "insecure element in terms of class". Finally, in 1960, he got a job at Polish Ocean Lines, where he worked until 1975. During a cruise to Greece, he suffered a heart attack, which forced him to take early retirement.

Maja Trochimczyk, President

Thank you very much for the touching screening of the film The Great Way about Anders' Army. I am from the Kresy family, but from the border area of present-day Belarus and Lithuania, not  from Lviv, as depicted in the film. I was very moved by the film, especially the scenes in the Gulag, with the prisoners singing of the Christmas carol God is Born and the anthem God saves Poland, and the scenes of breaking the black bread as a Christmas wafer, and of course the enormous tragedy of those rescued, i.e. the soldiers of the Second Corps scattered all over the world after the war, because they could not return to their enslaved country. 

In our Club named after Helena Modrzejewska, we had activists associated with the Second Corps such as Henryk Wars who was friends with our founder, actor-director-journalist Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetynski, and helped promote Roman Maciejewski's Requiem. The poet Kazimierz Cybulski often appeared in the Club's programs as poet and actor. There have been many meetings in our history about Siberian deportees and exiles, survivors of Soviet repressions, soldiers of WWII, and Anders' Army. This event that Dr Lekka organized was the last one in the series, and was very interesting and moving. Thank you for the great lecture!

The family of my mother, Henryka Trochimczyk, née Wajszczuk (1929-2013), lived in the Borderlands near Baranowicze, where my mother was born. There were small estates of the Hordziejewski, Gliński, Sudnik-Hrynkiewicz, Wojno-Sidorowicz, Ignatowicz,  and Wasiuk families... all close to Mickiewicz's Nowogródek and Lake Świteź. Aunt Irena née Wasiuk de Belina (1929-2017) was deported to Siberia with her parents, who died of starvation or disease after deportation, and the war orphan Irena traveled the Great Way along with other orphaned Polish children, saved by the Anders Army, through Iran, then Switzerland to Chicago.

My Mom's Aunt Tonia Antonina, née Wasiuk Glinska, was deported to Siberia with her sons after the murder of her husband, a former Polish soldier, by the NKVD. They shot him in the street, and within 24 hours Aunt Tonia was on the train to Siberia. She was my Grandmother's sister; after the war, she went looking for traces of the house and estate of Skarbkow, she found a pear tree in a plowed field. Everything else was destroyed and transformed into a collective farm. No house left standing. .. My great-grandmother and her mother was Konstancja Sudnik-Hrynkiewicz from another estate in the same area. I wrote poems about them in the book The Rainy Bread.

My grandfather Stanisław Wajszczuk (1895-1973) was in the White Tsarist Army during the revolution in St. Petersburg, witnessed the tragedy, then was transferred to the German front and found himself in captivity in Dachau. After escaping from the camp (with the help of the commandant's daughter) he served in the Piłsudski's Legions, fighting for Poland's independence. After the war, he worked at Radio Baranowicze and for the Polish Railways. In 1939 after the Soviet invasion, he and his wife, Maria née Wasiuk with two small children, including my Mom, escaped to their family in the Lublin region occupied by the Germans on New Year's Eve 1939. During their escape across the Bug River, after crossing the frozen river, a German soldier took everything from them - 295 gold coins sewn into the lining of my mom's coat. money, jewelry hidden in her teddy bear... But they escaped alive. My mother had frostbite on her cheeks and hands, and she always got spots on her cheeks in the winter. . 

Another family from Baranowicze of Roman Zawadzki from California, was arrested by the NKVD on the same winter escape route and ended up in the gulag, in Siberia, and then traveled with Anders' Army along The Great Way to Italy and then England. After the war they ended up in California, where  they were active in community groups.

There are many such stories among us, so we are very happy about the film and the story about the tragedy and survival of soldiers, artists and their families related to the national hero General Władysław Anders.

 5  FEBRUARY 2024

Maja Trochimczyk, Dorota Lekka z portretami Paderewskiego

Dorota Lekka, Maja Trochimczyk at Polish Music Center

Dr Dorota Lekka, PMC Dyrektor Marek Zebrowski, Krysta Close

Manuscript of Henry Vars's Piano Concerto with the theme song from Wielka Droga film.