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


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