I’ve long, long been drawn to Polish cinema, from the time I was a film student in NYU.

At some point I realized that when I wanted to make actors or cinematographers understand something, I’m showing them Polish films from the 1950s. I often showed Wajda films to different producers in Hollywood and they couldn’t believe it because they had never seen anything like it before.

With Polish cinema, what I especially respond to is the mixture of passion, meticulous craftsmanship, dynamic deep focal-length compositions, moral dilemmas and religious conflicts, often done with a very deep sense of humor. Humor and tragedy are very close in Polish cinema.

Martin Scorsese

No other American film director knows so much about Polish cinema as Martin Scorsese. And no other has done more for its promulgation in the United States, said Christopher Kamyszew, Chairman of the PFFA Award Committee. Martin Scorsese is a recipient of 2018 Polish Film Festival in America “Golden Ciupaga” Award for his outstanding contribution to a promotion of Polish cinema in the United States.

Martin Scorsese, original name Martin Marcantonio Luciano Scorsese, (b.1942, Queens, New York)  is an Italian and American director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and film historian, whose career spans more than 50 years. From the 1970s Scorsese created a body of work that was ambitious, bold, and brilliant. But even his most acclaimed films are demanding, sometimes unpleasantly intense dramas that have enjoyed relatively little commercial success. In terms of artistry, he has been perhaps the most significant American director of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Scorsese’s Polish connection dates back to the golden days of the Łódź National Film School, which brought us Polański, Wajda and Kieślowski, to name just a few.

In 2011, Scorsese finally visited the National Film School at Wajda’s invitation, where he was presented with an honorary doctorate. Of his experience, the Italian American master said:

I’ve learned not just how films are made, but why. The school nurtured in me an unshakeable belief in artistic expression grounded in Italian neo-realism, French New Wave, and Polish cinema. The great, sweeping, humanistic, intimate and profound films that were an integral part of what, looking back, seems more and more like the golden age of international cinema.

During his visit in Poland, Martin Scorsese decided to select a series of 21 Polish classic films that have had a profound influence on his own art, and to have them digitally restored by a team of experts. While the artistic quality of those Polish masterpieces remained undamaged throughout the decades, the same could unfortunately not be said for their films, which were decaying at a threatening rate due to fading, dirt, scratches and poor material quality.

After top-of-the-art digital picture and audio restoration, the series had his first exhibition as “Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema” at Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York in February of 2014. It featured iconic Polish directors like Wajda, Munk, Has, Kieslowski and Zanussi. In the next two years it was shown in over 40 U.S. cities. In 2015, the showcase of 24 restored films was launched in the U.K., also initiated by Martin Scorsese. The movies were released on blue ray in limited edition by Milestone Films in partnership with Propaganda Foundation, DI Factory, CRF, Kino RP and The Film Foundation.

The award presentation will take place at the PFFA Closing Night on Sunday, November 18th at 3:00 PM. in AMC Rosemont 18 (9701 Bryn Mawr Ave.). Mr. Scorsese’s appearance is still to be confirmed.

Selected Filmography o Martin Scorsese:
• Who’s That Knocking at My Door (1967)
• Street Scenes (1970)
• Boxcar Bertha (1972)
• Mean Streets (1973)
• Italianamerican (1974)
• Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974)
• Taxi Driver (1976)
• New York, New York (1977)
• The Last Waltz (1978)
• Raging Bull (1980)
• The King of Comedy (1982)
• After Hours (1985)
• The Color of Money (1986)
• The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
• Goodfellas (1990)
• Cape Fear (1991)
• The Age of Innocence (1993)
• A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995)
• Casino (1995)
• Kundun (1997)
• My Voyage to Italy (1999)
• Bringing Out the Dead (1999)
• Gangs of New York (2002)
• The Aviator (2004)
• No Direction Home (2005)
• The Departed (2006)
• Shine a Light (2008)
• Shutter Island (2010)
• A Letter to Elia (2010)
• Public Speaking (2010)
• George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011)
• Hugo (2011)
• The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
• The 50 Year Argument (2014)
• Silence (2016)
• The Irishman (2019)

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