A Culture Ministry selection committee featuring Polish filmmakers Janusz Majewski, Jan Kaczmarek and Slavomir Fabicki made a unanimous decision in selecting Andrzej Wajda's film Katyn from among 16 contenders for consideration for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Katyn explores the events leading up to the Katyn massacre of Polish POWs during World War II and its aftermath. Polish Film Institue director Agnieszka Odorowicz said the film 'tells us not only of what happened in Katyn, Starobielsk and other places, but it also emphasizes consequences of leading a life that is filled with lies. Katyn shows the multitude of human behavior and choices; fate of those who decided to fight against the system and of those who decided to cooperate with it.'
Golden Palm laureate Wajda received an honorary award from the US academy in 2000 but has never before been nominated for an Oscar.
The committee's decision came just days after the film saw its world premiere Sept 17 in Gdynia. Katyn opened the the Polish Film Festival there and received a silent ovation from the festival audience. Since its premiere Katyn has leapt to the top of the Polish box office, drawing 270,000 admissions on 189 copies in its opening weekend.
Also in Gdynia, Andrzej Jakimowski received the Golden Lion for best film for his Venice title Tricks, which also earned DOP Adam Bajerski an award for best cinematography. All Will Be Well earned the best director award for Tomasz Wiszniewski, best score for Michal Lorenc, and best actor for Robert Więckiewicz, who also appeared in State Witness.
Radoslaw Markiewicz won the the Indepents competition with his film Paradise Too Far, while Sylwester Jakimow's Kongola won the grand prize in the short film competition.