National Film School in Łódź

Palac Oskara Kona Lodz.jpg

The Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź (Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Filmowa, Telewizyjna i Teatralna im. Leona Schillera w Łodzi) is the leading Polish academy for future actors, directors, photographers, camera operators and TV staff. It was founded on 8 March 1948 in Łódź and was initially planned to be moved to Warsaw as soon as the city was rebuilt after its destruction during World War II and the Warsaw Uprising. However, in the end the school remained in Łódź and is one of the most prominent institutions of higher education in the city.


Until 1958 the school existed as two separate schools: one for actors and the other for filmmakers. The schools and the Polish cinema industry were moved from Warsaw to the nearby city of Łódź after World War II. This move was initially seen as a temporary measure, thus the name of the actors' school was The National Higher School of Theatre in Warsaw with seat in Łódź. Its creator and the first rector was the renowned Polish actor Leon Schiller, current namesake of the school. In 1949 it was divided into two branches; one actually moved to Warsaw and the other one remained in Łódź under the directorship of Kazimierz Dejmek (since 1950).

The years leading up to the merger in 1958 were those in which notable artists of the Polish Film School created the reputation of the Łódź Film School as the most liberal and least Communist institution of higher education in Poland. Among the most notable alumni of that period were Andrzej Munk, Janusz Morgenstern, Andrzej Wajda and Kazimierz Kutz. In 1954 they were joined by Roman Polanski.

After 1958 the school became one of the most notable cultural think-tanks of Poland, with many outsiders and artists not supported by the Communist authorities joining it. Various discussion clubs and relative liberty of speech promoted by the new rector, Jerzy Toeplitz, added to its value. For instance, two of the students of the university (Jerzy Matuszkiewicz and Witold Sobociński) became the first jazz musicians in Poland after World War II to be allowed by the authorities to organize a concert. Kirk Douglas visited the school in 1966. His visit was documented in Kirk Douglas the documentary.[1]

After the events of March 1968, the period of liberty came to an end. Toeplitz was fired, as were most of the tutors. However, with the advent of Edward Gierek and his regime, the school once again started to bloom.

The School has three Oscar-winning alumni: Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda and Zbigniew Rybczyński, while alumnus Krzysztof Kieślowski was nominated for an Oscar. Both Polanski and Wajda won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 and 1981, respectively.

Polish Internet Movie Database

The Internetowa Baza Filmu Polskiego (Polish Internet Movie Database) has been maintained by the School since 1998.[2]

Famous alumni


  • Feliks Falk
  • Kazimierz Karabasz
  • Dorota Kędzierzawska
  • Krzysztof Kieślowski, nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Lion winner
  • Kazimierz Kutz
  • Jan Łomnicki
  • Jan Machulski[3]
  • Juliusz Machulski
  • Andrzej Munk
  • Janusz Nasfeter
  • Władysław Pasikowski
  • Marek Piwowski
  • Roman Polanski, Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe and Palme d'Or winner
  • Wojciech Kasperski
  • Barbara Sass
  • Jerzy Skolimowski, Golden Bear winner
  • Piotr Szulkin
  • Piotr Trzaskalski
  • Robert Tutak[4][5]
  • Andrzej Wajda, Academy Award and BAFTA Award and Palme d'Or winner
  • Maciej Wojtyszko
  • Krzysztof Zanussi, Golden Lion winner
  • Emily Young, BAFTA Award winner
  • Maria Sadowska[6]
  • Urszula Urbaniak


  • Paweł Edelman, nominated for an Academy Award and BAFTA Award
  • Sławomir Idziak, nominated for an Academy Award
  • Edward Kłosiński
  • Jan Jakub Kolski
  • Krzysztof Ptak
  • Zbigniew Rybczyński, Academy Award winner
  • Przemysław Skwirczyński
  • Piotr Sobociński, nominated for an Academy Award
  • Witold Sobociński
  • Dariusz Wolski
  • Hubert Taczanowski
  • Andrzej Bartkowiak
  • Hoyte van Hoytema, nominated for an Academy Award and BAFTA Award winner
  • Piotr Lenar


  • Szymon Bobrowski
  • Barbara Brylska
  • Małgorzata Foremniak
  • Janusz Gajos
  • Tomasz Konieczny
  • Jerzy Matuszkiewicz (jazz musician)
  • Cezary Pazura
  • Beata Pozniak
  • Pola Raksa
  • Zbigniew Zamachowski


  1. ^ "Kirk Douglas documentary" (in Polish). 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  2. ^ "Internetowa Baza Filmu Polskiego". Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Filmowa. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  3. ^ "Machulski - Polish famous actor, director passed away". 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Maria Sadowska" (in Polish).

Coordinates: 51°45′28″N 19°28′21″E / 51.75778°N 19.47250°E / 51.75778; 19.47250

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