Wieslaw Saniewski graduated from the Wroclaw University and the Film School in Lodz. Initially he worked as a journalist. The author of three books and more than twenty screenplays. In 1981 he made his first full-length feature film, which was banned by communist censorship for seven years. The same happened to his next three films and a theatrical work. The winner of more than 60 domestic and international awards. In 1987-1990 and 1994-1996 a vice-president of the Polish Filmmakers Association. Awarded in 2017 with Gran Premio Cine mati grafico delleNazioni (Nations Award) for his artistic achievements.

I had the opportunity to interact with Wieslaw Saniewski, interntionally acclaimed Polish script writer and director during 42nd IFFI held at Goa on 30th Nov. 2011 at Inoxaudi 3, after screening of his latest film “The Winner” (Poland/USA /2011/111min/col). The first screening of this film was done on 25th Nov 2011.The Director and screenwriter, Wieslaw Saniewski and Producer/ Production Designer of the film, Ms Grazyna Molska was present during the second screening of the film at Inox 3 on 30th Nov. The auditorium was packed to its capacity to watch the film “The Winner.”After the screening was over, there was tremendous response from the audience and it was observed that the film had touched the hearts of the people and won their heart at Ravindra Bhawan in Margao, where the inauguration of 42nd IFFI was done, before the arrival of the director and the producer of the film in Goa The second screening was done on 30th Nov at Inox 3 after the arrival of the Director and Producer in Goa on 29th NOV. On the same day of arrival, they had press conference along with Ambassador of Poland in India, Prof Piotr Klodkowski and Leszek David, the director of the film “My name is Ki”. I had the opportunity to attend this press conference, in which Polish Ambassador used many Hindi words in his conversation with the media. Prof. Piotr Klodkowski remarked in a very humorous manner that he has learnt Hindi because he has to speak to his driver in Indian language. It was a very good press conference. The film was highly appreciated and greatly lauded. The question/answer session with the director/ screenwriter and the producer/ production designer was very interesting and engrossing, which lasted for about 40 mins. During discussions, Wieslaw, the director explained the intricacies of the film and told that the film is based on true events which inspired him to make this film. During a span of 30 years from 1981 to 2011, Wieslaw has directed /written screenplay for 10 films.”The Winner” is his latest film produced in 2011.

According to me, this is a brilliant film which has been directed very well. The script of the film is excellent. Each and every frame is so well structured like a masterpiece. One would like to see them again and again. Both the Directors of Photography (DP) Piotr Kukla and Piotr Sobocinski Jr, have done a wonderful job. The camera work during the most important horse race is superb. The performance of main characters played by Janusz Gajos (Frank) of horse racing expert and Pawel Szajda (Oliver Linovsky) as virtuoso pianist is brilliant. The treatment of the subject is simply matchless.This film leaves a longlasting impression on one’s mind. The locations selected by Grazyna Molska, the art Director and the producer of the film are excellent and befitting the script which has made a great contribution in making this film a great success. Grazyna had also accompanied Wieslaw to IFFI. Grazyna, a very senior marketing manager has co-organised several National film, theater and music festivals in Poland. At present, she is working for Polish TV. She has done production design of Wieslaw’s films, ‘Immensity of justice “and” The Winner’.

‘THE WINNER’ got

– Best Film Audience Award at the Polish Film Festival, Tarnow 2011.

-Best Actor (PawelSzajda) at the International FF, Orenburg 2011.

– Art-Tech Best Film Audience Award at the Polish FF of America, Chicago 2011

– Special Jury Remi Award at the IFF World-Fest, Houston 2012 “This is a wonderful, very touching and funny picture. I truly regret the script didn’t come to me ten years earlier”

Gene Hackman

“‘The Winner’ is an outstanding, very warm and positive film, completed with an impressive scale of production rarely seen in Poland”.

Andrzej Fidyk, Film director

“Beautiful, intelligent cinema. Pawel Szajda is bit like Dean– mysterious and disorientated. Beautiful scenes, with silent focus on the faces. A great mosaic of time and place”

ArturPietras, film critic, TV4

Terrifically lead actors and psychological genuineness are not the only merits of ‘The Winner’. On the same day, just before the screening of this film, I watched the celebrated American film “Black Swan”. An abyss separates these two films with benefit to Saniewski’s production.

Jerzy Radziwi³owicz, actor

“ ‘The Winner’s’ merits include the perfect cinematography of Piotr Kukla and Piotr Sobocinski Jr, as well as the music – from Chopin and Libedinsky to Presley. Janusz Gajos does a terrific job in portraying a professor. The film is a solid, director’s work, rarely seen in our cinema.

Barbara Hollender, film critic, Rzeczpospolita

“The Winner” is a touching story about friendship, passion, love and the force that drives us, all the fulfillment of dreams. According to Wieslaw, this film is most importantly the story of people, selflessness, friendship, the overcoming of solitude, the redemption of love and about dreams.

The American journalists, Russian film critics and film authorities consider Wieslaw to be one of the Best Polish screen directors. He is known for his works such as ‘Free lance Journalist’, ‘The touched’, ‘Custody’, ‘The stranger must Fly’, ‘Immensity of justice’, for which, he has been awarded numerous prizes at International festivals in Europe and United States including Grand Prix in Chicago, Best Direction in Houston ,Best Screenplay in Milan, Andrez Munk award and FIPRESCI award in Mannheim. He has been awarded by the City of Wroclaw and, as the only Polish filmmaker who has received the John Paul II foundation’s prize for the humanistic values of work. His films have been distributed in more than twenty countries. Wieslaw told me that he has great passion for horses and this film is based on true instances in his life. The first draft of the script was written in 1981. Before making his film “Freelance journalist” in 1981, he worked as an assistant to world acclaimed Polish director, ANDREJ WAZDA in 1979. Wieslaw also told me that he was a member of the FIPRESCI International Jury in Venice in 1979, Berlin 1979 and 1980, and Mannheim 1984 and in Oberhausen four times. I wish all the best to Wieslaw Saniewskifor his new project ‘Road to Kepcha’ which is planned to be shot in London and India.

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