Film producer Irina Strykowska and director Jan Komasa were awarded the Order of Arts and Literature by French Ambassador Frédéric Pellet on Wednesday. Since 1957, this distinction has been awarded, among others, meritocracy for the cultural cooperation of France with other countries.
The ceremony was held at the residence of the French ambassador in Poland. The Ambassador of the Republic of France, Frédéric Pellet, indicated that the Order of Arts and Letters is awarded by the French Minister of Culture in appreciation of merit in the artistic and literary field and for his contribution to the development of various fields of art in France. And in the world. The order was created in 1957. In recent years, it has been awarded to many Polish artists, journalists and cultural activists, including: Andrzej Seweryn, Małgorzata Omilanowska, Piotra Skubiszewski, Marcin Frybes, Maciej Morawski and Anna Parzymies.
The French ambassador, having listed the merits of Irina Strykovska, mentioned her long relations with French culture and cinema. Irina Strykowska, after graduating in economics, began working as an attaché at the permanent representation of Poland at UNESCO. In 1990 she became deputy director of the legendary film studio “Tour”. A year later, in cooperation with France, the studio produced the film Krzysztof Kilovsky “Double Life of Weronika”, which received an award at the Cannes Film Festival.
“Thanks to your efforts, France has been able to make its honorable contribution to the creation of another masterpiece by Krzysztof Kieślowski, the Blue and White Trilogy” and red, which clearly refers to the flag of France and the emblem of the French Revolution. In many interviews, this course has been described as universal and reaches the sensibilities of people all over the world, regardless of their mentality and place of residence ”- emphasized the ambassador. Irina Strykowska works at the Polish Film Academy and the European Film Academy. The ambassador noted that Irina Strykowska participated in the renewal Agreement on co-production of Polish-French films, which was signed in March 2012. “You are a great friend of France” – summed up Ambassador Pele.
While thanking the award, Irina Strykowska said that the award given to her is a recognition of the merits of all Polish filmmakers collaborating with French cinema. She noted that the first contacts between filmmakers from both countries were in 1970. “I think since then we have achieved many common achievements that Poland and France are very proud of,” she said.
Jan Komasa is considered one of the most talented directors of the younger generation. As a student, he received the Cinéfondation Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for his art book It’s Fun That You Are. In 2014, his film “Miasto 44” dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising was released. These are “long-standing testimonies of those days in Polish history,” he said, addressing the decorated French ambassador. His next film “Corpus Christi” was co-produced with France and was supported under the “Aide aux cinémas du monde” program by the French National Center for Cinema and the Motion Picture. The film shown in French cinemas was also nominated for the Caesar Award for Best Foreign Film. In 2020, “Corpus Christi” was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Full-length International Film category. “The human being is the most important in your films. You paint pictures of young people with great sensitivity, often lonely and mean in the modern world “- emphasized the French ambassador.
“It is a special privilege to be given the award by the country with which I started my adventure in film,” said Jean Comasa. He stressed that cooperation between France and Poland helps build a common European culture. “In culture, I see the greatest power in Europe, which will protect us from fear, hatred and tyranny,” said the director. He also thanked his father, who in 2004 loaned him money to fund the shipment of a piece of art from his film to the Cannes Film Festival. “We are meeting at the French embassy after exactly eighteen years,” added Jean Comasa. (PAP)
Author: Michał Szukała
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