Łódź Film School

(Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Filmowa, Telewizyjna i Teatralna IM. Leona Schillera, PWSFTiT)
   The first and for many years the only film school in Poland. The now famous school was established in 1948 in Łódź to train film directors and cinematographers and quickly began to dominate the Polish film industry in the mid-1950s with talented graduates such as Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Munk, Kazimierz Kutz, Janusz Morgenstern, and numerous others. Since 1952 the school has also been training executive producers. In 1955 as many as 158 graduates of the Łódź Film School worked in the national film industry, among a total of 228 active film professionals. The prominent list of teachers includes Wanda Jakubowska, Antoni Bohdziewicz, Jerzy Bossak, Stanisław Wohl, and Jerzy Toeplitz. Toeplitz, who insisted on a broad humanistic program coupled with technical expertise, became perhaps the most prominent head of the school (1949-1952 and 1957-1968). In 1958 the school merged with the Leon Schiller State Acting School (named after its first president, Leon Schiller, the legend of Polish theater), which provided more opportunities for actors, cinematographers, and directors. The international success of films made by students toward the end of the 1950s and at the beginning of the 1960s, such as Roman Polański and Jerzy Skolimowski, helped to strengthen the legend of the school.
   After the 1968 anti-Semitic campaign, Toeplitz and a group of professors and students were forced to leave the school. The hiring of Wojciech Jerzy Has in 1974 helped to end the stagnation. Later he became the head of the school from 1990 to 1996 and was the founder and, since 1990, head of its production studio Indeks. Strong competition with the Katowice Film and Television School in the mid-1980s reinvigorated the school. Currently, the school trains film directors, cinematographers, actors, and producers (also television specialists since 1970) in four departments. Teachers include some of the best talents in Polish cinema, among them directors Grzegorz Królikiewicz and Kazimierz Karabasz, actors Jan Machulski and Wojciech Malajkat, and cinematographers Jerzy Wójcik, Wiesław Zdort, and Witold Sobociński. The Department of Cinematography, which also includes animation, has been perhaps the strongest of the school's programs in recent years and greatly contributed to the success of several Polish cinematog-raphers working in Poland and abroad.
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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