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Film director Jerzy Skolimowski honoured in Poland’s Avenue of Stars

15.05.2024 14:00
Internationally renowned Polish film director and script writer Jerzy Skolimowski has unveiled a star-shaped plaque in his honour along the Avenue of Stars in the central Polish city of Łódź.
Photo:PAP/Marian Zubrzycki

The veteran filmmaker is the 100th representative of the Polish cinema industry to be immortalized in this way.

Skolimowski, who is 86, said after the ceremony on Tuesday that he was sorry that so many of his friends whose names are embedded in the Avenue of Stars are no longer alive.

“I’d like to carry on for some time and perhaps even make another film," he said. "For the time being though I’m focusing on painting."

Jerzy Skolimowski Jerzy Skolimowski. Photo: PAP/Marian Zubrzycki

Born in Łódź, Skolimowski graduated in ethnography from the University of Warsaw at the age of 21, before enrolling at the famous Łódź Film School.

He co-wrote the scripts for Andrzej Wajda’s Innocent Sorcerers and Roman Polanski's highly acclaimed debut feature Knife in the Water.

His own early films Identification Mark, Barrier, Walkover and Hands Up represented the "new wave" in Polish cinema.

The 1967 feature Hands Up was banned by the communist censors and did not go on general release until the Solidarity revolution in 1981. The controversy surrounding the film was one of the reasons Skolimowski decided to emigrate from Poland.

From 1970 onward, he worked in Italy, France, Britain and the United States, where he lived for many years. He currently lives in Poland.

In 2008, Skolimowski made his comeback to filmmaking after a lapse of 17 years with the acclaimed Four Nights with Anna, followed by the political thriller Essential Killing, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Festival in 2010, and IO, which garnered the Jury Award at the Cannes Festival in 2022.

A highly versatile personality, Skolimowski is also an actor and producer. He used to write poetry and practice boxing in his early years. He has had many one-man exhibitions of his paintings.

Jerzy Skolimowski, pictured against a backdrop of some of his paintings. Jerzy Skolimowski, pictured against a backdrop of some of his paintings. Photo: PAP/Marian Zubrzycki

The Łódź Avenue of Stars, inspired by the iconic Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, honours directors, actors, producers and composers of film music. It has been a major attraction for residents and tourists alike for the past 26 years.