University of Pittsburgh
March 5, 2001


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, March 1 - The film festival, "Through Polish Eyes," sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian and East European Studies and the Carnegie Museum of Art, will bring to Pittsburgh nine full-length feature films, representative of the best and latest work to emerge from Poland, a country rich in cinematographic tradition.

The festival, the first of its kind in this region, will run March 15 through

April 1. (A complete schedule and synopsis of the full-length feature films are enclosed.)

The festival is being organized with the broad support of local and national Polish organizations, including the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Polish Cultural Institute of New York, the Central Council of Polish Organizations, the Kosciuszko Foundation of Pittsburgh, The Polish Falcons, The Polish National Alliance, Bal Polonaise, The Polish Airlines "LOT", and the Polish American Congress.

Artistic director of the festival is Jolanta Lapot, teacher of scriptwriting at the renowned National Film School in Lodz, Poland, and a visiting Kosciuszko Foundation scholar at the University of Pittsburgh. The festival is being coordinated through the University by Oscar Swan, professor of Slavic studies, and through local foundations and organizations by Rick Pierchalski. William Judson of the Carnegie Museum of Art has helped shape the program from its inception, and has included it as part of the museum's regular film series for the month of March.

Among the scheduled full-length feature films are such blockbusters as

Andrzej Wajda's "Pan Tadeusz," a 2000 Oscar nominee, and Jerzy Hoffman's "With Fire and Sword," as well as recent prize-winning productions such as Krzysztof Zanussi's "Life As A Sexually Transmitted Disease," and Jerzy Stuhr's "Big Animal." All films will be Pittsburgh premieres.

A special feature of the festival is the participation of such monumental figures in contemporary Polish cinema as directors Zanussi, Wojciech Marczewski, Stuhr, and Teresa Kotlarczyk. Kotlarczyk recently screened her widely acclaimed "Cardinal" in Rome before Pope John Paul II, and has also agreed to introduce her film here.

In addition to the feature-length films, the festival will present a number of noteworthy shorter cinematic studies from the Lodz Film School, several of which have won awards at major festivals. These shorts include Roman Polanski's award-winning 1958 student film, "Two Men and a Wardrobe."

Accompanying the exhibit will be a small display of Polish posters in the Squirrel Hill library chronicling the career of Wajda, the dean of Polish cinematography, as well as a much larger exhibition of Polish post-war cinema posters to be held in the City-County Building.

The films will be shown in the Carnegie Museum of Art theater, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Oakland.

Ticket prices are $6 per film, $5 for senior citizens.

For more information about the festival, call 412-624-5707, or e-mail Lapot at or Swan at

For information specific to the films and scheduling, call the Carnegie Museum of Art at 412-622-3212 or e-mail

- 30 -