Following a long break, this year’s Interpretations Festival of the Art of Directing is featuring directors of TV plays. We have invited five of them to take part in our competition, all involved with the Teatroteka project, which has been run by WFDiF for several years with the support from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
The project is to help debuting TV directors produce shows based on the latest Polish dramas. It is a project aimed at unique promotion of young directors’ and playwrights’ work. The series has seen 40 plays, including many never shown on TV before. Some of them have gained certain recognition, including: “Walizka” written by Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk and directed by Wawrzyniec Kostrzewski, awarded the Grand Prix at the Dwa Teatry Festival in Sopot in 2015.
In Katowice, we are going to see the following shows: “Porwać się na życie” by Robert Urbański, directed by Michał Szcześniak; “Cicha noc” by Amanita Muskaria, directed by Paweł Paszta; “Spalenie Joanny” by Magdalena Miecznicka, directed by Agata Baumgart; “Gardenia” by Elżbieta Chowaniec, directed by Wojciech Urbański; and “Słabi” by Magdalena Drab, directed by Arkadiusz Biedrzycki.
The competition includes directors who are committed primarily to theatre (Paszta, Urbański and Baumgart) and have achieved some success in this field, as well as those with the film background (Szcześniak, Biedrzycki). All of them were born after 1980. Is there anything that connects their plays? It is certainly the fact that they think of TV shows as a distinctive artistic format. Their works are not TV plays pretending to be intimate low-budget films. Neither are they theatre shows made specifically for the cameras. The artists know very well that the literary material they have received for production in every case needed unique means and the imagination that would let audiences enter the worlds that they represent. Some of the presented shows feature similar themes, including the story faced in this way or another by the characters of “Cicha noc,” “Spalenie Joanny” and “Gardenia.” These challenges reflect contemporary realities. Competition performances also look into their own generation along with its personal problems. Most importantly, though, they demonstrate directors’ individual talents, their sensitivity and the ways of thinking.
For all competition shows, the measure of success is the fact that they feature outstanding actors, creating fabulous roles, including: Agata Kulesza and Andrzej Mastalerz in “Porwać się na życie,” Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieślak in “Spalenie Joanny” and Anna Januszewska and Sławomir Łoziński in “Cicha noc.”
These five shows are undoubtedly an opportunity to meet with original art that points to the state of young Polish direction in 2018 and bodes well for the future.
Journalist, theatre critic, professor