The Krzysztof Kieślowski ScripTeast Award 2017
Jan Kowalski, a forty-year-old dancer with a Polish folk song and dance ensemble, yearns to be a soloist. He doesn’t talk to anyone in the ensemble, though, and his dancing expresses nothing of any interest. He lacks so much. So does his life.
While he’s out jogging one morning, a random moment means that he finds himself as a film extra, playing a plane-crash victim. A corpse. This chance event ends in a real accident. For him.
With his leg now in plaster, his plans are shattered and an avalanche of unexpected events is triggered. Every single attempt he makes to thrust ahead professionally disintegrates into a fiasco. He’s demoted at work. His girlfriend, Maria, who works long days for a bereaved-petowners helpline, dumps him. In writing. The cat he’s never liked dies. His one friend, a nationalist homophobe, asks him to burn down a art-installation-as-symbol of mercy and forgiveness … a rainbow. His efforts to take control of his life simply lead to him having to leave the ensemble.
His existence now mirrors his shabby flat and its front-door handle, which is urinated on by a sexy neighbour who is stalking him obsessively. Jobless, dumped, damaged and grieving, he becomes a real victim. What else can he do but surrender to reality? By chance, he manages to get reinstated in the ensemble and sets off abroad on tour with them. On Taiwan, he unexpectedly encounters hope in the warm, feminine gaze of one of the ensemble’s guides, Angel Shen. Could his journey into an unknown culture do what the well-worn cliché promises and enable him to ‘find himself’? Will it transform his life and reveal the answer to two questions? What is art and what is tawdry rubbish? What is love and what is contempt?
Sorry, Poland is a critical film about Poland and the Poles, a defiant, angry and irreverent picture of the country we are creating together, a country where it is becoming ever more difficult simply to be ourselves.
The feature film debut of Kuba Czekaj Baby Bump has been awarded during 72. Venice Film Festival. Additionally, the title won many other awards and special mentions in Poland and abroad (eg. OutFest in Los Angeles etc.)
Kuba’s latest feature The Erlprince had been presented in the main competition at Gdynia Film Festival, winning the Young Jury Award for Best Film. The title had its North American premiere at Slamdance Film Festival and European premiere at Berlin IFF. At Berlinale 2017 Kuba has been awarded Baumi Script Development Award named in honor of late German producer Karl Baumgartner for the script Sorry, Poland.
Kuba directed national and international award-winning short films: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Room and Twist & Blood.
Kuba received many scholarships and awards including a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
Kuba graduated in directing from the Krzysztof Kieślowski Radio and Television Faculty at the University of Silesia in Katowice and from the Development Lab Feature Programme at the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw.
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“ScripTeast is the programme all the advisors wish they could have attended at the start of their careers. It would have saved all that stumbling around in the dark looking for the key that stimulates the imagination so much more effectively.”
BAFTA nominated, director of “My Son the Fanatic”, “The Yellow Hankerchief” and ”Opa!”, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, UK
“ScripTeast’s top-notch team of professional advisors, each year’s talented group of participants, and venues in Poland, Germany and France continue to make it the very best development workshop in the world today.”
ScripTeast Head of Studies, Associate Professor – Screenwriting and Production at School of Cinematic Arts, USC, screenwriter and director, author of the script for the Oscar-nominated film “Shoeshine”, USA
“ScripTeast is a fascinating mix of cultures, political ideas, and voices. I learned a lot, and I think the participants learned a lot more. If only they served vodka!”
Golden Globe awarded author of “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Ed Wood” with two Oscars, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, USA