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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » November 5, 2008
Polish Culture Abroad
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Wajda's Film School Bags Award
November 5, 2008   
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The film Aria Diva, made by a student of the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw, won the award for best short film during the International Short and Documentary Film Festival in Ismailia, Egypt, at the end of October.

The festival's jury applauded the subtle way in which director Agnieszka Smoczyńska shows an unusual relationship between two women. The film tells the story of Basia, a happy, thirty-something wife and mother, whose life is turned upside down when a new neighbor, an operatic diva, moves in. The initial friendship between the two women degenerates into emotions that neither can deal with.

The film was made as part of the "30 Minutes" program organized by the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing, the Polish Filmmakers Association, public television broadcaster TVP, and the Polish Film Institute.

Aria Diva has also appealed to other festival jury panels and won awards such as the Silver Lajkonik and Silver Dragon at the Cracow Film Festival; the prize for best Polish short film at the Era New Horizons International Film Festival in Wrocław; and the Jury's Special Prize at the Gdynia Film Festival.

The Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing is the only school of its kind in Poland and one of a few in Europe. It combines formal lectures with both feature and documentary film production and actively supports young, talented filmmakers. During the six years since it was established, the school has run 16 courses and counts some 350 graduates. Many other people come to the school for advice and artistic supervision. The school has produced more than 30 documentaries, short films and medium-length features, and also over 200 student films.

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