This past Thursday “Joanna” (2013, 40′), a Polish documentary directed by Aneta Kopacz, was included among a prestigious group of five films that received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Documentary Short Subject
category. The documentary produced by Wajda Studio with the support of the National Audiovisual Institute will compete for the award alongside these productions: “Crisis Hotline:
Veterans Press 1” , “Our Curse”, “The Reaper” (La Parka) and “White Earth”.
“The nomination for the Academy Award is far more than I have ever expected. It sounds so surreal that it’s almost unbelievable. Since the very
beginning, I was making a modest film about the simplest things in life and – for me – the most beautiful ones. There were sweat and tears, not
enough funding, but also a lot of passion and support. Until the very end we didn’t know if this film would ever be completed. At any moment my
protagonist could say ‘let’s stop shooting’. This was her sacred right.
The film was created, traveled around the world, and, hopefully, became
truly significant to a lot of viewers. Today it has reached the heights, indeed. I would like to thank all the wonderful people that I was
fortunate to work with. My special thanks go out to Joanna and her family, who decided to share a part of their life with me. This is a success for
all of us,” said Aneta Kopacz after receiving the news about the nomination.
Apart from “Joanna”, another Polish film made to the list of nominated films “Our Curse” directed by Tomasz Śliwiński, who happens to be a current student of Wajda School. Highly praised “Ida”, directed by one of the Wajda School tutors Paweł Pawlikowski, received an Oscar© nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film
category. The same film received a Best Cinematography nomination for Łukasz Żal, who was also the DP for “Joanna.”
So far, “Joanna” has been screened at more than 30 festivals all over the world and won over 20 awards, including the Best Documentary Short award in Palm
Springs, Silver Eye Award in Jihlava, Prize of the Youth Jury in Leipzig, Special Mention at DocsBarcelona, Audience Award at Warsaw Film Festival, a Cinema
Eye Honors nomination and many others.
“The unique thing about ‘Joanna’ is the subtle vision of the director. There is no narration to tell the viewer how to feel or what to experience. And
this approach, which punctuates the things not said becomes a very powerful experience for the viewer.”
wrote Kay Shackleton at examiner.com
Th film is uses great visual poetry to portray the simple and meaningful moments in the Joanna’s family life. Diagnosed with an untreatable illness, Joanna
promises her son that she will do her best to live for as long as possible. It’s a story of close relationships, tenderness, love and thoughtfulness.
The film was shot by one of the most talented young cinematographers, now an Oscar nominee, Łukasz Żal, and the
music was composed by Oscar-winning Jan A.P. Kaczmarek.
The film was produced by Wajda Studio, co-produced by the Polish National Audiovisual Institute, and sponsored by Codemedia. Film was co-financed by the
Polish Film Institute. “Joanna” was developed within the DOK PRO Documentary Program run by Wajda School, under the artistic supervision of distinguished
Polish documentary filmmakers: MarcelŁoziński, Jacek Bławut and Vita Żelakeviciute.