Film & Television

Pawel Pawlikowski's Accidental "Ida" Discovery

LONDON--The Polish Twittersphere went slightly mad on January 15. Not only had the film “Ida”been nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars, but Poland’s entry also had been nominated in the category for Best Cinematography.…

Interview with Roman Polanski on the Lodz Film School

LONDON--I interviewed Roman Polanski last October about his time at Poland's Lodz Film School for a story I was doing for the International New York Times on the school's 65th anniversary. He had some interesting things to say about his time…

A Film School With a Sense of Place

LODZ, Poland — Andac Karabeyoglu, a third-year student at the Lodz Film School, sat in a campus cafe on a recent day and explained why she had come all the way from her home in Ankara to study in Poland. Part of the draw, she said, was…

"Something unique and strange in some crazy corner of Europe"

PRIZREN, KOSOVO—I had a drama of my own trying to get down to Prizren to meet with directors of DokuFest. My cab driver, who spoke no English and who kept trying to speak with me in German, seemed lost and confused, just driving around Pristina.…

One Murder + Two Films = Things Go Amok

***Update***The film opens in Poland on Friday March 24th 2017 WARSAW, POLAND—Krystian Bala’s murder trial in 2007 had all the ingredients for a blockbuster whodunit crime film.  The 34-year-old good looking, educated, best-selling Polish…

A Disappointing Documentary

LONDON, UK—There are few things I love more than a good documentary; when done really well, they can fascinate, compel and touch the soul. But when documentaries are done poorly they can leave a viewer wondering what was the point. “The…

Balkans Reclaim a Place in Cinema

LONDON, UK — It was little wonder that Mila Turajlic looked a tad weary during a recent interview in a London cafe. The 32-year-old Serbian documentary filmmaker had flown overnight from Chicago and was off again the next day for short…

Remains of a Day

The opening few frames of Mila Turajlic’s excellent documentary “Cinema Komunisto” states this is a film about a country that no longer exists. It’s a simple yet poignant epitaph to the tragedy that befell Yugoslavia in the 1990s—a country that now only exists on archival celluloid. Turajlic’s documentary, which chronicles the history of Yugoslavia through the lens of the country’s rich and successful feature film industry, has been found critical acclaim on the film festival circuit since its premiere at Amsterdam’s International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) last autumn.

On the Path With Jasmila Zbanic

For Jasmila Zbanic, getting to school was a literal battle. As a film student in Sarajevo in the early 1990s, Zbanic had to traverse across the dangerous streets of a city under siege from Bosnian Serb army forces who took potshots of citizens as they tried to cross major thoroughfares