No other American film director knows so much about Polish cinema as Martin Scorsese. And no other has done more for its promulgation in the United States, said Christopher Kamyszew, Chairman of the PFFA Award Committee. Martin Scorsese is a recipient of 2018 Polish Film Festival in America “Golden Ciupaga” Award for his outstanding contribution to a promotion of Polish cinema in the United States.
Martin Scorsese, original name Martin Marcantonio Luciano Scorsese, (b.1942, Queens, New York) is an Italian and American director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and film historian, whose career spans more than 50 years. From the 1970s Scorsese created a body of work that was ambitious, bold, and brilliant. But even his most acclaimed films are demanding, sometimes unpleasantly intense dramas that have enjoyed relatively little commercial success. In terms of artistry, he has been perhaps the most significant American director of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Scorsese’s Polish connection dates back to the golden days of the Łódź National Film School, which brought us Polański, Wajda and Kieślowski, to name just a few.
In 2011, Scorsese finally visited the National Film School at Wajda’s invitation, where he was presented with an honorary doctorate. Of his experience, the Italian American master said:
I’ve learned not just how films are made, but why. The school nurtured in me an unshakeable belief in artistic expression grounded in Italian neo-realism, French New Wave, and Polish cinema. The great, sweeping, humanistic, intimate and profound films that were an integral part of what, looking back, seems more and more like the golden age of international cinema.
During his visit in Poland, Martin Scorsese decided to select a series of 21 Polish classic films that have had a profound influence on his own art, and to have them digitally restored by a team of experts. While the artistic quality of those Polish masterpieces remained undamaged throughout the decades, the same could unfortunately not be said for their films, which were decaying at a threatening rate due to fading, dirt, scratches and poor material quality.