Agnieszka Holland heads European Film Academy
PR dla Zagranicy
Director Agnieszka Holland has been elected as the first female president of the European Film Academy.
Agnieszka Holland (R) presents Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing) with the trophy for 'Best Documentary Movie' at the 26th European Film Awards ceremony in Berlin, 07 December 2013. EPA/BRITTA PEDERSEN
The announcement accompanied the 26th European Awards in Berlin over the weekend, where Holland presented the Best Documentary Award to Joshua Oppenheimer for The Act of Killing.
The Polish director's tenure begins on 1 January 2014, following on from German director Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Buena Vista Social Club), who has held the position since 1996.
The European Film Academy was founded in 1988 by its first president, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries), together with 40 other European film-makers.
It's initial aim was to promote European film-making in the wider world, aided by an annual awards ceremony.
There are currently over 2900 members of the academy, taking in luminaries in the industry from across the continent.
After studying film in Prague, Holland worked as an assistant for such noted Polish directors as Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Zanussi.
Early directorial successes included Provincial Actors (1978) and A Lonely Woman (1981).
She emigrated from Poland during the Solidarity era, and her international reputation was consolidated by films such as Europa, Europa (1991) and Olivier, Olivier (1992).
Recent successes have included Holocaust drama In Darkness (2011) and HBO miniseries Burning Bush, the latter dealing with the Soviet clampdown in Czechoslovakia that followed the liberal reforms of the Prague Spring of 1968.
Holland said last week that Eastern European film-makers do not yet have enough distance from the subject to make “accessible” films about communism. (nh)