On Saturday, 25 June 2022, the Finale of the 1st edition of the "Imagine" Competition for the best film treatment and the presentation of the Piotr Woźniak-Starak Award granted by the Polish Guild of Producers for the Best Producer 2021 took place. 


First place and a cash prize of PLN 20,000, as well as the Special Award - a script scholarship from the Starak Family Foundation of PLN 50,000 - went to Piotr Hadyna for his treatment entitled „Tajsa”.


Hadyna is a fifth-year screenwriting student at the Łódź Film School (PWSFTviT) and a graduate of editing and film studies at Jagiellonian University. 


The Piotr Woźniak-Starak Award of the Polish Guild of Producers for Producer of the Year 2021 went to Mariusz Włodarski - producer of such films as Śniegu już nigdy nie będzie („It will never snow again”), Sweat and Niepamięć (Non-memory”). The statuette was presented by Natalia Grzegorzek, President of the Polish Guild of Producers.


Photo: Mariusz Włodarski - winner of the Piotr Woźniak-Starak Award and the Polish Guild of Producers Award for Producer of the Year 2021


The „Imagine" competition for film ideas was organised by the Watchout Studio production house, which has produced such films as Bogowie („Gods”), Sztuka Kochania („The Art of Loving”), Ukryta Gra („Hidden Game”) and Prime Time. "We know that without stories there is no cinema," says Krzysztof Terej, Competition organiser and Producer, "Our job (as producers) is to capture those that will mesmerise audiences and stir their imagination. We created this initiative to listen to the stories and connect the originators with the best producers in the industry. We are looking for ideas where the story is central - and adds - It's not the genre that counts, it's the story and the expressive characters. Stories can entertain or move us. They can touch on important themes and make the audience think. They can comment on contemporary times and provoke social discussion directly or indirectly."


In the first edition of the Competition, the organisers received 726 entries. 436 treatments, submitted by 440 authors, qualified for the second stage. The Competition Jury, consisting of: Ewa Puszczyńska (Chairwoman of the Chapter), Tomasz Kot, Edward Miszczak, Allan Starski, Grażyna Torbicka, evaluated the best works and selected 12 finalists. From among them, the Jury composed of: Jan Komasa (Chairman), Leszek Bodzak, Agnieszka Odorowicz, Krzysztof Rak, Agnieszka Rostworowska-Śmieja - named three winners. 


Photo: Krzysztof Terej, Grzegorz Wacławek, Justyna Pawlak, Mariusz Włodarski, Ewa Puszczyńska, Leszek Bodzak, Ewelina Gordziejuk, Natalia Grzegorzek, Joanna Szymańska, Łukasz Dzięcioł, Kuba Kosma.


The runner-up was Natalia Ossowska for her project entitled Mamuna. The third place  was awarded to Magdalena Wleklik for her project entitled „Królowa Garów” („Queen of Pots”). Other prizes and distinctions were awarded by the competition organisers and partners. Kuba Gryżewski, author of the project entitled Miłego Życia („Have a nice life”) received a distinction from StoryLab.Pro in the form of script consultancy. The award of the Director of the Polish Film Institute in the amount of PLN 10,000 went to Maciej Zakliczyński, the author of the project entitled Ludolfina.

Photo: Piotr Hadyna, Michał Arabudzki, Wiesław Paluch, Iza Świątczak, Szymon Żebro, Magdalena Wleklik, Anna Kasińska, Tom Rollauer, Maciej Zakliczyński, Kuba Gryżewski 


Photo: Szymon Żebro, Natalia Ossowska, Zuza Bukłaha, Anna Kasińska, Maciej Zakliczyński 


The "Imagine" competition 


The competition recognises and develops unusual film ideas that could potentially be released on cinema screens in the future. Scriptwriters, filmmakers, writers, journalists, students and amateurs were invited to participate. As well as selecting and awarding the best authors, the competition is a unique mentoring platform for finalists to develop their ideas under the guidance of experts and gain a real chance of the awarded ideas being screened.


Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, what you will be,  what you imagine, and finally you will create what you want.


- George Bernard Shaw


Photo: Piotr Hadyna - Special Prize winner and Jerzy Starak. 




Piotr Woźniak-Starak Polish Guild of Producers Award for Producer of the Year 2021


The only such award in Poland was presented at the Gala by the Polish Guild of Producers, which brings together audiovisual producers who create artistic and commercial cinema, including feature films, documentaries, animated films and series. Each of the members of the Polish Guild of Producers was able to cast a vote for a producer and his or her film title that had a cinema premiere in Poland or premiered on streaming platforms in 2021.


Pictured are Mariusz Włodarski - winner of the Piotr Woźniak-Starak Award for Producer of the Year 2021, Anna Woźniak-Starak, Natalia Grzegorzek. 


The award was inspired by film producer Piotr Woźniak-Starak, creator of award-winning pictures such as Bogowie („Gods”), Sztuka Kochania („The Art of Loving”), Ukryta Gra („Hidden Game”) - founder of the Watchout Studio production house. The award was created to honour Piotr's memory and to inspire action for the development of Polish cinema.


"Piotr was a producer who loved his work and had a real impact on the development of Polish cinema. He was a role model and an inspiration to many of us" his friends and colleagues said about Piotr Woźniak-Starak during the Gala. 


 Photo: Piotr Woźniak-Starak 


At the award ceremony, the hostess - Grażyna Torbicka emphasised how important it was for the originators to recognise film producers. The title of Producer of the Year is a tribute to the courage, determination, hard work, innovation and intuition of those without whom no film would be made. As the presenter rightly pointed out, film producers are figures in cinema who often stand in the shadow of their productions. Therefore, it is time for a change. 


Photo: Grażyna Torbicka and Tomasz Kot

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