Andrzej Wajda's powerful film Katyń will represent Poland at the Academy Awards, according to a special committee of film professionals that chose the film this weekend from 16 candidates.
Katyń is the first film to be made in Poland about the massacre of some 20,000 Polish officers by Stalin's secret police during World War II. Wajda, whose father was one of the victims, treated the subject not as a historical account of the tragedy but as a study of the women who waited for years for their fathers, sons or husbands to return. The film is dedicated to Wajda's parents. The film will be the Polish candidate for one of the five Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film. The premier of Katyń in Poland was Sept. 17, the grand opening of the Polish Film Festival in Gydnia. The premiere was attended by Polish President Lech Kaczynski, members of the government, representatives of the families of Katyń victims, war veterans, and representatives of Polish film and culture circles. The nominations for the Oscars will be announced on Jan. 22, 2008, and the awards ceremony will take place Feb. 24. About 100 productions from all over the world are competing to be one of five nominations in the Best Foreign Language Film category, and ultimately the winner of a prestigious Oscar.