Three Polish films short-listed for Oscars


    Andrzej Wajda's Katyń, Marcel Łoziński's short film If It Happens and Peter and the Wolf, an animated film directed by Suzy Templeton, are on the official "short list" of films running for Oscar nominations; according to the Polish Film Institute, which subsidised the three films. The Oscar nominees will be announced Tuesday, and the awards ceremony will be held Feb. 24.

    Katyń, whose director already holds an Oscar, tells the story of Polish army officers massacred by Soviet secret police during World War II through portraits of the families left behind. It was submitted as the Polish candidate for an Oscar in the "best foreign-language film" category. Promotion is being handled by its producer Akson Film Studio (www.akson-studio.pl), co-producer and distributor TVP Office of International Cooperation and Commerce (www.tvp.pl), and the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl), in cooperation with Premier Public Relations (www.premierpr.com) operating in Los Angeles.

    More than 90 foreign-language films were submitted for consideration and 63 of met all requirements. From these, the Academy selected nine films to run for the five nominations in the "best foreign-language film" category. The nomination process is being handled by a special committee comprising 30 individuals. The winner will be chosen by a vote of Academy members.

    The short list for best foreign-language film contains two other entries from Eastern Europe-12 by Russian Nikita Michalkov and The Trap by Serbian Srdan Golubovic-but no other production from the 12 new EU member states. A notable omission is 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, by Romanian Cristian Mungiu, which won the coveted Palme d'Or in Cannes last year as well as a string of other international prizes.

    Also on the short list, in the short subject category, is Marcel Łoziński's documentary If It Happens. It's the story of Tomek, the director's 18-year-old son, who takes a walk in an old park where he used to come as a child, and meets his younger self. If It Happens was produced by Kalejdoskop Film Studio (www.kalejdoskop.art.pl) and TVP1.

    In the short animation category, the short lis" includes Suzy Templeton's Peter and the Wolf, a Polish-British co-production by the Se-ma-for Film Studio (www.semafor.com) and Breakthru Films (www.breakthrufilms.com.uk). Peter and the Wolf, a frame-by-frame puppet animation adapted from Sergei Prokofiev's classic work, was created by an international team of 100 professionals. Among others, Marek Skobecki, who worked on Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List, designed the set for the film.