Oscars: Poland Celebrates Five Oscar Nominations

Foreign-Language Film

The nominees for foreign-language film are Ida (Poland), Leviathan (Russia), Tangerines (Estonia), Timbuktu (Mauritania) and Wild Tales (Argentina).

Pawel Pawlikowski — director of 'Ida,' which is nominated in two categories — says his recent European Film Award means more to him.

Polish filmmakers were celebrating Thursday after gaining five Oscar nominations.

Three films are short-listed for next month's Academy Awards. Pawel Pawlikowski's black-and-white story of a young novice nun who discovers she is Jewish, Ida, is nominated both for best foreign film and cinematography for its camerawork by Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski. Nasza klatwa (Our Curse) by Tomasz Sliwinski and Joanna by Aneta Kopacz are both nominated for best documentary short.

Polish costume designer Anna Biedrzycka-Sheppard will compete for best costume design for her work on Robert Stromberg's film Maleficent. She has previously been nominated for Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List (1994) and Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2003).

Agnieszka Odorowicz, head of the Polish Film Institute, which funded all three nominated films, said the nominations confirmed "the significant artistic value that is present in contemporary Polish cinema."

She told The Hollywood Reporter: "It marks a fabulous beginning of the year for the Polish film industry. In 2015, we are celebrating the achievements of the last decade on the Polish Film Institute's 10th anniversary. These results go hand in hand with a successful policy in cultural funding for Polish cinema."

Ida director Pawlikowski was more sanguine. In an interview with respected Polish daily newspaper Wyborcza, he said that though he "felt great joy" at the Oscar nomination, winning best film director, script and cinematography at the European Film Awards (EFA) in Riga, Latvia, last month meant more to him.

"The EFA were more important for me. Here in Poland, we always look to America. Offers from the U.S. started coming to me long ago, when I got my first BAFTA award. Big films with stars. Only I was never tempted. You have to follow your nose, your intuition."

He added: "Let's be honest: Ida had no commercial prospects, even in festivals, because I know how hard it is for Polish films to break into Cannes, Venice and Berlin. When I said that I was doing the film in Poland — in Polish and in black and white — my friends decided that I was committing professional hara-kiri."

Ida is a Polish-Danish co-production, produced by Opus Film and Phoenix Film in cooperation with Portobello Pictures, Phoenix Film Polska and Canal+Polska. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, Eurimages, the Danish Film Institute, the Lodz Film Fund and the European Union's MEDIA Program.