Katarzyna Trzaska was born in Toruń. She graduated from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, where she studied English Philology, and from the Faculty of Radio and Television University of Silesia, where she studied film directing. She is not only a director, screenwriter, and producer, but also a member of the Polish Filmmakers Association, and a co-founder of the Polish Female Filmmakers Association.
Katarzyna Trzaska’s first film experience was the job of Assistant to the Director of Avalon, a Polish-Japanese production, directed by Mamoru Oshii, and on the set of The Foreigner, directed by Michael Oblowitz, starring Steven Seagal.
Between 2003 and 2004 she worked as a Second Director and Script Supervisor in two Polish TV series: Na dobre i na złe (For Better and for Worse) (2003) and Pensjonat pod różą (The Rose Inn). She was also Xawery Żuławski’s Assistant during the production of Chaos, awarded in Gdynia in 2005.
Her debut as a Director was a film-school production entitled Pod powieką (Under the Eyelid). Her first documentary was the film 10 lat do Nashville (10 Years to Nashville) from 2009, which tells the story of a musically talented cleaning woman, whose dreams come true. The film was nominated for the Jan Machulski Award at the festival in Gdynia and was displayed at several festivals both in Poland and abroad. It was also recognised by the critics. The document was awarded at the Port Townsend Film Festival in the USA, the KAN Amateur and Independent Film Festival in Wrocław, the Bangkok IndieFest in Thailand, and the In The Palace International Short Film Festival in Bulgaria.
Her subsequent documentaries were also very successful, including Maksimum przyjemności (Maximum Pleasure) from 2014, which was awarded first prize in the category Documentary Film at the Festiwal Sztuki Faktu in Toruń. The documentary portrays three pensioners from Toruń addicted to sales presentations, where they buy unnecessary but very-expensive goods.
In 2017, together with Maciej Piotrowski and Rafał Skalski, Ms Trzaska directed the documentary TV series Polacy z wyboru (Poles by Choice), depicting portraits of foreigners who chose Poland as their home.
Her most-recent production was the documentary Wieś pływających krów (The Village of the Swimming Cows) from 2018. It tells the story of three young Berliners from the Spirit Centre community, which ensures the spiritual growth of its members through yoga, meditation, shamanic rituals, and survival lessons in the forest. These young Germans decide to travel to, in their view, the “wild east” and live in Spartan conditions on a farm in Podlachia in Poland. The film was nominated for a Gold Angel at the International Film Festival Tofifest in the From Poland Competition; it has also received a Jury Distinction at the Media Festival Man in Danger in Łódź.
Selected awards and distinctions
The HBO Award for the film project Boskie! (The Divines!) at Doc Lab Poland during the 55th Krakow Film Festival; a distinction on the East Doc Platform for the project Wieś pływających krów (The Village of the Swimming Cows) at Doc Lab Poland during the 56th Krakow Film Festival; The Special Jury Award at the Port Townsend Film Festival for 10 lat do Nashville (10 Years to Nashville); The award for the best documentary at the Bangkok IndieFest; A Special Distinction for 10 lat do Nashville (10 Years to Nashville) in Bałczik at the In The Palace International Short Film Festival; The Jury Distinction for Wieś pływających krów (The Village of the Swimming Cows) at the Media Festival Man in Danger in Łódź; and many more.