Łukasz Karwowski

A Director, a scriptwriter and a producer. He was born in Toruń on 30 December 1965. Initially, he studied the Polish language at the Nicolaus Copernicus University, in his home city. In 1990, he graduated from the Direction Department of the Leon Schiller State Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź. He also studied at the National Film and Television School in London. In 2007, he received Flisak – the Award of the President of Toruń.

He directed 11 school études (feature, documentary and television films, as well as technical exercises). He started with L’Amour, czyli życie jest trudne/L’Amour, or Life is Difficult in 1986. A documentary étude entitled Rejestracja/Registration made in 1988 earned the Director awards in Paris and Nimes. In 1989, a student film entitled Wstęga Möbiusa/Möbius Strip was nominated for the Student Academy Award and awards in Paris, Nimes, Tel Aviv and Edinburgh.

In the 1990s, Karwowski moved to France. He established his own production company, Moon Movies, where he directed over 170 television commercials for various brands, such as Daewoo, Danone, Grants, GSM Plus, Jelfa, Johnson & Johnson, KRKA, LOT, Lotto, MK Cafe, Nestlé , Old Spice, PZU, Unilever, US PHARMACIA, Van den Bergh Foods, and many others. His works received numerous awards at commercial festivals.

Karwowski’s first feature film was a thriller entitled Novembre/Listopad, directed in 1992, with cinematography by Paweł Edelman. It is a story about a young, sensitive, girl who feels trapped by the evil she sees around her. The cast included Marine Delterme, Bartłomiej Topa, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Judith Henry. For directing this picture, Karwowski received an award of the Polish Cultural Foundation at the Gdynia Film Festival.

In 1995, he produced a film by Jan Jakub Kolski entitled Grający z talerza/Playing from the Plate. He subsequently focused once again on making commercials and working at Moon Movies. He returned to directing feature films in 2006 with Południe-Północ/South by North, starring Agnieszka Grochowska, Borys Szyc and Robert Więckiewicz (who played as many as five bit parts). It is a poetic story about Jakub (portrayed by Szyc), a young monk who discovers that he has brain cancer and decides to spend his final days outside the monastery. While on his way to the seaside, he encounters Julia (portrayed by Grochowska), a 21-year-old girl who accompanies him on the journey towards the end of his life.

Two years later, he created a romantic comedy entitled Mała Wielka Miłość/Expecting Love, with excellent cinematography by Arkadiusz Tomiak. It was filmed in Los Angeles and Warsaw and starred Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project), Agnieszka Grochowska, Michael Dunn (Star Trek) and Robert Foster (nominated for an Academy Award for Jackie Brown by Quentin Tarantino). The film was later turned into a television series.

Karwowski’s most-recent feature film is Kac Wawa, directed in 2011.

He also created an independent documentary film, closely associated with the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province, and, more specifically, the history of his family from Grębocin near Toruń. Doktor/The Doctor, filmed in 2009, is a story about Otto Karwowski, the Director’s grandfather, and a physician from Grębocin.

Selected filmography

1986 – „L’amour – czyli życie jest trudne”/„L’Amour, or Life is Difficult”
1988 – „Wstęga Möbiusa”/„Möbius Strip”
1988 – „Rejestracja”/„Registration”
1991 – „Sal”/„Will”
1992 – „Novembre”
2006 – „Południe-Północ”/„South by North”
2008 – „Mała wielka miłość”/„Expecting Love” (film and TV miniseries)
2011 – „Kac Wawa”

Selected awards and distinctions

The Silver Ticket Award for Mała Wielka Miłość/Expecting Love, granted by the Polish Cinemas Association; Flisak – the Award of the President of Toruń at the TOFIFEST International Film Festival; the Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Feature Film at the Summer Frames Film Festival in Cieszyn; the Award of the Polish Cultural Foundation at the Gdynia Film Festival; the Grand Prix at the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival; the Best Picture Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival; the Best Screenplay Award at the Nimes Film School Festival, and others.