1. Jerzy Skolimowski is a Polish film director, screenwriter, dramatist and actor.
2. A graduate of the prestigious National Film School in Łódź, Skolimowski has directed more than twenty films since his 1960 début Oko wykol .
3. He lived in Los Angeles for over 20 years where he painted in a figurative, expressionist mode and acted occasionally in films.
4. More recently, he returned to Poland, and to film making as a writer and director after a 17-year hiatus with Cztery noce z Anną in 2008.
5. Skolimowski was born in Łódź, Poland, the son of Maria and Stanisław Skolimowski, an architect. He often recognized indications in his work to a childhood ineradicably scarred by the War.
6. As a small child he witnessed the brutalities of war, even having been rescued from the rubble of a bombed-out house in Warsaw.
7. His father, a member of the Polish Resistance, was executed by the Nazis.
8. His mother hid a Jewish family in the house and Skolimowski recalls being required to take candy from the Nazis to maintain appearances.
9. After the war, his mother became the cultural attaché of the Polish embassy in Prague.
10. His fellow pupils at school in Poděbrady, a spa town near Prague, included future film-makers Miloš Forman and Ivan Passer, as well as Václav Havel.
11. Skolimowski was considered as a trouble maker at school as he was the origin of many pranks which angered the authorities.
12. At college he studied ethnography, history and literature and took up boxing, which was also the subject of a feature-length documentary, his first significant film.
13. In his early twenties Skolimowski was already a writer, having published several books of poems, short stories and a play.
14. However, in response to a challenge by Wajda, he produced his own version which became a basis for the finished film, Innocent Sorcerers , directed by Wajda with Skolimowski playing a boxer.
15. Skolimowski enrolled in the Łódź Film School with the intention of avoiding the long apprenticeship required before graduating to feature film direction.
16. He used the film stock available to him for student exercises, and with initial advice from Andrzej Munk, he filmed over several years in such a way that the sequences where later clipped off and joined together into one piece of work.
17. While scoring poorly in course work Skolimowski had a finished feature film by the end of the course.
18. Skolimowski then collaborated with Polański, writing the dialogue for the script of Knife in the Water .
19. Between 1964 and 1984 he completed six semi-autobiographical feature films: Rysopis, Walkover, Barrier and Deep End based on his original screenplays.
20. Le Départ won the Golden Bear at the 17th Berlin International Film Festival.
21. While living and working in many countries, he also completed another six relatively big budget productions, including four international co-productions, between 1970 and 1992 , all distinctly bearing Skolimowski’s signature.