Jacek Bromski

Friday, October 23

Director, screenwriter, producer. Studied at the Warsaw Fine Arts Academy, Polish philology at the Warsaw University, and film directing at the Lodz Film School. Co-founder and literary director of ZEBRA Film Studio, deputy chairman of the International Association of Audiovisual Authors and member of the General Assembly of the International Producer’s Organization. Since 2005 member of the Council of Polish Film Institute. Chairman of the Polish Filmmakers’ Association. Laureate of numerous awards at national and international film festivals. Honorary Patron of the Austin Polish Film Festival.

Anna Kazejak-Dawid

Saturday, October 24

Born 1979 in Bytom, director and screenwriter, renowned especially for directing and writing the segment Silesia, part of the drama Oda do radości (Ode to joy, 2005), which won the Golden Lion at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. In her films she focuses on different aspects of being a woman, though she claims often her characters are based on men in her life. Despite her young age, Kazejak-Dawid was met with critical acclaim, which is visible both in the positive press she received and in the nine nominations and six awards. Her newest film, Obietnica (The Word, 2013), was shown at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film can be considered quintessential to Kazejak-Dawid's style, as it both touches on a woman-oriented problem (female violence) and relays on young, inexperienced actors. She is a member of the European Film Academy.

Pawel Wysoczanski

Saturday, October 24


Paweł Wysoczański, born in 1980 in Głogow, Poland.  Graduated in Film Studies from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and in Directing from the Silesian University in Katowice in the Krzysztof Kieślowski's TV and Radio Department.  Director of documentary and feature films: "Point of view " , "Flying lesson" , "On the road" , "We will be happy one day" , awarded in festivals in Poland and abroad.    Expert adviser for the Polish Film Institute.  Currently working on a film about Somalia.
Feature-length film "Jurek" about Jerzy Kukuczka will be presented at the APFF 2015.

Beata Pozniak

Sunday, October 25

Born in Gdansk, Poland, Beata received her MFA with High Honors from PWSTViT Film School in Lodz. She is an actress, director, and visual artist. Already a well-established Polish and European artist, Beata Pozniak-Daniels was discovered by the U.S. audiences when Oliver Stone cast her in JFK(1991) as Marina Oswald. After starring in George Lucas "The Yound Indiana Jones"  Beata took on diverse roles - from dramatic to comedy on popular television shows including “Mad About You,” “JAG,” “Babylon 5,” “Melrose Place,” and Oliver Stone’s mini-series “Wild Palms.” Beata was the recipient of the Croatian Heart Awardfor her heartfelt performance in the film “Freedom From Despair” as well as for her dedication to humanitarian causes. She narrated the bestseller “ The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great", a 19 hour audio book for Random House. Her directorial debut was a short film "Mnemosyne" praised by LA Weekly. She also directed “On Profiles in Courage” and "People on the Bridge" that pay homage to power, strength and individualism. Beyond cinema, Beata is also an accomplished painter and sculptress. Her artworks combine the choreographic traditions of theater with symbolic and surreal imagery of painting and sculpture. By combining imagery reminiscent of surrealist dreamscapes with found objects, these works to challenge our notions of continuity between past and present. Through her art, Pozniak also explores themes of women rights and history.

Michal Poniz

Thursday, October 22 - Sunday, October 25

Studied at the Radio, Film, and Television department at the University of Texas at Austin in the 70ties, Mr. Poniz makes his home in Warsaw , Poland. A collector of Polish Poster art for many years, Michal curated exhibits and traveled extensively with his collection. For the last forty years, he managed to gather much over ten thousand posters . The exhibit he is bringing to the festival venue this year will focus on the American film posters by the masters of the Polish Poster School dating from the 1940s to the present. Mr. Poniz is planning to present works by such artists as Tomaszewski, Swierzy, Młodożeniec, Górka, and many others. Some of the posters will be available for sale.

Zbigniew Banaś

Thursday, October 22 – Saturday, October 25

Zbigniew Banaś is a film critic, teacher, translator, and a radio and television journalist. Banaś reviews films for the Kinomonthly magazine in Poland.  He is affiliated with WPNA (1490 AM) and WNVR (1030 AM) radio stations in Chicago, and with Chicago’s Polvision TV (Ch. 24.4).  As an instructor in International Film at Loyola University in Chicago, he teaches film-related classes for the Road Scholar Program, and conducts film discussions at Talk Cinema and the Sinai Congregation. Banaś is the co-founder of the Polish Film Festival of America and serves as the Master of Ceremonies of the Polish Film Festivals in Chicago and Los Angeles. He is an accredited journalist at over 20 film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, and Sundance.  He is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Mr. Banaś will be the APFF MC, will introduce the festival films and will moderate Q&A sessions with the festival guests Thursday through Saturday.

Ludek Drizhal

Friday, October 23

Born in Prague, Czech Republic.  An award-winning composer, conductor and music producer. Studied composition and conducting at The University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music and the USC Thornton School of Music. In 2007, the comedy/drama "Rounding First" won Drizhal an award at the Park City Film Music Festival. His song "Nothing’s There" written for "Badland" was considered in the original song category for the 80th Annual Academy Awards.
Drizhal has worked over the past several years with Polish writer/director, Jacek Bromski.  Drizhal’s score for Bromski’s  God’s Little Village was the No. 1 selling soundtrack in Poland in the summer of 2009.  Since 2011 he scored several of Bromski's films: "Entanglement", „One Way Ticket To The Moon”, and in2015"Anatomy of Evil" being shown at this year's APFF.

Spencer Gibb

Friday, October 23

Spencer David Gibb is British musician, singer-songwriter and actor. He is a founder member of Austin based band 54 Seconds. The band released numerous studio and live albums and two singles. Spencer starred in his first film in 2005 in Hello God? as Pastor Jones along with another 54 Seconds member Stewart Cochran . In 2007, 54 Seconds covered "Run to Me" for Gibb's father Robin Gibb, a member of the Bee Gees famous British group and was included on A Song For My Father. Gibb starred in Hostage (2008) , McCartney's Genes (2008) and participated in composing the soundtrack for Between Floors .
Gibb started writing songs on piano and keyboards when he was about 11-12 in Surrey, UK. At 14 he left the prestigious school in Barnes, London, to become a professional musician. He played in bands in England and was also working as a solo artist for a long time. Gibb moved to New York City where he dropped the keys in favor of the guitar. In the early 1990s, he moved to Florida and then to Austin where he lives now. 
Spencer Gibb has an appearance in the APFF feature film"Anatomy of Evil"  for which he also produced the score in Prague with the composer, Ludek Drizhal.

Dr. Tatiana Lichtenstein

Saturday, October 24

Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Lichtenstein's teaching focuses on modern Eastern European and Jewish history. Her interests include twentieth-century Eastern European history with a focus on nationalism, minorities and state-building, and relations between Jews and non-Jews. Tatjana Lichtenstein has won the 2013-2014 Josefina Paredes Endowed Teaching Award, a college-wide prize awarded annually to junior faculty members. Dr. Lichtenstein, a J S faculty affiliate in history, was nominated and chosen by her peers in the College of Liberal Arts for her outstanding undergraduate teaching.

Dr. Lichtenstein will introduce the APFF 2015 audience to the film Warsaw 44.

Chale Nafus

Sunday, October 25

After receiving a UT-Austin M.A. degree in English/RTF in 1968, Chale spent five years teaching in South Texas, Puerto Rico, and New York City before returning to a fortunately evolving Austin to begin a 25-year career as a full-time professor at Austin Community College where he founded the Radio-TV-Film Department, served as Chair of Humanities for 7 years, and retired in 1998. A founding board member of Austin Film Society since 1985, he resigned in 2002 to take the position of AFS Director of Programming and enjoyed 12 years of programming a wide array of films at various AFS venues and working with many Austin film organizations. Now, retired for a second time in his life, he is back on the AFS board while continuing rewarding relations with Austin's film organizations.

Chale has been a mentor to the APFF for many years and a frequent speaker at the festival. He will introduce the film Jack Strong and conduct the Q&A session with Mr. Elliot Nowacky after the film.

Dr. Teresa Lyson

Thursday, October 22

This is a unique opportunity to hear directly from a physician who spent her professional career in Poland in the same area of medicine as Dr Relig, the protagonist of the film "The Gods". Dr Lyson worked in the Institute of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery of the Medical School in Lodz, Poland from 1980 to 1992. "I was privileged to work with Dr Jan Moll, one of the greatest cardiothoracic surgeons, on almost daily bases. I know his son Dr Jacek Moll, cardiothoracic pediatric surgeon, who worked in Matka Polka Medical Center in Lodz and can share with the audience a little bit about my experience that is very much related to the background of the film "The Gods" - said Dr Lyson when we asked that she be available for an Q & A session after the film.

Elliott Nowacky

Sunday, October 25

Elliott is currently the International Programs Coordinator in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to moving to Austin in 2009 he spent 20 years as a field artillery officer and Russian specialist in the U.S. Army serving in a wide variety of leadership and staff positions here in the US and overseas. In the early 2000s, he worked closely with the Polish Army during yearly joint US/Polish military exercises held at the Drawsko-Pomorskie training area in western Poland. Elliott has traveled extensively in Poland including several genealogical research trips to Mlawa, the city of his great-grandfather’s birth.
He will participate in the Q & A session conducted by Mr. Chale Nafus after the film "Jack Strong".