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Bedfordshire filmmaker’s feature film to have European premiere in Poland

Agnieszka Piotrowska on set

Thu 13th September, 2018

An award-winning feature film produced by a University of Bedfordshire filmmaker will have its European premiere at a prestigious film festival in Poland.

Escape, a film noir fairy tale produced Course Leader of Digital Film Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska, is one of only seven films being screened in the Polonica section of the Festival of Polish Feature Films, which saw nearly 100 films submitted.

Dr Piotrowska, who is also a Visiting Professor in Film at the University of Gdańsk, said: “This is an amazing distinction and a great opportunity to return to my roots, not only as a Visiting Professor at Gdansk, but also as a filmmaker who believes in exploring different cultures in order to build bridges in the world.”

Escape, a collaborative project between Dr Piotrowska and award-winning Zimbabwean filmmaker Joe Njagu, tells the story of a young man born and bred in London who is of mixed heritage. On her death bed, his white mother reveals that his father is from Zimbabwe, which leads the young man on a journey to Zimbabwe to find his father and discover more about his background.Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska

Escape is a film noir retelling with a femme fatale and the possibility of a crime against the background of unfamiliar surroundings. The fairy tale aspect connects to African oral traditions, as well as European fairy tales involving witches, princesses and deathbed confessions,” said Dr Piotrowska.

The film also touches on important issues in Africa and elsewhere in the world, including child marriages, power and gender issues.  

When Escape was premiered at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival in 2016, it was nominated for nine awards, winning two for Best Actor and Actress. The film caused a stir among Zimbabwean media because of its representation of female sexuality. The film was even banned at a festival in Zanzibar, but went on to win a prize for its screenplay at the LA Neo Noir Film Festival.

Dr Piotrowska is currently completing a new film, written by Zimbabwean's award-winning writer Stanley Makuwe. Her latest monograph, The Nasty Woman and the Neo femme fatale in contemporary cinema, which will explore power and gender, is due to be published on November.

Bedfordshire University

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