Young Polish woman’s film nominated for BAFTAs

Agata Jagodzinska, a graduate of Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University has received two nominations for New Talent awards at British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

The 10 minute film has been nominated in two categories: ‘Fiction under 30 minutes’ and ‘Writer’. It is the first Queen Margaret University film ever to be shot in Poland and recorded in the Polish language.

The film “Secret of Confession” highlights the generation conflict between the young and the elderly community in Poland.

Agata, 26, who is originally from Poland, said: “I made this movie because I wanted to show life in a small town back in Poland. I never anticipated that I would be nominated for such a prestigious award, particularly as it’s my first film – and I still can’t believe it! It’s such an honour and a real confidence boost.”

Many of Agata’s family members star in the film, with her grandmother playing the lead role.

Agata said: “The film tells the story of a religious elderly woman who is constantly confronted by misbehaving youngsters. Dismayed by the general acceptance of pornography and contraception amongst the younger population, she decides to punish them for their promiscuous behaviour. But her extreme action results in a terrible outcome.”

Agata said she wanted to use her film to highlight some of the cultural issues which are currently affecting Polish society. “When I screened the film in my home town, it was met by initial silence, as the audience digested the issues and the rather God like action of the elderly women. It may have made uncomfortable viewing from some of the more religious members of the community,” Agata said. “However, most people really enjoyed it and it was such a thrill for everyone to see the residents of my small town up there on the big screen. None of them, including my gran, have ever acted before or been involved in any kind of film making, so it was a really big deal for everyone.”

Initially screened at the Edinburgh Filmhouse as part of Queen Margaret University’s year end show, the film has since been screened at various film festivals across Europe.

“Secret of Confession” won the ‘Audience Award’ at the biggest travelling festival in Poland, Filmowa Gora 2011 and ‘Best Screenplay’ at the Exposures Film Festival 2012, which is one of the top film festivals to showcase new talent in the UK.

Having decided to remain in Edinburgh, Agata has been spending the last year getting her own film production company off the ground. In partnership with another Queen Margaret graduate, Agata established ‘Raw Film Productions’. The team specialise in corporate videos and short documentaries.

Walid Salhab, lecturer in film at Queen Margaret University, said: “This is the first time that a student film from Queen Margaret University has been nominated for a BAFTA, so this is a real coup for Agata. We often encourage our international students to shoot their films in their homeland. It helps them create a truly unique product with a distinctive look.”

Walid concluded: “For such a young filmmaker, Agata was able to produce a very high standard of work and it’s wonderful that her talents are being recognised by such prestigious awards.”

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