congress / people

Zbigniew Rybczyński

Date and place of birth: 1949, Lodz, Poland

Living place: Warsaw, Poland

Theme: film

ECC Participation: special guest, Dokc's Docs jury

photo: private archive

A film director, cameraman and a multimedia artist, known also as a pioneer of the High Definition television technology, and an innovator in the technical field. A specialist in translating original artistic visions into the language of modern film forms. His famous experimental animations are a great example of auteur cinema (he often writes his own scripts, designs the sets and oversees the technological side of his movies). His works are praised for their ambiguity, visual innovation, deep insights into modernity, sophisticated humor and subtle irony.

”The camera, which was supposed to only mirror reality, suddenly started seeing much more than we do.”

After graduating from the Cinematography Department at The Polish National Film, Television and Theater School in Łódź, Rybczyński got involved with the Small Films Forms Studio “Se-Ma-For” in Łódź. He worked there for almost ten years. There, he produced his debut, an animated music video called “Plamuz” (1973). At the time, it was truly groundbreaking work. While at “Se-Ma-For,” Rybczyński also filmed “Tango,” his most famous movie, for which he received an Academy Award in 1983.

His subsequent movies were made in the United States, in Rybczyński’s own “Zbig Vision Studio” (which, by the way, is still operational, www.zbigvision.com). Rybczyński is also famous for filming music videos for musical luminaries such as John Lennon (his music video for “Imagine” received the Silver Lion Award in Cannes in 1987,) Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, Simple Minds, Yoko Ono, and Chuck Mangione. His most famous works filmed in HD include “Steps,” “The Orchestra,” “Manhattan,” “Washington,” and “Kafka.” Rybczyński’s work has received many prestigious awards in the United States, Japan and Europe.

Rybczyński has taught at various prominent universities and film schools in Cologne, New York and Tokyo. He also headed the Drimagine School of 3D Animation and Special Effects at Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu-National Louis University in Nowy Sącz. Currently, he is working with Feature Films Studio in Wrocław to create Wrocław Visual Technology Studios, a facility combining film education with production. The goal of this unique project, based in a location that is very special to Polish cinematography, is to create a modern film studio where artists will have access to cutting-edge technology and innovative special effects design techniques.