Polish director named president of European Film Academy

Maciej Kulczyński/PAP

Polish award-winning film director, Agnieszka Holland, has been named president of the European Film Academy (EFA) and will replace her German colleague, Wim Wenders, EFA said on its website.

"The more than 3,800 members of the European Film Academy (EFA) have elected Polish director Agnieszka Holland as new EFA President," EFA said.

Holland was the chairperson of the EFA Council between 2014 and 2019. Wenders was the Academy's president since 1996.

"The times are challenging and to save the creative power of independent cinema and the involvement of our audience, we need to use all our experience and imagination," Agnieszka Holland was quoted as saying in the EFA's news release. "I believe there is an important role for EFA here and I am happy to be part of it," she added.

With roots going back to the European Cinema Society, EFA was established in 1988 by world-renowned Swedish director Ingmar Bergman and 40 other European directors to promote European cinema.

The Academy grants its annual Felix awards. Polish film director Krzysztof Kieslowski was the first winner of the competition.

A three-time Oscar nominee, Holland has directed many successful films, including To Kill a Priest (1988), Europa Europa (1990) and Washington Square (1997). In her films, the Polish director raises controversial topics from history and current politics. Among the international productions directed by Holland were several popular TV series, including House of Cards, The Wire, The Killing, and Treme.