Polish film director is Viadrina Prize Laureate

Polish director Agnieszka Holland attends the press conference of 'Mr. Jones' during the 69th annual Berlin Film Festival, in Berlin, Germany, 10 February 2019. FELIPE TRUEBA/PAP/EPA

Polish film director and scriptwriter Agnieszka Holland has been awarded the 2019 Viadrina Prize from the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), announced Ewa Bielewicz-Polakowska, a spokesperson for Collegium Polonicum.

The justification for the award states that "Agnieszka Holland undertakes in her work, in her films, theatrical performances, scenarios and translations, uncomfortable, but very important topics from the history of Europe and relations between its inhabitants. Her films not only refer thematically to Europe, but thanks to constant cooperation and co-production with many partners from Germany, France, England or Ukraine, they contribute to intercultural dialogue and understanding. Also, Agnieszka Holland's promotion of young artists deserves a special mention."

The Viadrina Prize of EUR 5,000 has been awarded annually since 1999 by the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt. The distinction is given to figures from Poland and Germany who contribute to Polish-German reconciliation. Past laureates from Poland include Adam Krzemiński, a journalist and publicist, Adam Michnik, a political publicist and Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a former Polish prime minister.

A three-time Oscar nominee, Holland has authored 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.