11. MFFA Animator



Borowczyk, Walerian


On animator festival in years:

Walerian Borowczyk was born 21 November 1923 in Kwilcz, Poland. Artist, screenwriter, animator, film director; set designer, cinematographer, writer.

Walerian Borowczyk is considered a leading creator of artistic erotica film. He was a co-creator of Polish school of poster, Polish school of animation and a pioneer of the surrealistic film. Borowczyk studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. He started out as an illustrator of satirical drawings for magazines. He designed posters for theatre and film. But he fast moved towards animation.
A real breakthrough came when he teamed up with the artistic director of Szpilki magazine - Jan Lenica. Borowczyk showed him his amateur animations and Lenica got hooked. In 1957 they made together an internationally acclaimed ONCE UPON THE TIME. For the next two years Borowczyk and Lenica produced several other famous animation films. In 1959 he left Poland and settled in Paris with his wife – actress Ligia „Branice” Borowczyk.

In France at first he continued to produce animation films further experimenting with different techniques, but soon he dedicated his time to live-action film, reveling the lustful nature of mankind. W 1966 he made his first short live-action feature Rozalie, based on Guy de Maupassant story, starring his own wife - Ligia. Film won several prestigious awards, among others the Silver Bear at Berlin Festival. Two years later he made his first feature film GOTTO, ISLAND OF LOVE, also starring his wife. In 1971 came out his next film - BLANCHE, inspired by Mazepa of Juliusz Słowacki. His position as a leading master of erotica was secured in 1974 by the production of the IMMORAL TALES. A year later the communist Poland appreciated his contribution to world’s cinema by asking him to direct adaptation of Stefan Żeromski’s THE STORY OF SIN. Soon after Borowczyk finished his most famous film THE BEAST based on Prosper Merimee’s Lokis. He continued making features, authored 10 films including HEROINES OF EVIL, LULU, DR JEKYLL AND HIS WOMEN.

Borowczyk had an utter control over the production of his work. He was not only a director and a screenwriter but also a set designer. He despotically imposed his will upon the cinematographers, even the most prominent ones. Borowczyk also designed posters to his own films and film promos. By the end of his life „ the boy from Kwilcz” fulfilled his early dreams – writing books. He wrote “Anatomia diabła” (Anatomy of Devil) and “Moje polskie lata” (written in French My Polish Years). Walerian Borowczyk died in the hospital in suburban Paris on February 3, 2006 from heart failure. He was 83.