A film director and actor, born in 1965 in Puławy.
A film director and actor.
He studied Environmental Engineering at the Warsaw Institute of Technology for four years. In 1996, he graduated from the Directing Department of the Polish Film School in Lodz. His documentaries were screened at numerous festivals, i.e. in Berlin, Cape Town and Amsterdam.
In 1997 he directed List z Argentyny (A Letter from Argentina) about the search for Witold Gombrowicz's illegitimate son in South America. The film was awarded for best screenplay at the Kraków Film Festival and it is referred to as the first Polish mockumentary.
Jestem zły / Such is my Karma (2000), a documentary in which the director allows a group of kids from Warsaw's 'bad neighbourhood' to talk about themselves, was an even bigger success: it received the Golden Lajkonik award in Kraków and King Kazimierz's Crown during the Summer of cinema in Kazimierz Dolny, it was also named one of ten best documentaries about the modern world in the Prix Europa contest. A few years later the director admitted in a conversation with Bartosz Wróblewski that what he showed on the screen, wasn't even close to the demure reality usually unseen by the inhabitants of the dynamically growing capital.
The parents (of children shown on screen) said: 'That's a nice film, but now we can show you the real life of Szmulki'. They considered the film a lighter version of what they experience in their neighbourhood. I only touched the surface and it was enough to make the blood run cold (Gazeta Wyborcza, 01.02.2015).
Diverse interests of the director were confirmed with the film Idź do Luizy (Go to Louisa, 2005), taking place in South Africa ten years after the end of apartheid. The main protagonist and our guide is Stach, who came there from Poland, a beneficiary of the old system. Even though the documentary speaks about a far away land, the director looked for a dimension that would be relevant also in the reality of contemporary Poland.
I met Stach thanks to the letters he sent to Poland, in which Africa was a little bit like in Alfred Szklarski's books about Tomek. I was fooled. Only when I arrived did I notice that black workers are treated in South Africa as if apartheid never ended. So instead of making a film about a traveller, I made a film about the class system in South Africa. I understood that I could make a similiar movie in Polnad. It's not only a film about apartheid and race, but also about capitalism and about how workers are treated by their employers.
For this film he was awarded, among others, at festivals Watch docs in Warsaw and International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival 'One World' in Prague. Pacek's last documentary Tato poszedł na ryby (Dad went fishing, 2011), also takes place in South Africa, in a rural orphanage.
Up to date, Pacek directed only one fictional feature: Wednesday, Thursday Morning (2007). It is a story of two young people (played by Paweł Tomaszewski and Joanna Kulig) who meet on the anniversary of the beginning of Warsaw Uprising. The film was awarded with the Great Amber prize at the Festival of Debut Films Young and Cinema in Koszalin.
In television he directed series such as Na dobre i na złe, Plebania and Pierwsza miłość.
- 1994 Serbowie to dobrzy ludzie / The Serbs Are Good People
- 1996 Podatek od marzeń / Dream Tax
- 1997 List z Argentyny / A Letter from Argentina (Award for best script at the Cracow Festival of Documentaries and Short Films; Grand Prix at the Small Documentaries Review in Szczecin)
- 2000 Jestem zły / Such Is My Karma
- 2000 Mongolski ślad / Mongolian Trace
- 2002 Ulica Wapienna / Wapienna Street
- 2003 Planeta śmieci / The Planet of Trash (documentary series)
- 2005 Idź do Luizy / Go to Louisa (Grand Prix at the International Days of Documentary Cinema, European Point of Divergence/Convergence in Lublin, 2006; honourable mention at the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Prague, 2006)
- 2007 Środek, czwarta rano / Wednesday, Thursday morning
- 2011 Tato poszedł na ryby / Dad went fishing
Source: from the Young Polish Cinema catalogue, published by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, June 2007, updated by NMR, August 2016.