The Dress: Tadeusz Lysiak's Oscar Short Listed Film Challenges Beauty Norms
Journalist: Nikoleta Morales
Lust, sexuality and physicality. These are the deepest desires virgin Julia suppresses while working at a wayside motel. Working long hours, being single and a person of short stature, her life is filled with loneliness thanks to a world that will never let her forget her differences. That is until she crosses paths with a handsome truck driver, who soon becomes the object of her fantasies. As the truck driver continues visiting the motel, Julia becomes infatuated and her life seems brighter. But will this last?
The Polish film ‘The Dress’ is a plea for understanding in an unforgiving world that can be cruel and bias against those with differences. Actress Anna Dzieduszycka gives a stunning performance in the lead role of Julia. The film is directed by award-winning Director Tadeusz Lysiak. As many would like to think that they are not small-minded and wouldn't let assumptions feed into prejudices about others, unfortunately this is simply not the case. Lysiak draws the audience into Julia’s world as a woman of short stature whose entire life is dictated by her height with a community unable to see beyond her physical appearance. The film challenges societal norms around what is beauty and how self-worth is determined.
Cultured Focus met with the director to discuss how he came up with the idea for the script, casting, and what audiences can take away from the film.
D I R E C T O R ' S S T A T E M E N T | THE DRESS
“The Dress” touches on the subject of rejection, loneliness and desire for love. Our heroine is a conduit of very universal emotions anyone can identify with. Julia is physically different from the rest of the society, but she is guided by the same needs and desires we all are. The world is full of lonely people who were doomed for this loneliness, even though, they do not deserve it. I hope our film will bring the audience’s attention to this issue and allow us to stop looking at ourselves only in the context of our looks, the shapes of our faces, our height, weight or other physical aspects. We were all created to love. It is love which rules the world. It is love which knows no boundaries nor limitations and is the beacon of hope in these dark, often brutal times.
We live in the world where the standards of beauty are set by the covers of magazines or pictures of Instagram models. We are getting accustomed with a certain cult of strength, and the canons of beauty are ruthless. How can we find ourselves in this world which points out every “imperfection”? We forget what is most important: our hearts. We forget that we are all made of the same clay and that we all need love. Loneliness is the number one disease of the XXI century. Millions of hearts die every day. And people just idly walk by.
BIO: Born in 1993, graduate of Cultural Studies at the University of Warsaw, student of Directing at the Warsaw Film School. Creator of two award-winning short films in Poland and abroad: "Techno" (starring Leszek Abrahamowicz, Danuta Stenka, Michalina Olszańska) and "The Dress" (Anna Dzieduszycka, Dorota Pomykała, Szymon Piotr Warszawski). Participant of the prestigious program FUTURE FRAMES - Generation NEXT of European Cinema within Eastern Promises at the Karlovy Vary Festival. Winner of the "Discovering Eye" award for young talented filmmaker at the Polish Film Festival in Chicago.
The Short Film Corner, Cannes Film Festival, France
Krakow Film Festival Market, Poland HollyShorts Film Festival, Film Market, USA
Film Market na Festival du Court Metrage de Clermont-Ferrand, France
EFP FUTURE FRAMES - Generation NEXT of EuropeanCinema, Industry Days, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czech Republic
New Horizons International Film Festival, Poland
Best Polish Shorts 2020, Warsaw Film Festival, Poland 50th Kyiv International Film Festival "Molodist", Ukraine
14th Central and Eastern European Film Festival, Luxembourg
DIRECTORS INTERVIEW AND MAIN ACTRESS
MACIEJ ŚLESICKI (IMDB) Director, screenwriter and film producer. The founder and Chancellor of the Warsaw Film School. His films include: Trzy minuty. 21:37 (Three minutes. 21:37), Tato (Daddy), Sara and Show. He also created the TV series 13 Posterunek (Station 13).
DIRCECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
KONRAD BLOCK (IMDB) Born in 1995, graduate of the Cinematography Department at the Warsaw Film School. Author of cinematography for several short films, music videos and social campaign Anja Rubik - #sexED.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCTION MANAGER
MONIKA OSSOWSKA (IMDB) Born in 1997, graduated of The Film Art Organization at Łódź Film School. She was Production Manager of many advertising films and photo sessions. She is also Executive producer and production manager of the short film "The Dress" awarded at festivals Atlanta Film Festival, In the Palace, Rhode Island and many more.
M A I N C A S T
ANNA DZIEDUSZYCKA (IMDB)
JULIA Born in 1990. The main role in the short film "The Dress" is her acting debut. Although she isn't a professional actress, her talent was already appreciated the jury and viewers around the world. Anna won The Grand Prize for the best actress at the International Short Film Festival Rhode Island in the US.
DORATA POMYKA Ł A (IMDB)
R E N A T A Polish actress, graduate of Acting Department at the PWST in Krakow in 1981. She has been associated with the National Stary Theatre all her life. She has appeared in more than 50 films and television shows. In 1991, she received an award from the Danish Film Academy for her lead role in the film "Kaja's Birthday".
SYMON PIOTR WARSZAWSKI (IMDB)
BOGAN Born in 1988, graduate of Acting Department at the PWST in Wrocław. He is an polish film and tv actor, known for movies: Bogowie, Najlepszy, Belfer.
WARSAW FILM SCHOOL
www.warsawfilmschool.com | www.szkolafilmowa.pl
Photo credit: Michal Sierszak / Warsaw Film School