The short film, “The Dress,” which was directed by Tadeusz Lysiak, a student of the Warsaw Film School, has been nominated for the 94th Academy Awards® in the Best Live Action Short Film category. “The Dress” is a poignant story about the desire for love and intimacy, whose short-statured protagonist Anna struggles with social rejection because of her appearance. This is the second Oscar® nomination for its producer, the Warsaw Film School, an educational institution located in the heart of Europe.
Tadeusz Lysiak stated, “This is so surreal, I can’t believe this! I am so grateful to the entire film crew, my producers—Warsaw Film School and all the coproducers and good people that supported us. This is just out of this world. This film is a huge team effort, and it was made with student passion and [a] mission to change the world for the better. Thank you all for supporting us!”
Anna Dzieduszycka (lead actress) stated, “I want to say that I am very proud of us. I never imagined something like this, but now I know that nothing is impossible and it’s a wonderful feeling! Believe in yourself, respect and love each other.”
Working at a roadside motel, Julia doesn’t want to suppress her desire, sexuality, and longing for physical intimacy any longer. When a handsome truck driver comes into her life, her unrealized fantasies begin to come true. But “The Dress” is not just the story of a woman meeting a man. Julia, physically different from the society around her, experiences rejection and bullying. “The Dress” is a universal story about longing that affects everyone, regardless of the barriers and differences that divide us.
The movie was written and directed by Tadeusz Łysiak, a student at the Warsaw Film School. The production has screened at nearly 40 film festivals around the world and has won 18 awards. Awarded at the prestigious Atlanta Film Festival allowed “The Dress” to compete for an Academy Award® nomination.
The main actress Anna Dzieduszycka hopes that her role will be one step towards changing the perception of individuals like her on-screen: “I wish people stop using the word “otherness”, become more open-minded, and embrace diversity of viewpoints. […] Looks don’t matter. We all have magic inside us.” said Dzieduszycka. Her acting has been recognized at many festivals in Poland and abroad. Anna’s awards include the Grand Prize for Best Actress at Flicker’s Rhode Island International Film Festival.
The Oscar-nominated title was created by a team composed mainly of students and graduates of the Warsaw Film School. The director, Tadeusz Łysiak, participated in the prestigious program FUTURE FRAMES—Generation NEXT of European Cinema within Eastern Promises at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. He is also a winner of the “Discovery Eye” award for Young, Talented Filmmaker at the Polish Film Festival in Chicago. Tadeusz Łysiak’s previous award-winning film “Techno” has had over a million views on YouTube.
The cinematographer, Konrad Bloch, is a graduate of Warsaw Film School. He was recognized for his work as a cameraman on the set of “The Dress,” among others, at the 45th Gdynia Film Festival—the award for Best Cinematography—the Bronze Tadpole at the Energa CAMERIMAGE Festival and the Best Cinematography award at the 38th Sulmona Film Festival.
The film is produced by the co-founder and Chancellor of the Warsaw Film School, director and screenwriter Maciej Ślesicki. He is the producer of many student films, including “Our Curse,” which was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 2015. “The Dress” was also co-produced by DOBRO, MIŁO, and GŁOŚNO. The project was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. “The Dress” is the only production this year from Poland that is up in the running for an Academy Award®.
The 94th Academy Awards® ceremony will take place on March 27th at the Dolby Theatre.