Renowned Swedish director Jerzy Sladkowski is the first resident of the Tartu 2024 Arts of Survival Documentaries Residency. Jerzy was born and raised in Poland but has settled in Sweden since 1982. Film journalist Tiit Tuumtalu has described Jerzy as a living classic of documentary. He has made more than 50 films for TV stations in France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway during his long career. Jerzy Sladkowski’s films have been screened at numerous film festivals, and he has won the European Film Academy’s Best Documentary Award and major awards at IDFA in Amsterdam, DOK in Leipzig, New York and Gothenburg.
Over the years, the Estonian cinema audience has watched Sladkowski’s films at the Pärnu Film Festival, tARTuFF, PÖFF, DocPoint and Estonian Public Broadcasting. His film “Paradise” was the first documentary to win the Audience Award at the TARTuFF in 2010, followed by the Grand Prix for “Vodka Factory” at the Pärnu Film Festival in 2011.
The overall theme of Jerzy Sladkowski’s films is mainly people facing dramatic changes or individuals trying to maintain normality in a changing environment and quietly strive for a better life. Sladkowski’s most famous films are “Swedish Tango” and “Paradise” about a lovely old couple, and the Russian trilogy created in the past decade “Vodka Factory”, “Don Juan” and “Bitter Love”.