Agnieszka Holland is one of the most famous Polish directors and screenwriters. She attended the Stefan Batory Gymnasium and Lyceum in Warsaw. After high school, she studied at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). As she said: “I watched first films of Miloš Forman, Ivan Passer, and Vera Chytilova. They seemed to be fantastically interesting to me, unlike what was being made in Poland at that time”. Holland witnessed the Prague Spring of 1968 while in Czechoslovakia, and was arrested for her support of the dissident movement. She graduated from FAMU in 1971 and her career began as assistant to the directors Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Zanussi. Since 70s she’s making features, documentaries and advertising films. Holland emigrated to France shortly before the December 1981 imposition of martial law in Poland. Her works as a director are accepted with applause from the audience and professionals of the most prestigious international film forums. She received the FIPRESCI award for „Aktorzy prowincjonalni” (an allegory of Poland's contemporary political situation) in 1978 in Cannes, the „Golden Bear” nomination for „Goraczka (Dzieje jednego pocisku) / Fever” in 1981, Berlin, nominated for „Golden Lion” for „Julie Walking Home” in 2002, Venice. „Angry Harvest” was nominated for „Oscar” for best foreign language film in 1986, and „Copying Beethoven” with Ed Harris was named best film at San Sebastian in 2006. Agnieszka Holland was nominated with „Oscar” for best screenplay of „Europe, Europe” (1990), and also received „Golden Globe” nomination for best foreign language film „In Darkness” (2012) – one „serious, epic film, far from the usual entertainment”, according to „The Wall Street Journal”.
„For me, television is just a medium, - says Agnieszka Holland. - It isn’t radically different from film, though it has different stylistic possibilities and limitations, but it is also something new. I started to see that in the States, well-written and well-produced television shows were becoming far more interesting than the cinema. With challenging materials from HBO, Showtime, and now, AMC, it was very natural for me to want to work on their projects. But I’m very particular. I only do one or two episodes a year, because it gives me some kind of energy, you know?”
Since 2014 Agnieszka Holland has been a chairwoman of the board of the European Film Academy. The presence of the renowned director is accomplished in partnership with EFA and the Polish Cultural Institute in Sofia.
Agnieszka Holland was awarded the Sofia Municipality award for outstanding achievements in world cinema in 2017.