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Marek Kondrat

special guest — meeting and the presentation of the Golden Angel of Tofifest

18 October, 19:30 · Artus Court: grand hall

Free entry

He has appeared in more than 100 films. He started his film career as early as at 11, when he was cast for Story of the Yellow Boot. Then, he collected all the most important trophies in Polish cinema, became Adaś Miauczyński, and finally did surprising turn-about— he abandoned acting in favour of becoming involved in the world of wines and vineyards. Marek Kondrat, a master of acting, will receive the Golden Angel for artistic insolence, during Tofifest 2016.

He was born in Cracow, in 1950. In 1972, he graduated from the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. However, his love affair with cinema started much earlier. In 1961, he got the leading role in Story of the Yellow Boota historic film for children, directed by Sylwester Chęciński. Then, in Hotel Pacific (1975) by Janusz Majewski, he portrayed a teenage waiter working in an elegant restaurant of the grand Hotel Pacific. That was the true start of his acting career, which was further confirmed by the prestigious Złota Kamera award given by “Film” monthly magazine. He would return to work with Janusz Majewski a decade later, as Gefreiter Jan Kania in the comedy entitled H.M. Deserters (1985). The film further reinforced the great comedic talent of Marek Kondrat.

He has portrayed many unforgettable characters and one would find it difficult to select the most significant of his creations. To many, it will be the cult character of Adaś Miauczyński appearing in the films by Marek Koterski (The House of Fools, 1984; Day of the Wacko, 2002; We're All Christs, 2006). Even the shortest fragments performed by Marek Kondrat portraying Adam Miauczyński are considered “gems”. One such scene is the famous dialogue from Day of the Wacko, when Marek Kondrat talks to Michał Koterski about “making a beak-like tip on the hood of a sweatshirt”.

Marek Kondrat has also had two “soap” episodes added to his professional portfolio. One is playing one of the main characters in the first Polish soap opera The Labyrinth (broadcast from 1988 to 1991), which was watched by a staggering number of 16 million viewers. Quite accidentally, he was also a... performer and co-author of the song entitled Mydełko Fa (Fa Soap), one of the greatest hits of the early years of disco polo.

However, there have been many faces to Marek Kondrat's artistic personality — he has gained great popularity, by portraying “determined” characters. They were such roles as Olo Żwirski in Pigs by Władysław Pasikowski (1992) and Commissioner Halski in the TV series entitled Extradition by Wojciech Wójcik (1996) — they made him a tried-and-tested macho of Polish films.

He has received numerous awards for his film roles, including, among others, two Golden Lions, an Eagle Award, Wiktor, Super Wiktor, Telekamera, Złota Kaczka/Gold Duck, or Telemaska for the Best Actor of TV Theatre. We could also admire his acting talent beyond the realm of the big screen. He has played on theatre stages in Warsaw, including, among others, the Dramatic Theatre of the Capital City of Warsaw, Nowy Teatr (New Theater), Teatr Komedii (Comedy Theatre), the Ateneum Theatre, or Powszechny Theatre.

In 2007, he announced he was going to end his artistic career. The symbolic end of his acting career came in 2010, when he played in Mała matura 1947, directed by Janusz Majewski, in which he gave his very last film appearance. It turned out that wine has always been the greatest of his passions. He is quoted to have said the following words in an interview for “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily, in 2015: “Acting offers you a joy of illusion: we can live someone else’s life, for a short moment. There is an exceptional intimacy between the actor and the audience. And at the same time, whatever the actor does is covered by the audience reaction, as the start to discover that there is vanity and empty emotions behind it all. In order to keep your balance, you need to have a life outside the stage, you need to have a point of reference (...). The things we do every day are truly valuable. There is a striking contrast between the things I used to do and the things I am involved in today. I remembered how dazzled I was upon seeing a vineyard for the first time. Back in 1998, I went for a course in wine tasting in Bordeaux. All of a sudden, wine started to mean much more, than just a plant that produces fruit. A vineyard is a world of discipline, but quite a different one that the discipline we know from theatre. A play lasts for two hours, while a vineyard lasts for ever. A growing, living vineyard expresses the meaning of existence: there is somebody, who takes care of the place. Then, that person dies and their descendants take over. And by doing the very same thing, we gain a sense of safety and stability.” Last year, Marek Kondrat published a book entitled Winne strony. Opowieść o pasji, która zmienia życie (published by Znak). And one must admit that its very title is quite meaningful (loosely translated as Wine. About a passion that will change your life).

2016 Programme

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