KINGA ORLIKOWSKA

My experience with the documentary started in 2004. I was asked to take care of over hundred tapes of behind-the-scenes footage  for a gangster-action movie “El Padrino” starring Faye Dunaway and Robert Wagner. Not only did I have to edit  this enormous amount of material but I also was delegated to write and direct it. The only guideline I got was “do something in style of Hearts of Darkness”.  With some encouragement and lots of determination I was able to turn it into a one hour doc.

Yes, i haven't fully embraced the documentary until 2009. Back then I was hired to work on a web series for Marc Gobé,  a renowned thought leader and author of “Emotional Branding”. I started with short documentary clips on creative worldwide branding initiatives and ended up as an additional editor on my first doc feature "This Space Available"  - a  film about visual pollution caused by outdoor advertising. The invaluable mentorship  of two senior editors i worked with on that film - Caitlin Dixon known for Sundance winning "Flow" and Elisa Bonora, who cut most of  Oliver Stone documentaries, gave me  good kickstart in this genre. 

My next project  "Killing the Messenger" was about journalists working in danger zones, and  I was hired to edit a segment on Russia. The film was aired on Al Jazeera in 2013. In the same year i began collaboration with Kathleen and Stephen  Gyllenhaals.  Together we embarked on a two year long exploration of  psycho-sociological effects of prenatal experiences and generational trauma. Our final product "In Utero" was premiered at Seattle IFF in 2015 and received a number of accolades including the Social Media Impact Award nomination for its pioneering views on trauma. In 2018 we created a tv version - “The Bond”,  premiered during FemmeQ Summit.

Documentary is currently the main area of my editing  expertise. Apart from the mentioned earlier work I was involved in other productions, like Glen Zipper’s  "Betting on Zero” (about  a dispute between hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and Herbalife) and  “Political Animals” - about legislators who paved the way to marriage equality  (winner of Los Angeles Film Festival).

My most recent project  "Girls of Summer" follows several women who against all odds play professional baseball in the US. The film got an enthusiastic welcome from advocates of women in sports and even got some very good reviews from director Francis Ford Coppola who himself is very involved with the issue.

In documentary work I draw inspiration from  Maysles brothers (“pure truth” ) as well as Robert Flaherty (“sometimes you have to lie to tell the truth”), and stylistically i am fascinated with Errol Morris. I am also very much influenced and inspired by the Eastern European sensibility of filmmakers like Tarkovsky, Zulawski and Kieślowski (whose editor Ewa Smal was my mentor). Having background in science, education and social activism, documentary is a form of cinematic expression that suits me the most. I enjoy educating people and having a mission in changing the world - which in my opinion is what makes the documentary genre so special.

 

"Gabor Story" - example of video essay (excerpt from "In Utero")
documentary trailer

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