Agnieszka Piotrowska

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Agnieszka Piotrowska

Agnieszka Piotrowska (?1968) is an "award-winning film-maker ... probably best known for her 2008 documentary Married to the Eiffel Tower,[1] about women who fall in love with objects."[2]


Piotrowska graduated from Birkbeck, University of London in 2012 with a PhD.[3] Her PhD thesis was the basis of her 2014 book Psychoanalysis and Ethics in Documentary.[4] In 2015 she edited "Embodied Encounters: New Approaches to Psychoanalysis and Cinema".[5]

She lives in London where she has been a Reader in Film Practice and Theory at University of Bedfordshire since 2012.[2][6]

Professional activity[edit]

She made her first film, Three Men and a Cake, in 1988 with the BBC.[7]

In 1989 she filmed Out of the Ruins, about the 1988 Armenian earthquake. Aid Armenia International, which originally funded the film, re-released it on the twentieth anniversary of the disaster in 2008.[8] Composer Michael Nyman composed a choral work for the film.[citation needed]

Her 1995 Sex, Lies and Jerzy Kosinski, about the Polish-American writer who committed suicide in New York, was nominated for the Arts Documentary Emmy in 1995.[9] Her 1998 Showgirl Stories was less favorably received.[10][11]

She directed two episodes of Channel 4's Cutting Edge, Love Hurts (1999),[12] about domestic violence, and Trapped By My Twin (2007),[13] about twin sisters who are constantly together.

Rivercourt Productions[edit]

From 1999 to 2005 she made a number of films through her own production company Rivercourt Productions. Rivercourt produced the series Self Portrait for National Geographic as well as the partially animated series Running for Freedom, including the episode about Muslim/Jewish Roxanna.

Rivercourt's 2002 documentary Poker Club,[14] shown on Channel 4 in their Cutting Edge series, was heavily criticised by Victoria Coren in her Poker memoir For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker.[15]

After Rivercourt[edit]

In 2005 Piotrowska completed a feature-length documentary The Bigamists.[16]

In 2006 her documentary Conman With 14 Wives, about international fraudster Oliver Killeen was broadcast on Channel 5.[17] Killeen attempted to stop the broadcast of the documentary but he later changed his mind and even gave permission to Piotrowska to use their correspondence in her academic writing.[18]

In 2009 Piotrowska filmed a one-hour documentary about the "Best Job in the World" phenomenon, which was the highest-rated show of the week it was broadcast on BBC1.[citation needed] In July 2010 it was shown as part Birkbeck College's Business Week.[19]

In October 2010 her work was featured at the International Extravagant Bodies Festival in Zagreb, Croatia[citation needed].


In November 2012 her film The Engagement Party in Harare premiered at the International Images Festival for Women in Zimbabwe and was nominated for Best Documentary Film.[2]

In April 2014 she directed "Lovers in Time", a play by Zimbabwean writer Blessing Hungwe, at the Harare International Festival of the Arts.[20] The play was controversial for its irreverent portrayal of two spirit mediums who are Zimbabwean national heroes.[2][21]

In October 2014 she presented her short film Flora and Dambudzo, which featured Zimbabwe writer Dambudzo Marechera, at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival to considerable acclaim. This was the first time the iconic Zimbabwean writer's life was presented in film.[22]


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  6. ^ "Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska". University of Bedfordshire. Retrieved 2015-02-06. 
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  10. ^ Kelleher, Terry (June 14, 1999). "Picks and Pans Review: Showgirl Stories". People Magazine. 51 (22). Retrieved 2015-02-06. Bottom Line: So-so study of girls, girls, girls 
  11. ^ Bianculli, David (June 11, 1999). "'Showgirls' Documentary Isn't All That Revealing". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2015-02-06. Like the onstage demeanor of the women it profiles, Sunday night's two-hour Learning Channel documentary, "Showgirl Stories", is a bit of a tease, and what it presents is more superficial than substantial. ... [An] often meandering and incomplete study. 
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  14. ^ BFI entry for Poker Club retrieved May 2011
  15. ^ Coren, Victoria (2010). For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker. McClelland & Stewart. p. 132. ISBN 9780771022944. There is less chat and laughter, more focused concentration. But the quiet is broken when Agnieszka Piotrowska (the director, camera-woman and 'brains' behind the TV documentary) thrusts a microphone towards Catman, who is dealing the cards, and asks whether he bribed the players to attend his tournament. We all look up, shocked. Bribery? Catman is the most shocked of all. He may be a poker player, but a single snide question has transformed him into a mass of tells. Not the tells of a duper, but of one who has been duped. Suddenly, Catman is seeing the whole picture. He isn't the hero of a glamorous TV show. He is the gull of media people hoping to rake scandal and skulduggery from the poker gutter. They want to hear about bribery, not charity. They want to make us all look like crooks. That is the story they came to tell. 
  16. ^ Rosenthal, Alan (2007). Writing, directing and producing documentary films and Videos (4 ed.). Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 978-0-8093-2742-3. 
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  18. ^ "The conman and I: A case study of transference in documentary". Studies in Documentary Film. 6: 15–28. doi:10.1386/sdf.6.1.15_1. 
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