Grażyna Maria Gudejko

I am a Polish cinematographer, director and photographer based in Warsaw and London. My education has started in Warsaw, after that at ICP in New York and Mastered Accelerator in London.

I cooperate with some magazines such as Viva, Gala, Playboy, Twój Styl, Schonmagazine, Hypebeast, Jute and different brands: Jacobs, Volvo, , Marks&Spencer, Ochnik, HLCKAE, Dorota Goldpoint, Castellani. I often collaborate with movie and theatre companies, shooting making off, stills, portraits and images for posters.

I am also working on charity campaigns for Unicef in Ethiopia, Make a Change in Namibia, Dr.Clown.

I passionate about everything that comes with people, photography and art in general.
For me taking pictures is like telling a stories. I am collecting the moments which are „between” – with natural emotion and feelings and with a little magic. So it is natural way for me to go from photography to cinematography. It is a reason to start my cinematographer study in AMA Film Academy in Warsaw.

I have been my individual exhibition in Warsaw in 2010. Showcasing pictures from an Unicef project in Ethiopia.

I have got the Honorable Mention Award in Px3 Paris Photo Prize 2019.

In 2023 I have my individual exhibition in Zachęta Gallery in Częstochowa.

Your project takes a part in our festival. What is your project about?
My project is about swapping roles in a family where the daughter becomes her mother's mother.


What were your requirements for actors to take a part of your film?
Above all, a deep sensitivity and understanding of this relationship that we do not see at first glance. This is a film based on emotions, exchanges of glances, reactions. There is little dialogue.


How did you communicate with the cameraman?

Two cameramen worked on the film. One of them was me and the other was cinematographer Radek Wojnar. I created a storyboard according to which we took the shots. Good preparation is the basis for efficient work on a film set.

What locations did you choose for your project? And why?
Location was a key element of the film. The train station from which mother and daughter regularly leave once a week for the weekend to visit their grandmother, to a better world. As in road cinema, the journey is part of the protagonist's transformation. In my film, this eponymous ritual changes the lives of mother and daughter only for a moment, but that moment is special to them.

Why should distributors buy your film?
The ritual deals with difficult family relationships that often remain hidden. External beauty, a beautiful, well-groomed mother and daughter is what others see. This beauty is only a shell, behind which lies the sadness and hardship of daily life. I think this is worth talking about.

What expression elements did you use in your project? How would you characterize your work?
It was important to me to create tension in this relationship. I wanted the viewer to feel the daughter's fear and the mother's sadness. Actress Alzbeta Lenska, playing the role of the mother, brilliantly showed her alienation and lack of contact with the outside world, and above all with her daughter. In the daughter, debuting actress Zosia Cieszynska, every reaction of the mother resonated. Her alertness to her mother was exceptional. The train pulling into the station gives the viewer a sense of danger. My job as a director is first and foremost to discuss with the actors the whole story and the relationship between the characters before shooting, and then to accompany them during the shooting in such a way that the emotions that are important for the film hang in the air all the time.

At what festivals have you had success? Has the film already premiered? If so, where?
Accolade Global Competition – The Winner
Cannes Independent Shorts – The Winner
Chicago Indie Film Awards – Nominee
Stockholm City Film Festival – The Winner
The film has not yet premiered.

What motivated you to become a filmmaker?
I have been photographing for 20 years. For some time now, I have wanted to expand my knowledge in this field by learning about cinematography techniques and filmmaking. Since I can remember, I have been writing short texts, which I hid in a drawer and now I can realize them.

Which movies are your favorites? And why?
I love Jim Jarmusch's "Coffee and Cigarettes," Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation," Harold Ramis, "Groundhog Day," David Lynch's "The Straight Story," Milos Forman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Why? Because these are simple stories told in a touching way. These are the kinds of stories I would like to tell.

What topics do you like to deal with in your work?
Human beings and their empathy towards another human being. Transformation, if only for a moment, is important because sometimes this brief moment causes us to reflect, which is sometimes the beginning of a greater transformation.

What genre do you like to shoot and why?
The topics that interest me apply to every generation. Loneliness in a family, in a group, the search for love, the expectation of empathy, compassion are universal themes. Do we have an impact on our lives, or only to a limited degree? These are questions we ask ourselves often. Cinema probes about this even if there is no simple answer.

What project would you like to shoot one day, what would it be about?
I don't know :) Although I would like to develop the RITUAL project into a feature film. To tell the story of a mother and daughter. Was there a moment in their lives that determined their fate?

What do you do if you're not thinking about a movie? What are your hobbies?
I do a lot of things at the same time. I dance a little, I take pictures, mostly in the studio. I love the sun and then I go out to the garden with a book or a magazine. I am now absorbed in studying cinematography. Now working with the camera, composing frames has become my hobby.

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What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?

I would like to continue the RITUAL project. I have already written the next two parts. And what will be in the future, time will tell.