“When finishing directing, I felt that I had learned something, made a few student films, met some significant people in the industry, such as Krzysztof Zanussi or Jerzy Stuhr, but I lacked such technical “know-how”, especially related to pre-production. That is why I wrote my master’s thesis about the work of a director at the pre-production stage to force myself to analyze the various means that can be used.”
Jan P. Matuszyński´s film debut after the studies was short documentary film Heaven (Niebo, 2011). The film about a man who found out he had advanced cancer of the bone marrow and started writing icons, was made as a part of the “First Documentary” program in cooperation with TVP. In 2013 he finished his documentary feature debut Deep Love. A moving documentary about paralysed diver, who wants to realise his dream – to dive in the legendary and perilous Blue Hole in Dahab, Egypt awarded multiple times and was screened at various festivals including Dok Leipzig, Docudays UA or Docpoint-Helsinki.
“About three years ago, shortly after the premiere of my first movie “Deep Love”, I had a son. Already when he was on the way, I was thinking about doing something in the cinema about family relations. And those Beksiński family in a way responded to this need. So Robert Bolesta’s script hit me at the right time.”
The Last Family ” shows the painter Zdzisław Beksiński and his family between 1977 and 2005, largely based on authentic audio and video recordings Zdzisław Beksiński, presents many fascinating scenes, often with tragic meaning, there is also a large dose of black humor, and extremely brilliant and often very ironic conversations about life, art or passing away. There was a lot of work on this film. “The Last Family” is like the reverse of the document. Burying in the documentation. We watched dozens of hours of material with the actors, discussed and analyzed. And then it had to be gathered together, selected and filmed again, but differently, said Matuszyński.
The Last Family, became a real phenomenon distinguished with many awards in Poland and around the world. The film was premiered in the official competition of the 69th Locarno International Film Festival, won the Golden Lions, the Journalists Award and the Audience Award at the Film Festival in Gdynia in 2016. Apart from that, The Last Family received other awards, including 2016 FilmFestival Cottbus for Best Debut Film.
In February 2017, Aneta Hickinbotham and Leszek Bodzak from Aurum Film, with whom Jan P. Matuszyński made The Last Family, asked him to direct an eight-episode series for Canal + based on the novel by Szczepan Twardoch – The King of Warsaw (Król) – a gangster story of the ups and downs of the mafia that used to sow fear and submission in Warsaw before the outbreak of World War II.