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With last year's "My Summer of Love," Polish-born director Pawel Pawlikowski confirmed his reputation as one of the British film industry's hottest talents.
The film -- an impressionistic portrait of the intense relationship that develops between two teenage girls in the north of England -- was lauded by critics, winning a BAFTA as the best British film of the year and earning the top prize at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
It was Pawlikowski's second Edinburgh success, having made his name by winning there in 2000 with "Last Resort," a loosely autobiographical tale of a single mother from Russia claiming asylum in the UK.
Pawlikowski himself arrived in Britain from Poland as a teenager in the mid 1970s, following his parents' separation and his mother's re-marriage to a Briton.
Despite studying at Oxford and working as a documentary filmmaker for the BBC, Pawlikowski has retained an outsider's eye for his adopted country, employing a directorial style that borrows more from European arthouse cinema than stolid Anglo-Saxon storytelling.
"I grew up somewhere else. My emotional baggage is very Polish," he says.
Pawlikowski's indulged his interest in eastern European affairs in documentaries such as "Serbian Epics" -- an account of the revival of Serbian oral poetry that took him to the frontline of the Bosnian Civil War -- and "Tripping with Zhirinovsky," which followed nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky's campaign for the Russian presidency.
"I'm interested in the forgotten places, the dumping grounds, the places we have taken out of our mental picture," he says. "I want people to see images of lives that will catch them off balance."
2004: My Summer of Love
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