Paweł Pawlikowski's 'Ida' has won the Academy Award for best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, making it the first Oscar for a Polish film in this category.
The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles burst into cheers when Australian actress Nicole Kidman announced Ida as the winner of the Foreign-Language Oscar.
“Oh, God. How did I get here?,” asked director Paweł Pawlikowski after arring onstage to pick up the golden statuette.
“We made a film – as you saw, black and white – about the need for silence and withdrawal from the world and contemplation. And here we are at this epicentre of noise and world attention. Fantastic, you know, life is full of surprises.”
'Ida' follows the plight of an orphan in the 1960s who was handed over to a nunnery as a child during the Second World War.
Just before she takes her vows, her Mother Superior instructs her to visit her sole surviving relative, a disillusioned Stalinist judge, and the mystery of her Jewish past is revealed.
“There are no words to describe the happiness which has washed over me, and I think, everyone who was in any way involved in the making of this film,” Adam Szyszkowski, one of the actors in the film, told IAR news agency.
This was the tenth nomination for Poland in the category, with the first being in 1963 for Roman Polański's Knife in the Water. The award was officially introduced in 1956.
There were four other Polish nominations for other Oscars: Joanna (Documentary Short Subject), Nasza Klątwa / Our Curse (Documentary Short Subject), Ida (Cinematography), while Anna Biedrzycka-Sheppard was nominated for Best Costume Design.