Indie Star Award for producer Adele Romanski

Taika Waititi’s “Next Goal Wins” in the program of the 14th AFF US in Progress panels and Polish participants announced

Following the awards for Christine Vachon and Jay van Hoy in previous years, Adele Romanski, known for her visually sophisticated and personal film projects, is another producer whom the American Film Festival is honoring for her lifetime achievements with the Indie Star Award (she is the second recipient of the award this year, alongside Alex Ross Perry). 

The festival will present an overview of the films on which Romanski held production reins: Aftersun, by Charlotte Wells; Never Rarely Sometimes Always by Eliza Hittman; Under the Silver Lake and The Myth of the American Sleepover, by David Robert Mitchell; Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, by Barry Jenkins; and the latest production, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, by Raven Jackson. Romanski will take part in Q&As after selected screenings and deliver a masterclass in Wroclaw.

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Independent spirit and Hollywood flair

Adele Romanski is a producer whose professional choices have shaped the development of American cinema in recent decades. The filmmakers she's collaborated with owe their careers to her, and their works continue to influence artistic trends in the industry. Their independence and authorial status, unbroken by business dependencies, is largely due to her determination and decisions, protecting the creative choices of artists.

Romanski has over a dozen major productions to her credit – both for cinema and television (the BAFTA TV Award-winning Underground Railroad is worth mentioning here). The most important title in her career remains, in many ways, the award-winning (including an Oscar for Best Picture) Moonlight, in which she participated in the creative process from the beginning. She was the one who motivated Barry Jenkins to begin work on the film, promising a commitment to a low-budget "cinematic and personal" idea set in Miami. Her influence was also evident in the hiring of Mahershala Ali for the film, who won an Academy Award for the role. This kind of storytelling of seemingly simple human relationships, with simple gestures, silences and half-shadows, is becoming a trademark that can also be attributed with some caution to the producer. The rain of accolades for Moonlight not only helped to record the producer's name in the memory of a wider audience, but also launched Romanski's career even further, giving her the opportunity to pursue more uncompromising artistic challenges. To that end, she founded the PASTEL production company, with Barry Jenkins (and Mark Ceryak), which works closely with A24 and is reaping more awards.

American Film Festival looks into the mirror of Adele Romanski's cinema

It can be said that Adele Romanski's career is developing in parallel with the American Film Festival. The Myth of the American Sleepover, the second film she produced, David Robert Mitchell's debut, was shown at the first edition of the festival in 2010, and since then we have always followed the producer's steps with interest. Romanski was a guest of the second edition of the festival (as director of Leave Me Like You Found Me), and her other films premiered in 2016 – Morris From America, directed by Chad Hartigan, and in 2017 – Gemini, directed by Aaaron Katz. A year later, we presented Under the Silver Lake by David Robert Mitchell, another filmmaker whose sensibility matches Romanski's interests.

Although the producer avoids explicit labels and feminist declarations about women supporting women, Romanski, along with PASTEL and A24, has recently worked on productions with emerging talents like Charlotte Wells and Raven Jackson. These collaborations have yielded further successes: Aftersun, which premiered in the Semaine de la Critique section at Cannes, earned the Independent Spirit Award and the BAFTA Award for Best Debut, while Raven Jackson's All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt was featured at Sundance this year.

Read more in Ula Sniegowska's curatorial text

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