The purpose of the section is to popularize the achievements of polish art of acting. Since the first edition, the Two Riversides Festival presents outstanding creators in this field.
Gabriela Muskała is an exceptional character in our cinematic world. The time is in her favour, which is rare in her profession. A film and theatre actress, screenwriter, and a playwright.
She graduated from the National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź in 1994. While studying there, she started collaborating with Mariusz Grzegorzek who offered her the title role in the play Agnes of God and later, in 1999, the leading role in the film The Queen of Angels. A meeting with such an uncompromising artist as Mariusz Grzegorzek must have had an impact on the following artistic choices of the young actress.
To date, she has played a lot of theatrical parts (also in TV theatre plays) that have earned her many various awards and distinctions. In 1995, she won first prize at the Stage Songs Review in Wroclaw. The same year, she was also awarded with a Golden Mask, a Polish theatre award, for the greatest artistic achievements, for the roles in The Lesson by Eugène Ionesco and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum in the Powszechny Theatre in Lodz. One of her most famous and acclaimed roles is the role of Olga in the play Murlin Marlo by Nikolay Kolyada directed by Barbara Sass in the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Lodz.
Constantly seeking for new challenges, Gabriela, along with her sister Monika, under the pseudonym Amanita Muskaria, wrote a monodrama Podróż do Buenos Aires. Work in Regress (A Trip to Buenos Aires. Work in Regress) (2001) where she played the role of Walerka. The play was shown and awarded at many festivals abroad, e.g. in Edinburgh. Their second play, Daily Soup (2007), premiered at the National Theatre in Warsaw. Both plays were translated to English, German, Italian, Romanian, and Hungarian.
The actress’s theatrical life has developed in line to the cinematic one, which has had several stages. The first one was the already mentioned The Queen of Angels. The next one was meeting Greg Zgliński, which gave her a chance to create a poignant role of Labinota, a Kosovo refugee, in the film One Long Winter Without Fire (2004), a Belgian and Suisse production awarded at the Venice International Film Festival. For the role in their next film Courage (2011), she won an award for the best supporting actress at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, confirming her enormous artistic maturity and versatility in portraying women of extremely different temperaments.
In 2007, when participating in the “30 Minutes” project of the Munk Studio, she starred in the debut film by Agnieszka Smoczyńska – “Aria Diva” – and that meeting opened another stage of her artistic exploration, possibly the most important one so far. Agnieszka Smoczyńska was the one to whom Muskała entrusted her original project, the screenplay of the film Fugue, in which she played the bold role of Alicja, a woman suffering from a dissociative fugue, a disorder caused by prolonged stress and a sense of lack of happiness. The film had its hugely successful world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Fugue has brought Gabriela Muskała several awards, as, for instance, the most surprising one: “an Eagle” – the Polish Film Award of the Polish Film Academy for Discovery of the Year 2019.
So, let’s “discover” together the extraordinary talent of this actress at the Two Riversides, watching her films and listening to the “Cinema Lesson” – a confession of the filmmaker Gabriela Muskała.