BOŻENA AND JAN WALENCIK – CURRICULUM VITAE

We are popularizers of the WORLD OF NATURE. In the center of our attention is, among other things, the last remnant of the primeval lowland forests of Europe – the Białowieża Primeval Forest, in whose heart, in Białowieża, we live and create.

Since the 1980s, we have been discovering nature with great passion and authoring – completely in our own way. Our material is films, photographs, sounds and words.

We show Poles, Europeans and World Citizens that we are all from Nature, that nature begins in ourselves, in our longing for wildness and harmony, in our empathy for life, in our emotions, feelings, reflections, in the need to learn and understand the world alive, in our aesthetics…

By 2022, we expressed this in 75 nature films, 11 books and photo albums, dozens of other media forms, as well as collective and individual photography exhibitions.

There are still new works and new challenges ahead of us, especially the biggest ones so far – the multimedia undertaking With Bated Breath. 21st century Białowieża Forest: a subjective portrait, in which we focus all our life’s creative experience and the culmination of our many years of work.

E054444. The authors, Bożena and Jan Walencik, with the album Saga of the Ancient Forest. A Film Tale and with the BD release of Telewizja Polska S.A. with the series Saga of the Ancient Forest. December 20, 2016. © Krzysztof Komar 2017.

Bożena Walencik, zodiacal Fish, born on February 29, 1956 in Mordy near Siedlce. For her friends BeńkaA graduate of the Complex of Phototechnical Schools – Post-Secondary Vocational College in Warsaw, specializing in photography and film instructor.

Jan Walencik, zodiacal Aquarius, born on January 26, 1955 in Kazimierz Dolny. In 1975, he graduated from the Post-Secondary Co-operative Study CRS in Mińsk Mazowiecki, specializing as a visual advertising technician. In 1981, completed extramural higher education at the Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin with a master’s degree in pedagogy.

From an early age, he was preoccupied with nature. From the 7th grade of primary school, he was keenly interested in inorganic chemistry and his own laboratory experiments in this field. In the 2nd year of high school in his hometown of Kazimierz Dolny, he became fascinated with the popularizing creativity of Włodzimierz Puchalski – the Polish pioneer of wildlife film and photography. During high school and for the following years, he was absorbed in photographing nature. At the end of his pedagogical studies, he defended his master’s dissertation on Janusz Czecz, wildlife filmmaker and first assistant to Włodzimierz Puchalski. When the conditions appeared, while working at the Higher School of Agriculture and Pedagogy in Siedlce, as an academic teacher, he intensively developed his photography workshop and the beginnings of a film workshop. During this period, he began work on his PhD thesis – after the opening of his doctoral thesis (April 31, 1985) at the Faculty of Philology of the University of Łódź, entitled Film Creativity of Włodzimierz Puchalski. Monograph. For important reasons (death of subsequent supervisors and reviewer, as well as involvement in new film projects), the dissertation defence and further academic career did not materialize. During the research for his dissertation, in 1985 he collaborated with the Educational Film Studio in Łódź, assisting in the shooting of two nature films. In the same year, he began working with Telewizja Polska, leading a series of spots entitled Photographic Animal Garden in a program for children and youth – Animal Garden.

In 1986, he made his first film for Polish Television at Poltel – the Central Factory of Television Programmes and Films, entitled Symbiosis? After 24 years of cooperation with Telewizja Polska – just after the end of almost ten years of production of the series Saga of the Ancient Forest on July 1, 2009 – he founded his own small production company ŻUBROWA 10 JAN WALENCIK, in which he tries to implement almost exclusively his own creative projects.

Bożena and Jan Walencik made 75 nature films from 1986 to 2022, including almost 40 half-hour and hour-long productions. Among others, they are the authors of the first two Polish TV series on nature: Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest (five episodes, 1995) and Saga of the Ancient Forest (major and significant series of ten episodes – a new authors kind of story about wildlife: NATURE-FEATURE FILM, 2009), as well as the great feature film album Saga of the Ancient Forest. A Film Story (2016). They also collaborated with renowned producers from Great Britain and France – the creators of well-known and appreciated wildlife series and nature cinema films.

In 1995 they worked closely with Peter Jones, senior producer and publisher of the BBC’s regular long-running programme The Natural World and producer of the BBC’s flagship series with Sir David AttenboroughThe Trials of Life, and later co-founder of Bristol-based production company Green Umbrella Ltd. From 1996 to 2001, Bożena and Jan Walencik and Krzysztof Komar made four films for this producer: two parts of the eight-part TV series Living Europe – Part II. Last pf the Wild Woods, Part III. Fresh Water, and the two-part TV series Nature’s Secrets (in the original Baltic secrets) – The Invincible Wolf and Return of the Beaver.

In 2012, they established cooperation with Jacques Perrin, the owner of the Paris-based Galatée Films company and producer of high-profile cinema nature films: Microcosmos, Winged Migration and Oceans. In 2013, for Galatée Films, the expanded team of ŻUBROWA 10 provided the Polish part of the production of the new nature film, Seasons (originally Les Saisons), directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud. Eleven Directors of Photography – ten French and one Pole, Jan Walencik – were responsible for shaping the image in this production.

Jan Walencik is the single author of his 10 books and albums, as well as exhibitions of nature photography, the most successful of which was an exhibition of 100 large-format photographs, entitled Jan Walencik Film and Photography. Arbores vitae – Trees of Life. The last such primeval forest. It was organized by the European Earth Centre Foundation in six unusual locations, including: in a shopping mall in Białystok, at the foot of Krakow’s Wawel Castle, under the Pope’s window at the Franciscans in Krakow and in the corridors of the National Stadium during the Climate Summit.

They have been honored for their work with numerous awards in Poland and several other countries. Their most important trophies are: two Golden Magnolias, awarded at the 7th Shanghai Television Festival (1998) for the film The Last Primeval Forest, a double Grand Prix in Łódź – at the 8th National Review of Nature Films of the Włodzimierz Puchalski name (1998) and at the 14th International Nature Film Festival of the Włodzimierz Puchalski name (2011) – for the film Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Part II. Never-ending Rivalry and for the film Saga of the Ancient forest. Part V. The Tale of a Wood Beetle. The Power of a Dwarf, the Golden Eagle Award in Sondrio, Italy (1991) for the film The Land of Water, Sand and Wind, and the Professor Hugo Steinhaus Award (1997) for outstanding achievements in popularizing science on television, in particular for the film series Heartbeat of Primeval Forest.

They are both members of the Polish Filmmakers Association and the Association of Audiovisual Authors and Producers.

Bożena and Jan have been married since 1975. Their family pride is their son Maciej, daughter-in-law Izabela and two grandsons: Jasio and Kostek. They live in Białowieża village. They are friends of the Białowieża Primeval Forest – from the heart and by honorary title.6

FILMS (next to each title, the year of ending production and the duration of the film in minutes and seconds are given)

  1.  Symbiosis?   1986 (1987)   15’ 43”    
  2.  Circus pygargus – Montagu’s harrier   1986 (1987)   18’ 08”   
  3.  Nest, Eggs,Nestlings   1987 29’ 30” 
  4.  Mating Time  1988   21’ 08”   
  5.  Secrets of Our Flowers   1988   29’ 50”   
  6.  Protect or Not Protect?   1988   28’ 29”   
  7.  Bird Eggs, Bird Nests   1988   3’ 10”   
  8.  Foraging Site   1988   3’ 18”   
  9.  Insects and Flowers   1988   3’ 45”   
10.  Nestlings   1988   3’ 19”   
11.  Spring   1988   3’ 10”   
12.  The Fallow Deer   1990   25’ 44”   
13.  Green Lungs of Poland   1990   37’ 56”   
14.  Usual Life of the Red Deer   1990   37’ 27”   
15.  Follow the Moose   1990   39’ 15”   
16.  Śniardwy Lake – zdjęcia (reż. Jerzy Porębski)   1990   26’ 35”   
17.  Matter of the Białowieża Bison   1990  32’ 43”   
18.  Noah’s Ark. The Forest of European Bison – zdjęcia i dźwięk (reż. Georg von Rönn)   1990   28’ 02”   
19.  The Land of Water, Sand and Wind   1990  29’ 18”   
20.  The Valley of Untamed River  1991   52’ 00”   
21.  Protected Animals   1992   9’ 56”
22.  The Mammals   1992   9’ 56”   
23.  The Birds   1992   9’ 56”   
24.  The Biebrza Marshes and It Inhabitants1992   9’ 56”   
25.  The Red Deer1992   9’ 56”
26.  The Moose  1992   9’ 56”
27.  The Fallow Deer   1992   9’ 56”
28.  The European Bison   1992   9’ 56”
29.  Wandering Dunes   1992   9’ 56”
30.  The Green Land   1992   9’ 56”
31.  Father Beaver, How Are Things on the Wigry Lake?   1993   50’ 34”   
32.  Ballad of the Black Hańcza River   1993   29’ 29”   
33.  Beavers from Wiatrołuża River  1993   10’ 03”   
34.  Suchar – Forest’s Lake   1993   10’ 01”   
35.  The Goldeneye   1993   10’ 02”
36.  Site Inspection   1993   3’ 56”   
37.  The Kingfishers   1993   3’ 47”   
38.  Kamionka River   1993   4’ 00”  
39.  Black Hańcza River   1993   3’ 15”   
40.  The Mute Swans   1993   4’ 00”   
41.  Beaver Lodge   1993   3’ 56”   
42.  Dam 1993   3’ 51”   
43.  Early Spring  1993   3’ 30”   
44.  The Mergansers   1993   3’ 28”   
45. The White-tailed Eagles   1993   3’ 29”   
46.  The Tiny Beavers  1993   3’ 06”   
47.  The Tiny Goldeneye   1993   3’ 30”  
48.  Insatiable Chicks   1993   3’ 06”   
49.  Wigry Lake   1993   3’ 11”   
50.  Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Part I. Living Wild   1995   29’ 30”   
51.  Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Part II. Never-ending Rivalry   1995   29’ 30”   
52.  Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Part III. Giants snd Dwarfs   1995   29’ 30”   
53.  Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Part IV. Not Only Fangs and Claws   1995   29’ 30”   
54.  Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Part V. Living Network   1995   29’ 30”   
55.  Puchalszczyzna   (Creativeness of Włodzimierz Puchalski)  1996   35’ 04”   
56.  The Last Primeval Forest   1997   29’ 18”   
57.  Living Europe. Part II. Last of the Wild Woods   1998   52’ 00”   
58.  Living Europe. Part III. Fresh Water   1998   52’ 00”   
59.  Nature’s Secrets / Baltic secrets. The Invincible Wolf   2001   52’ 00”   
60.  Nature’s Secrets / Baltic secrets. Return of the Beaver   2001   52’ 00”   
61.  Land of the Bison   2008   20’ 10”   
62.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part I. The Tale of a Wolf. Nothing Beats a Pack   2009   52’ 00”   
63.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part II. The Tale of an Ant. Lonely in the Crowd   2009   52’ 00” 
64.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part III. The Tale of a Raven. The Blemish of a Misfit   2009   52’ 00”   
65.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part IV. The Tale of a Bison. Civilizing Wildness   2009   52’ 00”   
66.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part V. The Tale of a Wood Beetle. The Power of a Dwarf   2009   52’ 00”   
67.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part VI. The Tale of a Wild Boar. The Price of Independence 2009 52’ 00”   
68.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part VII. The Tale of a Vole. The Extraordinary Intimacy   2009   52’ 00”   
69.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part VIII. The Tale of a Beaver. An Unattainable Arcadia   2009   52’ 00”   
70.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part IX. The Tale of a Pygmy Owl. The Right of a Predator  2009   52’ 00”   
71.  Saga of the Ancient Forest. Part X. The Tale of a Lynx. Against Nature  2009   52’ 00”   
72.  Deadly Fire   2012   51’ 55” 
73.  Taking Care of the Marshes   2016   46’ 20”
74.  Certainly… there’s nothing like the Lubelskie Region   2018   42’ 13”
75.  I am a Primeval Forest of the 21st Century   2020   55’ 06” 

BOOKS 

  1.  Jan Walencik: Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Białowieża National Park – in Polish – 1997 (first edition) 2000 (second edition), MUZA S.A. Sport i Turystyka Publisher

  2.  Jan Walencik: Wild River Valley. Biebrza National Park – in Polish – 1998 MUZA S.A. Sport i Turystyka Publisher

  3.  Jan Walencik: Wild River Valley. Biebrza National Park – in English – 1998 MUZA S.A. Sport i Turystyka Publisher

  4.  Jan Walencik: Heartbeat of the Primeval forest. Białowieża National Park  – in English – 2000 MUZA S.A. Sport i Turystyka Publisher

  5. Jan Walencik: The Beavers from Forgotten Sudovia – in Polish – 2001 MUZA S.A. Sport i Turystyka Publisher

  6.  Jan Walencik: This is not in the handbook. Białowieża Primeval Forest – in Polish – 2001 (first edition) 2006 (second edition), Dolnośląskie Publisher

  7.  Jan Walencik: A Flavor of Białowieża Honey. How I was shooting „Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest” series – in Polish – 2010 ŻUBROWA 10 Publisher

  8.  Jan Walencik: Ostatnia puszcza nizinnej Europy. The Last Primeval Forest in Lowland Europe  – bilingual – 2010 ŻUBROWA 10 Publisher

  9.  Bożena i Jan Walencik: Saga of the Ancient Forest. A Film Tale – in Polish – 2016 ŻUBROWA 10 Publisher

10. Jan Walencik: Puchalszczyzna / Creativeness of Włodzimierz Puchalski. Part I. Living with passion – in Polish – 2022 (e-book) ŻUBROWA 10 Publisher

11. Jan Walencik: Puchalszczyzna / Creativeness of Włodzimierz Puchalski. Part I. Inspired creativity – in Polish – 2022 (e-book) ŻUBROWA 10 Publisher

 INDIVIDUAL  EXHIBITIONS

Nature in photography
Garbów, 10.1980 r.;
Kazimierz Dolny, 02–11.11.1980 r.; Lublin, 04.1981 r.

Birds Secrets
Siedlce, 01.12.1984 r.; Łuków, 23.02–10.03.1985 r.; Bydgoszcz, 26.04–10.05.1985 r. Łódź, 14–26.05.1985 r.; Warszawa, 15.05–09.06.1986 r.; Lublin, 18.02–08.03.1987 r.

Ornithologists
Bydgoszcz, 02.04–05.05.1985 r.

Birds of Poland
Płowdiw, 26.08–10.09.1985 r.

The Last Primeval Forest
Białowieża, 2–20.12.1995 r.

Białowieża National Park
Wiedeń, 06–09.2005 r.

European bison – King of the European Primeval Forest
Bornholm, 03.04–31.10.2012 r.

Jan Walencik Film and Photography. Arbores vitae – Trees of Life. The last such primeval forest
Łódź, 10.09–30.11.2009 r.; Białystok, 05.11.2010 r. – 06.02.2011 r.; Kraków, 14.09–31.10.2011 r.; Kraków, 01.08–26.09.2012 r.; Warszawa, 11–22.11.2013 r.; Mikołów, 06.09–06.11.2014 r.

Long Live the Wood!
Białystok, 27.05–03.06.2021 r.; Praga, 5.09.2021 r.


COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS

The 16th BiennIal of Nature Photography
Poznań, 1984 r.

The 9th Polish Landscape Biennial
Kielce, 05.1985 r.

40th Anniversary of Cinematography – Beka/Smallest mammals reports
Łódź, 09.1985 r.

The 10th International Artistic Photography Exhibition Man and His Passions
Katowice, 1986 r.

Nature of the Lubelskie Region. Landscape. Flora. Fauna
Lublin, 12.1987 r.

Masters of Polish Landscape
Łódź, Legnica, Warszawa, Olsztyn, Kielce, Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Wałbrzych, Jastrzębie-Zdrój, Poznań i in., 2001–2005 r.

Un ailleurs en France Forêts naturelles (Somewhere in the natural forests of France)
Dompierre les Ormes, 01.06–01.08.2005 r.; Poisy/Annecy, from 30.06.2009 r. as permanent; Courant d’Huchet Nature Reserve, 07.04–7.11.2012 r.

Wild Poland
Warszawa, Gołuchów, Bielsko-Biała, Suwałki, Kielce, Inowrocław, Cieszyn, Poznań, Wrocław, Wałbrzych, Rzeszów, Myślenice, Kraków, Łódź, Dublin (Irlandia), Krosno, Kazimierz Dolny, Zawiercie, Gdańsk, Opole, Kędzierzyn-Koźle, Legnica, Słupsk, Mielec, Tuchola, Kraków, Lublin, Biłgoraj, Mikołów, Tczew, Skarżysko-Kamienna, Kostrzyń, Tarnowskie Góry, Zamość, Leszno, Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Lubliniec, Katowice, Chełm, Toruń, Bałtów, Rybnik, Kwidzyń, Głogów, Białystok, 2004–2011 r.

European Bison. Annihilation and Rescue
Supraśl, other places, 2005 r. and the following years.

© ŻUBROWA 10 JAN WALENCIK  2022