Mariusz Kotowski – Writer & Director

Mark Headshot - 2009(2)Mariusz Kotowski is an award-winning writer and director. Born and raised in Olsztyn, Poland, he was inspired by the art of filmmaking from an early age.

He received his Masters of Education degree in Poland. After he studied in England, Kotowski had the distinction of being the first person from Poland to achieve a Triple Fellowship in dance from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in London. He became an acclaimed dancer and choreographer.

In 1998, Kotowski moved to America where he worked as a dance instructor in New York. He studied English and film directing at NYU.

Kotowski’s first independent film project was the documentary Pola Negri: Life is a Dream in Cinema, that included interviews with Academy Award-winning actress Hayley Mills and Academy Award-winning actor Eli Wallach. The film premiered in 2006 at the Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York to sold-out audiences. The same year, Life is a Dream in Cinema received the Best Documentary Award at DixieFest in Atlanta, and a Special Remi Jury Award at the WorldFest in Houston. In 2010, the movie’s European premiere was held in Paris at Cinémateque Française as part of the Pola Negri Tribute. The documentary continues to be screened at festivals around the world.

Kotowski’s next directing venture in 2008 was a feature length film, Esther’s Diary (released in 2009 as Forgiveness). It’s an emotional story of two American women brought together by the discovery of the friendship between their Polish and Jewish mothers in Poland during World War II. The script was based on an original story by Kotowski. The movie has been screened at numerous festivals in the USA, Israel and Ireland, and has won notable acclaim.

In 2009, Kotowski completed the psycho-thriller film Deeper and Deeper starring EMMY award winning actor David Lago and Independent Spirit Award’s Best Actress Nominee Cyndi Williams, who was also the screenwriter. The film premiered at the 2010 Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been screened at festivals across the country and has won numerous awards.

In 2012, Kotowski was the executive producer for the release of a DVD Box Set of four of Pola Negri’s rare silent films entitled Pola Negri: The Iconic Collection “The Early Years”. The films were re-mastered with English inter-titles and re-scored with original piano music. The box set received excellent reviews in the Los Angeles Times and other publications.

Kotowski is also the author of Pola Negri’s biography Pola Negri: Legenda Hollywood. The book, published in Polish by Proszynski Media in 2011, was selected “Book of The Year” in the biography category by Książki magazyn literacki (Books Literary Magazine). Kotowski currently is engaged in the final stages of editing a biography of Negri (Pola Negri: Hollywood Legend) to be published in English by the University Press of Kentucky.

A prolific writer and director, Kotowski is continually seeking ways to further expand his writing and directing talents. He is focused on his latest project, the recently finalized screenplay for Moral Obligation, which is currently in the early stages of development.

He resides with his wife in Austin, Texas, and maintains a second home in Beverly Hills, California.


Pola Negri Iconic Collection (compilation of 4 early movies – 2012) – Executive Producer
Deeper and Deeper (feature film, psychological thriller – 2010) – Director / Producer
Esther’s Diary (feature film, drama – 2009) – Director / Producer
Forgiveness (feature film – 2008) – Director / Producer
Pola Negri: Life is a Dream in Cinema (documentary – 2006) – Director / Producer
Pola Negri: Hollywood Legend (short film 2006) – Director / Producer
Vicky’s Secret (short film – 2005) – Director / Producer
Luigi on Broadway (short film – 2004) – Director / Producer
Tango Notturno (short dance film – 2004) – Director / Producer


Pola Negri: Hollywood Legend (University Press of Kentucky – 2013) – English
Pola Negri: Legenda Hollywood (Proszynski i S-ka – 2011) – Polish


Love Rules (2013) – Comedy
Moral Obligation (2011) – Psychological Drama
Pola Negri: Hollywood Legend TV Series (2010) – Series
Esther’s Diary (2009) – Drama
Rosemary (2009) – Thriller
Inertia (2008) – Thriller
Jasmine (2008) – Thriller
Porcelain Love a.k.a. Deeper and Deeper (2008) – Psychological Thriller
Vicky’s Secret (2006) – Drama
Blood and Money (2006) – Thriller
We Have to Kill This Love (2006) – Drama
Forgiveness (2006) – Drama
The Knife (2006) – Mystery Thriller

In Development

Moral Obligation – Feature Film
Devil and Fashion – TV Series
Pola Negri: In Her Own Words – Book


The Austin Awards – Business Award in Motion Picture Production category to Bright Shining City Productions (2012)

“Book of The Year” 2011 biography category and “Book of The Month” April 2011 from Książki Magazyn Literacki (Books Literary Magazine) for Pola Negri: Legenda Hollywood (book)

Pola Negri Appreciation Award (2011) from Lipnowskie Towarzystwo Kulturalne im. Poli Negri (Pola Negri Cultural Society in Lipno)

The Golden Halo Award (Directing & Producing) Southern California Motion Picture Council (2010)

Deeper and Deeper

Remy Award (Houston) – (2012)
Best Director Nomination – The World Music & Independent Film Festival (2010)
1st Place “Suspense Thriller” Category – International Indie Gathering (2010)
EMPixx Award – Platinum (2010)
Honorable Mention Award – JamFest – Bronze (2010)
Award of Merit – The Accolade Competition (2010)
Award of Merit – The Indie Fest (2010)

Esther’s Diary

Best Narrative Feature – Great Lakes International Film Festival (2010)
Relix Award – Glen Rose Neo-Relix Film Festival (2010)
EMPixx Award – Platinum (2010)
The Indie Fest – Award of Merit (2010)
Telly Awards – Bronze (2010)


Silver Remy Award – WorldFest (2009)
EMPixx Awards – Platinum (2009)
Third Place Jury Award – Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival (2008)
Telly Awards – Silver (2008)

Pola Negri: Life is a Dream in Cinema

Pola Negri Special Award (2011) from Lipnowskie Towarzystwo Kulturalne im. Poli Negri
The Golden Halo Award (Directing & Producing) Southern California Motion Picture Council (2010)
The Indie Fest – Award of Excellence: Feature Documentary (2010)
EMPixx Awards – Gold (2009)
Special Jury Remi Award – WorldFest (2006)
Best Documentary Film Award Dixie Film Festival (2006)