log in / register

The Red and the Black

Witold Giersz
Czerwone i czarne
Poland 1963 / 7’

A bullfight of patches of color in the workshop of an animator. The contest between the toreador and the bull is amusingly rendered, as it turns into a dance. We see the spectacle in the arena; beer foam is transformed into a foaming snout. We see the range of what animation makes possible: rapid metamorphoses, humor, and randomness. This is also a unique opportunity to see the director himself, caught behind the camera with a cigarette. This is Giersz’s best-known film. It’s the pure joy of creation.


Oberhausen IFF 1964 – Grand Prix; Turino IFF 1964 – Diploma; Edinburgh IFF 1964 – Diploma; Krakow FF 1965 – Brown Hobby-Horse; Montevideo IFF 1965 – Honorary Mention; Melbourde IFF 1966 – Honorary Mention

Witold Giersz

A renowned animator and creator of nearly 50 films, Giersz has received over 60 awards and honors at prestigious festivals. Giersz was born in 1927, in the village of Poraj, near Częstochowa, in southern Poland. He aimed to study economics before turning to film. His film career began in 1950 at the Animated Film Studio in Bielsko-Biała (then still known as the 'Śląsk' Animated Film Production Cooperative). When he graduated from the Łódź National Film School in 1974, Giersz had already worked as a director for eighteen years. He co-founded the Animated Film Studio Warsaw branch (today known as the Miniature Film Studio). He made his debut in 1956 with The Mystery of the Old Castle. In 1961, he made Poland's first original animated feature The Little Western, which revolutionized the genre - Giersz had replaced traditional drawings with dabs of color without outlines, which he applied directly onto the filmstrip.

Giersz is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gloria Artis Gold Medal for contributions to Polish culture (2008), the award of the Minister of Culture for lifetime achievement in animated film (1979, 2001), the Prime Minister's award for contributions to children's and youth culture (1979, 1981), the Zenon Wasilewski award for children's animated film (1979), as well as a series of international awards from leading festivals, including in Cannes, Oberhausen, Teheran, and Turin.

On 20 January 2012, Witold Giersz accepted a lifetime achievement award from CIFEJ (Centre International du Film pour l'Enfance et la Jeunesse / International Center of Film for Children and Young People), an international organization concerned with issues related to film and other audiovisual productions for children and youth. Giersz is a member of the Children's and Youth Film Directors' Circle of the Polish Filmmakers Association in Warsaw, which recognized Giersz with its award for outstanding artistic achievement in 2007. The following year, Giersz received the 'Platinum Goats' Special Prize for lifetime artistic achievement in children's animated film at the 26th 'Ale Kino!' International Young Audience Film Festival in Poznań.

Animated films for children have been central to Giersz's creative output. His most celebrated works in the genre include the series Be My Guest, Mr. Elephant, which has been showered with awards, and the animated adaptation of the cult Polish comic book series Tytus, Romek i A'Tomek by Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski (better known as Papcio Chmiel), for which Giersz was series director and wrote the screenplay adaptation. Giersz is also an admired lecturer whose teaching has developed generations of Polish animated filmmakers.


1956 Tajemnica starego zamku / The Mystery of the Old Castle (short, anim.)

1957 W dżungli / In the Jungle (short, anim.)

1958 Przygoda marynarza / A Sailor's Adventure (short, anim.)

1959 Neonowa fraszka / The Neon Trifle (short, anim.)

1959 Wiosenne przygody krasnala Hałabały / A Dwarf's Spring Adventure (short, anim.)

1960 Mały western / The Little Western (short, anim.)

1961 Skarb Czarnego Jacka / Black Jack's Treasure (short, anim.)

1962 Oczekiwanie / Awainting (short, anim., co-dir.)

1962 W piaskach pustyni / In the Sands of the Desert (short, anim., episode 8 of Jacek Śpioszek / Sleepy Jack series)

1962 Podarta książka / A Torn Book (short, anim., episode 12 of Jacek Śpioszek / Sleepy Jack series)

1963 Czerwone i czarne / The Red and the Black (short, anim.)

1963 Dinozaury / Dinosaurs (short, anim.)

1963 Madame Soprani (short, anim., episode 8 of Na tropie… / Tracking the Trail series)

1964 Ladies and Gentlemen (short, anim.)

1964 Kłopoty z ciepłem / Heat Troubles (short, anim.)

1965 Korzeń / The Root (short, anim.)

1966 Kartoteka / The Card-Index (short, anim.)

1967 Koń / A Horse (short, anim.)

1968 Admirał / The Admiral (short, anim.)

1968 Przeprowadzka Dominika (short, anim., episode 5 of Proszę słonia / Be My Guest, Mr. Elephant series)

1968 Wycieczka za miasto (short, anim., episode 6 of Proszę słonia / Be My Guest, Mr. Elephant series)

1969 Curriculum vitae / CV (co-dir., short, anim.)

1969 Intelektualista / The Intellectualist (short, anim.)

1969 Oto życie / C'est la vie / That Is Life (co-dir., short, anim.)

1969 Rozbitkowie / Brodolomci / Castaways (co-dir., short, anim.)

1970 Wspaniały marsz / The Splendid March (short, anim.)

1971 Kierowca doskonały / The Perfect Driver (short, anim.)

1972 Kaskader / Stuntman (short, anim.)

1973 Stary kowboj / The Old Cowboy (short, anim.)

1973 Rodzina indonezyjska / An Indonesian Family (short, anim.)

1974 Ślady / Footprints (short, anim.)

1975 Pożar / Fire (short, anim.)

1976 Wielkie koty / Big Cats and How They Came to Be (short, anim.)

1977 Ruch uliczny / Promet v mavcu / Street Traffic in a Cast (co-dir., short, anim.)

1978 Skansen / Ethnographical Museum(short, anim.)

1978 Proszę słonia / Be My Guest, Mr. Elephant

1979 Malowanki / Farbanje / Cheating (short, anim.)

1981 Rower to rower / Kolo naj bo kolo / A Bike Is a Bike (co-dir., short, anim.)

1984 Gwiazda / The Star (short, anim.)

1986 Reinkarnacja - andante / Reincarnation - Andante (short, anim.)

1986 Reinkarnacja - finall / Reincarnation - Finall (short, anim.)

1987 Dżungla / The Jungle (short, anim., episode 1 of Czarny Błysk / Black Flash series)

1988 Premiera / Premiere (short, anim., episode 2 of Czarny Błysk / Black Flash series)

1988 Mściwy Jose / Spiteful Jose (short, anim., episode 3 of Czarny Błysk / Black Flash series)

1988 Porwanie / Kidnapping (short, anim., episode 4 of Czarny Błysk / Black Flash series)

1991 Rozstanie / Farewell (short, anim.)

1993 Rondo alla Turca (short, anim.)

1996 W grocie króla gór / In the Cave of the Mountain King (short, anim.)

2003 Żywa woda / The Living Water (short, anim., episode 6 of Baśnie i bajki polskie /PolishFairy Talesseries)

2004 Czerwone wzgórze / Red Hill. A Story from Singapore (co-dir., short, anim., episode 1 of Animowane baśnie świata / Animated Tales of the World series)

Cast & Crew

director Witold Giersz
screenplay Witold Giersz, Tadeusz Kowalski, Andrzej Lach
cinematography Jan Tkaczyk
music Waldemar Kazanecki
animation Witold Giersz
visual design Witold Giersz
producer Teresa Kowal
production Studio Miniatur Filmowych w Warszawie
sales Studio Miniatur Filmowych w Warszawie
source of print Studio Miniatur Filmowych w Warszawie / Filmoteka Narodowa
language no dialogues
colouration colour