The creators of “The Dress” on the powerful character of Julka
During the casting of “The Dress” (Sukienka), Tadeusz Łysiak pointed out how perfect Anna Dzieduszycka was for the role of Julka.
“I wanted this protagonist to be strong, direct – not afraid to give you the middle finger if you insult her – to listen to death metal, to be… [an] Independent woman. And Anna is like that,” Łysiak, the screenwriter and director of the short, told the editor of Jazz Craftsmen Tangcay in the short live action panel for Variety FYC Fest: The Shortlist.
“The Dress,” on the Academy Award list for Best Short Fiction, emerged amid Łysiak’s studies at Warsaw Film School. It follows the story of Julka (Dzieduszycka), a young woman who works in a motel in the Polish countryside and finds herself consumed by loneliness. The film delves into Julka’s desire for intimacy while following interactions with a truck driver she meets and comes to strongly admire.
Dzieduszycka, who spoke through a translator on the Variety FYC Fest panel, noted that it’s sadly all too rare to see stories like Julka’s portrayed on screen. She added that she and Łysiak worked together to create the character, and that Julka’s friendship with her colleague called her the most to the role – as the women supported each other throughout the film’s emotional journey.
“I immediately knew I wanted to make a story about universal emotions – like love, or more specifically lack of love, intimacy, longing, loneliness, rejection,” said Łysiak, who acknowledged that the production and visual style works, especially using a handheld camera, made the story more personal.
Watch the full conversation above.