Andrzej Szenajch

Costume Designer–Uniforms and Weaponry

Film and theatre actor, costume designer specialising in uniforms and militaria, as well as consultant on matters concerning horses and vehicles.

Born in 1930 in Warsaw, in the family of a cavalry officer, he has been always interested in horses, history and the military. After the Second World War, he graduated from the King Władysław IV High School in Warsaw and then studied at the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. From 1952-60, he worked at the Land of Opole National Theatre and the Warsaw Mobile Theatre; then, for 35 years, he worked at the Contemporary Theatre in Warsaw as an actor, stage manager and assistant director. He performed in more than 100 Polish films in that period. In the 70s, he began working in film as a consultant on matters concerning horses and vehicles and—since 1979—after obtaining a costume designer professional certificate from the Minister of Culture, has been working as a uniform and militaria costume designer (he specialises in historical military costumes of the 19th and 20th centuries).

He has worked with many Polish directors: Andrzej Wajda (17 films—including Katyń, Sir Thaddeus, A Chronicle of Amorous Accidents), Janusz Majewski (Deserter’s Gold), Jerzy Antczak (Nights and Days, Chopin: Desire for Love), Roman Polański (The Pianist), Krzysztof Zanussi (At Full Gallop), Tadeusz Konwicki (A Tale of Adam Mickiewicz's ‘Forefathers’ Eve), and others. He also worked with foreign directors, such as Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List), Volker Schloendorff (Erlkönig), Edward Benet (A Woman at War), Yves Angelo (Colonel Chabert), and Giacomo Battiato (Karol: A Man Who Became Pope). As a costume designer, he has also participated in the production of many TV series and films: Europa za zamkniętymi drzwiami, Somma, Auschwitz, Anna Karenina (BBC), Napoleon (TV France), and War and Peace (TV Italia).

He received the Polish Film Awards “Eagles” for the best (military) costumes for the films Katyń and Hiszpanka (Influence). He received awards at the Gdynia Film Festival for costumes for the films Jutro idziemy do kina and Hiszpanka (Influence). In 2009, he received the Award of the Minister of National Defence (Honorary Award and Medal “Custodian of Tradition, Glory and Fame of Polish Arms”). In 2016, he received the Award of the Polish Filmmakers Association for “outstanding artistic achievements and contribution to the development of Polish cinematography”.