Nina Niovilla

Frymus, Agata

Very little is known about Nina Niovilla, who is considered to be Poland’s first female director,and possibly the only woman in the country who worked behind the camera during the silent filmera. Even the roots of her last name—most likely a pseudonym—remain unknown. (Nina is acommon diminutive form of the Polish name Antonina.) While we do know her family name, it isspelled multiple ways, most commonly as Petrykiewicz, but also as Petekiewicz or Petykiewicz;none of these variants appear in the country’s census or other legal documentation that could helpus learn more about her background. A newspaper column from 1972 reasoned that Niovillachanged her original name to brand herself as a foreign film professional, and perhaps to boosther status while establishing her popular acting schools in the 1920s (Szletyński 5). While areasonable assumption to make, it seems that she was using the name “Nina Niovilla”professionally since 1908, at least ten years before promoting herself as an educator.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
October 19, 2020