"Rybczyński’- writes Marcin Giżycki ('Project' 3/4 1987), ‘belongs to the line of Méliès's descendants - cinematic craftsmen who combine an extraordinary artistic imagination with inventive and constructive aptitude and Benedictine patience."

He was born on 27 January 1949 in Łódź. He graduated from a secondary art school in Warsaw and in 1969 he began his studies at the Łódź Film School at the Faculty of Cinematography. During his studies, together with other students and graduates of the School, he founded an avant-garde group - the Film Form Workshop. While still a student, he shot several shorts and medium-length films, including three by Andrzej Barański. At the same time, from 1972, he created original films, such as ‘Plamuz’, ‘Take five’ and ‘Square’, in which he experimented with form. While cooperating with the Łódź-based Studio of Small Film Forms Se-Ma-For, he made a number of films showing various possibilities of film technique, including ‘Zupa’ (‘Soup’), ‘Lokomotywa’ (‘Locomotive’) or ‘Oj, nie mogę się zatrzymać’ (‘Oh, I can't stop’).

According to Rybczyński, one of the most difficult tasks was to show the world in such a way that the viewer had the full impression of its simultaneity ('the spatialisation of time'), which led to showing several places at once in the picture, as in the film ‘Nowa książka’ (‘New Book’), or one place in many times, as in the 1983 Oscar-winning ‘Tango’. It was the first Oscar for a Polish film. For eight minutes, the characters, who appear successively, move around without paying attention to each other. Some of them we peep at in private situations, others look like passers-by on the street. At the climax, the room is crowded with at least 30 people who are still invisible to each other. The sounds of everyday life - a crying child, slamming doors, shouting - are woven into the title ‘Tango’ composed by Janusz Hajdun.

The American Academy Award was presented to Rybczynski by Mat Damon and Kristy McNichol. The winner was accompanied by Yola Czaderska-Hayek, an interpreter taking her first steps in Hollywood. The moment of the Oscar presentation passed in a rather amusing atmosphere, but the rest of the evening took a much more unexpected turn. After receiving the statuette, Rybczynski went outside to smoke a cigarette. However, when he wanted to go back inside, the security guards, seeing his not quite gala attire, decided that he was definitely not on the guest list and did not allow him to enter. Not speaking English, the Pole was unable to explain that he had just received an Oscar. After a short scuffle, he was taken into custody, where he spent the night. When the police realised what had happened the next day, Rybczyński was immediately released, but this incident made the creator of 'Tango' the most talked about filmmaker in the context of Oscar night in 1983.

Even before receiving the golden statuette, in 1982, Rybczyński left Poland for Austria, where he was granted political asylum, and later moved to the United States - first to Los Angeles and then to New York. There he made short films and music videos for commissions from television stations. In 1987, he opened his own studio (Zbig Vision Studio) in Hoboken, New York, where he produced films in HD. He became famous for producing music videos for Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Chuck Mangione and Simple Minds, among others. Some of Rybczynski's most interesting HD films were also shot in Hoboken: ‘Staircase’, ‘The Fourth Dimension’ and ‘Kafka’.

From 1994 to 2001 he was in Germany, working at the international film centre in Berlin. He taught at universities in Cologne, New York and Tokyo. In Wrocław, on the premises of the Feature Film Studio, he ran a university called Wrocław Visual Technology Studios. In 2014, he settled on a ranch near Tucson, Arizona. Together with his wife, he forms Gila Monster Studios.

Zbigniew Rybczyński with his Oscar, photo. Czesław Czapliński, FOTONOVA, East News