Polish filmmaker Wojciech Has has always stayed away from becoming too associated with any particular cinematic school of thought and has still managed to become one of his country's best directors. Born and raised in Cracow, Has completed studies at the Cracow Film Institute and at a school of fine arts. In 1948, he began directing short films and over the next ten years became known for his short and mid-length fictional features, and documentaries. In 1958, Has made his feature-length debut with the successful and acclaimed The Noose. Subsequent films have become known for their nostalgia, and they frequently chronicle the life journeys of specific characters. His first films were evocative and small in scope giving viewers a sense of intimacy. In the mid-'60s Has began expanding his films and focusing on historical epics that include The Saragossa Manuscript (1964) one of his best known films in the West. Has was appointed director of the Leon Schiller Lodz Film School in 1981.