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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » December 21, 2011
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Camerimage 2011
December 21, 2011   
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The Golden Frog, the main prize at the Plus Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, went to Poland’s Jolanta Dylewska who shot In Darkness, the latest movie from director Agnieszka Holland.

Based on a true story, the Holland film is about a small-time crook from Lviv who during the Nazi invasion helped Jews fleeing the ghetto hide in underground sewers. In Darkness is the official Polish candidate for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year.

The Silver Frog award went to Iran’s Mahmoud Kalari for cinematography on A Separation, a film by Asghar Farhadi which tells the story of an Iranian family faced with dramatic choices. Robbie Ryah took home the festival’s Bronze Frog prize for cinematography on Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, a new adaptation of the British classic.

The judges in the main competition were headed by Roger Donaldson, an Australian director, producer and screenwriter best known for The Bank Job from 2008, The Recruit from 2003, and The Bounty from 1984.

During the Plus Camerimage closing ceremony Dec. 3, Donaldson said the three winners made totally different kinds of films and the judges had a particularly hard time trying to choose the best cinematography.

The Polish Films Competition featured eight titles, rated by judges headed by Joel Schumacher, the American director of Falling Down, The Client and Phone Booth. The winner in this category was Jan Komasa’s Suicide Room, a movie about a teenager from a wealthy home who succumbs to a destructive online community. Suicide Room also won the Best Cinematographer’s Debut award for Robert Ładczuk.

In the director’s debuts competition, the winner was Austrian actor Karl Markovics, so far better known for the main role he played in The Counterfeiters (2008) by Stefan Ruzowitzky, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Markovics’ debut as a film director is Breathing.

In the student etudes competition, the judges, headed by Canadian director Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies, The 6th Day, Under Fire), gave the Golden Tadpole award to cinematographer Balasz Reves for Finale.

Polish filmmakers did very well in the documentary sections. The Golden Frog for the best short documentary went to Łukasz Żal and Piotr Berna¶ for cinematography on Paparazzi. In the feature-length documentary competition, the winner was Tomasz Wolski for Doctors.

The winner of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award was Australian cinematographer John Seale (pictured), who won the Academy Award for best cinematography on The English Patient, the 1996 film from Anthony Minghella. Seale is also known for Dead Poets Society and Witness by fellow Australian Peter Weir.

Plus Camerimage director Marek Żydowicz handed the festival’s Special Award for Production Designer with Unique Visual Sensitivity to Jack Fisk, who regularly works with Terrence Malick and David Lynch. Fisk came to the festival with his wife, actress Sissy Spacek. Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer (Out of Africa, Mephisto) received the Special Award for Actor with Unique Visual Sensitivity.

The Plus Camerimage festival was one of the first new film festivals to be held in Poland after the Iron Curtain fell in 1989. The first Camerimage was held in 1993 in Toruń. In 2000-2009, the festival was organized in ŁódĽ and in 2010, it was moved to Bydgoszcz following a conflict between Żydowicz and the ŁódĽ authorities.
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