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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » December 21, 2012
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Camerimage Film Festival
December 21, 2012   
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The main prize of the 2012 Plus Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography—the Golden Frog—went to War Witch, directed by Kim Nguyen, with cinematography by Nicolas Bolduc. The best Polish film at the festival was To Kill a Beaver, directed by Jan Jakub Kolski and shot by Michał Pakulski.

The winners were announced Dec. 1 in the northern city of Bydgoszcz, where the festival took place. The judges were headed by American film director Joel Schumacher, famous for Batman Forever, The Phantom of the Opera, Phone Booth and Flatliners. Schumacher said that by awarding the Golden Frog to War Witch, the judges recognized that it was a difficult movie in terms of subject matter and filmed in difficult conditions. War Witch tells the shocking story of a 12-year-old girl in war-torn Sub-Saharan Africa. Forced to kill her loved ones and then conscripted into a death squad serving a local warlord, the girl spends two years taking part in massacres. The film has received a number of awards at the Berlin Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival and other film industry events. War Witch is also Canada’s official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2013 Oscars.

Chaika, a joint effort by filmmakers from Spain, Russia, Georgia and Kazakhstan, won prizes for cinematographer Gorka Gomez Andreu and director Miguel Angel Jimenez in the Cinematographers’ Debut and Directors’ Debut competitions. The movie tells the story of a love affair between a prostitute and a sailor.

The winner of the Feature-Length Documentary Film Competition was Seung-Jun Li, who directed and was responsible for the cinematography in Planet of Snails. The main prize in the Short Documentary Film Competition went to No Peace Without War, directed and filmed by Lorenzo Castore and Adam Cohen.

Prizes in the Music Videos Competition went to Roger Ballen and Ninja for a video for I Fink U Freeky by Die Antwoord, and to Matthew J. Lloyd for Until The Quiet Comes by the Flying Lotus band.

Judges in the Student Etudes Competition decided to give the Golden Tadpole award to Robert Oberreiner for his camera work in Blackstory directed by Christoph Brunner and Stefan Brunner.

The 2012 Plus Camerimage festival was attended by over 1,000 film school students from around the world, 400 cinematographers, editors, actors, screenwriters and directors. The most famous guests were David Lynch, the director of Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Wild at Heart, and Keanu Reeves, the star of the Matrix trilogy, The Devil’s Advocate and My Own Private Idaho.

The festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Russian cinematographer Vadim Yusov, known for his work with film director Andrei Tarkovsky, who made such science-fiction classics as Solaris (1972), based on the novel by Polish writer Stanisław Lem, and Stalker (1979), based on the novel by the Strugatsky brothers. David Lynch received the Award for Lifetime Achievements in Directing.

A special award for outstanding contribution to the art of film was given to Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski. The latter is internationally famous for dramas such as The Tin Drum (1979) by Volker Schlöndorff, based on the novel by Günther Grass, and Philip Kaufman’s Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), based on the novel by Milan Kundera. More recently, Olbrychski co-starred with Angelina Jolie in the action movie Salt from 2010, directed by Philip Noyce.

The Plus Camerimage festival was first held in 1993 in Toruń and stayed there for the following seven years. In 2000, the festival’s founder and director, Marek Żydowicz, moved it to ŁódĽ, which hosted the event until 2010, after which it was moved again, this time to Bydgoszcz. It will remain in Bydgoszcz for at least another two years, under a contract signed last year.

The festival spanned a week, over which time audiences saw 314 films. As every year, the event included meetings with filmmakers, workshops and movie overviews, including the first Masters Who Passed Away overview of films by some of the greatest Polish and foreign directors.
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