The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry

Honors Given at Plus Camerimage

by David Heuring

December 12, 2007

Day Seven: Saturday, Dec. 1

The 15th anniversary edition of Plus Camerimage culminated with an awards ceremony today in the Grand Theater. Director Roman Polanski, cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt, ASC, BSC, and the filmmaking team of Michael Seresin, BSC and Alan Parker were among those whose career achievements were honored with special awards and screenings during the festival week.

Winners in the main competition earn Bronze, Silver and Golden Frogs; winners of the student competition are presented with Bronze, Silver and Golden Tadpoles. In each case, the award recognizes the work of the cinematographer.

The student-competition jury was chaired by Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, and evaluated 31 entries from 13 different countries. Jurist Billy Williams, BSC told the competing students that he and his colleagues were “pleased and surprised by the high quality of the entries. The jury admired your sense of adventure and the passion you have expressed on the screen.”

The Bronze Tadpole was awarded to Michael Sobocinski for Father, a black-and-white evocation of a woman’s wistful memories of her youth. Sobocinski is a student at the Polish National Film School in Lödz. He was also awarded the Samuelson-Panavision award for best cinematography, an honor that comes with $25,000 in equipment rental from any of Panavision’s rental facilities around the world.

The Silver Tadpole was awarded to Raphael Beinder, a student at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin, for My Father Is Sleeping.
The Golden Tadpole, which this year was named for the late Laszlo Kovacs, ASC, was awarded to Tomasz Wozniczka, a film student at the University of Silesia, for Beyond the Horizon. The award was presented by Zsigmond and Audrey Kovacs, Kovacs’ widow.

In accepting the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Stephen Goldblatt thanked the festival organizers for a wonderful week. “I am all too aware of the exalted company I’m standing in,” he said. “I’m also very happy I’m standing at all after the parties this week! There are people in this theater tonight, surrounding me, whom I have admired for many years, and I’m so happy to be here. Camerimage reminds me that cinematographers, along with our directors, are in a sort of conspiracy. Whatever happens, whatever the climate or the disasters, we are always there at each shot, each setup, each day, every new film, every new week, to do something, if we can, that is wonderful. I’m grateful for the support of my beloved wife, Deborah; my family, and my friends, and I hope all the students I’ve met this week will take inspiration from the films we’ve all seen and the people we’re with. As the Persian poet Rumi said, ‘Let the beauty you love be what you do.’ Put that in your meter bag if you’re a new cinematographer, and think of it often.”

For the main-competition awards, French cinematographer Pierre Lhomme, AFC presented the Bronze Frog to Edward Lachman, ASC for I’m Not There. “I can only say that this is a film I most wanted to do because this was my youth,” says Lachman. “To work with Todd Haynes once was an honor, but twice was a blessing. Thank you so much. What Camerimage gives to all of us is the courage to go on and make the kind of films we believe in.”

Production designer Lilly Kilvert presented the Silver Frog to Bruno Delbonnel, AFC for Across the Universe. Delbonnel was unable to attend, but Eric Gautier, AFC accepted the award on his behalf. Kilvert noted, “Across the Universe takes us on a journey. Difficult to execute, it combines many diverse elements and captures the fluctuations and movements of the time. It is intelligently and beautifully photographed. It has moments of great emotion, and it was both thought-provoking and inspired. It gave us a refreshing interpretation of music and story. And most of all, it was joyful.”

Eastman Kodak’s Don Henderson joined director Brett Ratner, the chair of the main-competition jury, in presenting the Golden Frog to Janusz Kaminski for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Kaminski attended the festival early in the week but was unable to attend the awards ceremony; he accepted the award via cell phone. Ratner said, “For the Golden Frog, we have chosen a film we believe has advanced the art of cinematography and that also takes us on a journey, one we were totally unprepared for. It’s a film where the collaboration between the cinematographer and the director felt seamless. It’s bold, audacious and visually challenging … a very personal film whose photography was organic to the story.”

Camerimage founder and director Marek Zydowicz then took the stage to congratulate the winners, thank the sponsors and invite everyone to return next year.