Art and Experience:

Life on the road and fantasy worlds held sway at the 29th edition of the EnergaCamerimage International Film Festival on Saturday, winning big after a week of scaled down but enthusiastic industry events, seminars and screenings celebrating cinematography.

“C’mon C’mon,” shot by Robbie Ryan and directed by Mike Mills, won this year’s Golden Frog. The film, which tells the story of a radio journalist driving between American cities with his nine-year-old nephew Jesse, enchanted jurors with its black-and-white imagery, one of several top contenders in monochrome.

Ryan, praised for his “precise and humble eye” and “cinema that touches the soul,” accepted via video from a film set in Hungary, calling “C’mon C’mon” a “small film,” made just prior to the COVID pandemic by a crew “traveling around like a circus.”

 

 

Buzz built early on during the fest for Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” shot by Bruno Delbonnel, which won the Silver Frog for images the jury called “haunting in their minimalism” in rendering a uniquely otherworldly adaptation of the Shakespeare classic.

Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast,” another main prize contender filmed by Haris Zambarloukos, also packed the main festival hall inside the sci-fi-esque Jordanki cultural center, with audience members showering the director-DP duo with questions.

“Dune,” the epic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel filmed by Greig Fraser and directed by Denis Villeneuve, took the Bronze Frog.

Villeneuve, also honored with the special EnergaCamerimage award for outstanding directing, gave credit for his career to inspiration from the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski and his cinematographer, Slawomir Idziak. He also credited all the DPs he’s worked with, including, most recently, Fraser on “Dune” and Roger Deakins on “Blade Runner 2049,” adding, “Long live cinema.”

In the documentary competition, films offered jurors “an amazing trip around the world,” according to the jury, which awarded “My Voice Will Be With You,” filmed by Tristan Galand and directed by Bruno Tracq, the top prize. The film follows doctors at the St-Luc Hospital in Brussels performing remarkable work in hypnosis, featuring cinematography of “unbelievable sensibility” that “felt the characters with such a profound precision.”

German cinematographer Jost Vacano, honored with a lifetime achievement award, won hearty applause when he told the closing gala audience how surprised he had been to see his work on “Das Boot,” the 1981 thriller set aboard a WWII U-boat, making major profits worldwide.

“I learned that I have to fight for cinematographers,” he said, recalling his decision to sue the producers for his fair share and winning after years of litigation.

Fest director Marek Zydowicz closed the evening with an appeal to make “competence, respectability and honesty” the only criteria for hiring in the film industry, adding that these priorities might have prevented the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot in an accident on the set of the western “Rust” in New Mexico last month.

 

 

Following the gala, closing film “No Time to Die” was introduced by director Cary Joji Fukunaga and Oscar-winning cinematographer Linus Sandgren.

See the full list of winners below:

Golden Frog
“C’mon C’mon” – Cinematographer Robbie Ryan, director Mike Mills

Silver Frog
“The Tragedy of Macbeth” – Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, director Joel Coen

Bronze Frog
“Dune” – Cinematographer Greig Fraser, director Denis Villeneuve

Audience award
“C’mon C’mon” – Cinematographer Robbie Ryan, director Mike Mills

FIPRESCI prize
“Animals” – Cinematographer Frank van den Eeden, director Nabil Ben Yadir

Polish film
“Operation Hyacinth” – Cinematographer Piotr Sobocinski Jr., director Piotr Domalewski

Director debut
“Titane” – Cinematographer Ruben Impens, director Julia Ducournau

Cinematographer debut
“Bipolar” – Cinematographer Yuming Ke, director Queena Li

Music video
“Zdechłam” (Kuba Kawalec feat. Ana Andrzejewska) – Cinematographer Kacper Fertacz, director Zuzanna Plisz

TV series
“Welcome to Utmark”: Eye for an Eye – Cinematographer Andreas Johannessen, director Dagur Kári

Documentary feature
“My Voice Will Be With You” – Cinematographer Tristan Galand, director Bruno Tracq

Documentary short
“Survive” – Cinematographer Jacob Friedrich Maria Kohl, directors Lara Milena Brose, Kilian Armando Friedrich

Laszlo Kovacs Award – Golden Tadpole
“The Howling” – Cinematographer Max Bugajak, director Bartosz Brzeziński, Warsaw Film School

Silver Tadpole
“Tala’vision” – Cinematographer Philip Henze, director Murad Abu Eisheh, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Bronze Tadpole
“Cold Blow Lane” – Cinematographer Christopher Behrman, director Luca Homolka, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Source: Variety