Camerimage 2015 Preview

Greetings from Bydgoszcz, Poland, where the Camerimage International Film Festival will start tomorrow. The biggest and best cinematography festival in the world, Camerimage attracts famous masters, emerging cinematographers, film students and other filmmakers from across the world.

Benjamin B

A candle for Paris -thefilmbook

I have temporarily changed my logo in memory of the slain Parisians.

Greetings from Bydgoszcz, Poland, where the Camerimage International Film Festival will start tomorrow. Camerimage is the biggest and best cinematography festival in the world and attracts famous masters, emerging cinematographers, film students and other filmmakers from across the world.

Camerimage is a wonderful combination of screenings, seminars, workshops and parties.

This post gives you a preview of some the events of the next nine days.

Note: You may also want to check out my more recent Camerimage 2015 Photo Journal.

Poster for Camerimage 2015
Poster for Camerimage 2015 by Ryszard Horowitz


Main Competition

Films from the Main Competition are shown in the large Opera Nova screening room. A jury headed by director Michael Hoffman will award the Gold, Silver and Bronze frogs for cinematography. This year's Main Competition has 14 films:

2015 Camerimage Main Competition-

The competition films are mostly European and American, with two exceptions: The 33 (Chile) and Mad Max (Australia). This year's list includes five films that were in selection at Cannes, including Rams, which won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, and Son of Saul, which won the Official Competition Grand Prize. I have to single out Son of Saul, which follows a Sonderkommando in a harrowing close-focus journey through Auschwitz, as the most powerful film I've seen this year.

camerimage golden frog -thefilmbook

The Main Competition features work by four ASC members: Roger Deakins, Ed Lachman, John Seale and Checco Varese. There are two BSC members: Deakins and Danny Cohen. After several years, I am delighted to finally see a French AFC member, Jean-Marie Dreujou, back in the competition.

There is a single woman in competition: Judith Kaufman, BVK, from Germany. The other Europeans are: Mátyás Erdély, HSC, from Hungary, Eduard Grau, AEC, from Spain, Hurla Brandth Grovlen from Norway, Rauno Ronkianen from Finland, and two Poles: Marcin Koszalka and Marion Prokop. Finally, Yves Bélanger, CSC, is from Quebec.


Sidebars and Jurors

Camerimage also includes many sidebar competitions: Polish Films, Music Videos, 3-D Films, Documentary Features, Documentary Shorts, Cinematographer Debuts, Director Debut and Student Études (whose winner gets a Golden Tadpole).

ASC members are among the jurors for these numerous awards. This year's ASC jury contingent: John Bartley, Joan Churchill, Ellen Kuras, Matthew Libatique, Stephen Lighthill, Reed Morano, John Seale, John Toll, Salvatore Totino, Theo van de Sande and Checco Varese


Fischer and Menges

Special Screenings and the European Panorama selection do not compete for a prize. This year there is also a special emphasis on Estonian and Baltic films, and a tribute to the great Gunnar Fischer, who shot many of Ingmar Bergman's early masterpieces.

Chris Menges, ASC, BSC, will receive the festival's Lifetime Achievement Award.

There will be a retrospective of his work featuring: The Killing Fields, Kes, Local Hero, Michael CollinsThe Mission, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and A World Apart. As he does every year, Marek Zebrowski has edited a beautiful book about the award winner.

  • Camerimage Chris Menges book cover -edited by Marek Zebrowski
  • Camerimage Chris Menges book contents -edited by Marek Zebrowski



Camerimage is known for its seminars and workshops, which I have been closely involved with for the past 20 years. This year I am moderating two Panavision events, as well as seminars for K5600 Lighting, the AFC and the ASC. The details are below, along with highlights that caught my eye:


AFI Conservatory Cinematography Program

18:30-20:00 — Opera Nova SEMINAR ROOM

Stephen Lighthill, ASC, will present AFI's educational program for interested students.

The Personal Political and Poetic Approach to Film A la Christopher Doyle, HKSC

19:30-22:00 — MCK ORZEL

Camerimage presentations by Chris Doyle, HKSC, are unique and, for many students, memorable. This may go late.



Canon Workshop with Sturla Brandth Grøvlen

11:30-14:00 — WORKSHOP CENTER

It should be interesting to Grøvlen's approach to shooting on a set.

Sony Cine Alta Workshop with Peter Simonite

19:45-21:45 — Opera Nova SEMINAR ROOM

Cinematographer Peter Simonite will discuss shooting with Sony F65.



Panavision Format Workshop with Markus Froderer; Eduard Grau, AEC; and Ellen Kuras, ASC

11:00-14:00 — MCK ORZEL

The idea is to illustrate some key differences between spherical, anamorphic and larger formats by shooting variations of a simple scene with a mixture of lenses. Edu and Markus will act as cinematographers, and Ellen will play the role of the director, as we show and discuss differences in perspective, foreground/background, depth of field, bokehs and flares, with the help of Panavision's optics expert Dan Sasaki (an associate ASC member). I have to say that this is one of the most complex workshops I've ever organized. :)

Panavision Seminar on Anamorphic & Large Format by Dan Sasaki with Eduard Grau, AEC

15:00-17:00 — MCK ORZEL

The morning workshop is a natural lead-in to this presentation by Dan Sasaki, Panavision vice president of optical engineering. Dan will discuss the technical and artistic characteristics of anamorphic and large format, with numerous photographic and video illustrations. Edu and I will add questions and comments.

Dan Sasaki
Panavision's optical maven Dan Sasaki (courtesy of Panavision)

Panasonic Seminar with Paul Mackie, Mathias Bolliger & Nick Dance

17:15-18:45 -- MULTIKINO 6

Cinematographers will discuss their experiences with the new Panasonic Varicam 35.



The Image Crew: A Practical Seminar

11:00-12:30 — Opera Nova SEMINAR ROOM

This is a sequel to last year's no-holds barred discussion of the practical realities of production. The panelists will include

- Garrett Brown, cinematographer/Steadicam inventor

- Reed Morano, ASC, cinematographer/director

- James Plannette, gaffer

- John Seale, ASC, ACS.

I will moderate, with questions and comments from the audience.

Sponsored by K5600 Lighting and Transvideo

Arri Workshop with Oliver Stapleton, BSC

12:30-17:00 — WORKSHOP CENTER

Oliver will present "Lighting and Filming a Studio-Based Set." Oliver does brilliant workshops, so this four-and-half-hour event should be something to see.

Garrett Brown Seminar: The Moving Camera

19:30-21:00 — Opera Nova SEMINAR ROOM

Garrett is the inventor of the Steadicam and a wonderful teacher and presenter. I recommend this sight unseen.



Arri Seminar with the Helicopter Girls

11:30-14:30 — Opera Nova SEMINAR ROOM

I don't know much about this except that the topic is "Free-Flying Cinematography," and involves cinematography with drones.

AFC Master Class at Camerimage-

AFC Master Class: Scenes

17:15-18:45 — MULTIKINO 7

The idea is to have three AFC cinematographers — Jean-Marie Dreujou, Patrick Duroux and Claire Mathon — screen and discuss scenes from their work.

The scenes are very different:

fairy tales, rodeo stories and London nights in Patrick's superb commercials;

Jean-Marie's amazing night exterior in China with wolves, horses and drones from Wolf Totem;

Claire's wonderful shooting of passionate dusks in Stranger by the Lake.

I will moderate this event, with comments and questions from the audience.


Meeting with Chris Menges, ASC, BSC

21:00-22:30 — MCK ORZEL

A meeting with the recipient of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.



Tribute to Conrad Hall, ASC

18:15-20:15 — MULTIKINO 7

Following the successful tribute to Gordon Willis, ASC, last year, my friend and colleague Stephen Pizzello and I decided to organize a tribute to Conrad Hall this year. We will screen clips from Connie's amazing body of classic films, including Cool Hand Luke, In Cold Blood, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Fat City, Searching for Bobby Fisher, American Beauty and Road to Perdition. I will moderate, and Stephen and ASC cinematographers Ellen Kuras, John Seale and John Toll will comment the clips, alongside gaffer James Plannette -- with additional comments and questions from the audience. We will also have a video comment from Haskell Wexler, ASC, and Garrett Brown.

Sponsored by American Cinematographer and the ASC

Meeting with Majid Majdi and Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC

21:00-22:30 -- Opera Nova SEMINAR ROOM

The legendary Storaro will discuss his latest film, Muhammad: The Messenger of God, with his director.


As things often change at Camerimage, I may update this post during the week.

Please don't hesitate to say hello in Bydgoszcz. It's always interesting to meet new filmmakers.



Camerimage website

Camerimage 2015 pdf schedule

Camerimage 2015 Juries

money-changing at 24-hour post office

Camerimage 2013 Photo-journal


Map of Bydgoszcz with Camerimage 2015 venues
Map of Bydgoszcz with Camerimage 2015 venues


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