Magazine article American Cinematographer

President's Desk

Magazine article American Cinematographer

President's Desk

Article excerpt

Here's wishing you a happy, healthy and continually employed 2016!

Speaking of being happy and healthy, American Cinematographer's lead time has delayed my reporting on this past November's Camerimage International Film Festival, which was held in the delightful city of Bydgoszcz, Poland, Nonetheless, the interval hasn't dulled my enthusiasm for an event that has become the world's premier celebration of who we are and what we do as cinematographers. 2015 marked the 23rd consecutive gathering; it also presented my first opportunity to attend. Like each previous one, this year's festival brought together cinematographers, fans and supporters from every corner of the world. As the first and most prestigious offering of its kind, Camerimage deserves great praise and encouragement from everyone associated with motion pictures.

The idea for Camerimage originated in 1992 with Festival Director - and now ASC honorary member - Marek Zydowicz. His reasoning was that cinematographers needed a forum through which to highlight their contributions to world cinema - and those contributions alone. Believe me, he has done a sensational job. The explosive growth in attendance and recognition over the years - 2015 saw more than 500 cinematographers and some 5,000 others in attendance - is proof enough of his great achievement. Along with his top lieutenants Kazik Suwala and Marek Zebrowski, Zydowicz warrants high praise for a job well done. Their effort is akin to pulling off a second invasion of the beaches at Normandy.

This year's edition bolted from the gate on Nov. 14 and ran through Nov. 21. In addition to the requisite whirl of seminars, roundtable discussions, and master classes that are taught by some of the profession's most elite practitioners, there were an endless number of screenings chosen to showcase the best of the best. Using an unconventional yet wholly correct approach, distinguished panels of cinematographers judged the films in competition purely upon their visual merits. According to Zydowicz, by structuring Camerimage in this fashion, he hoped to not only introduce new talents to the world but to refine and expand the scope of our art by dissecting it in fresh, ever more passionate ways. …

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