Award to be presented at annual kudofest Feb. 16

HOLLYWOOD — Polish cinematographer Witold Sobocinski has been tapped to receive the American Society of Cinematographers’ Intl. Achievement Award.

The nod, which recognizes filmmakers for bodies of work created outside the U.S., will be presented during the 17th annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards ceremony Feb. 16 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

“Witold Sobocinski isn’t as well known as he deserves to be in the United States, because most of his films were made in Poland at a time when political barriers blocked the free exchange of ideas,” said Owen Roizman, chair of the awards committee.

ASC launched the Intl. Achievement Award in 1992 with the presentation of the prize to British lenser Freddie Young. Subsequent honorees include Jack Cardiff, Freddie Francis, Oswald Morris, Billy Williams, Raoul Coutard, Henri Alekan, Gabriel Figueroa, Giuseppe Rotunno and Douglas Slocombe.

The org noted Sobocinski is the first recipient of an ASC award whose main body of work falls outside the sphere of influence of Western filmmaking. “This award to Witold Sobocinski opens an important new chapter in this annual celebration of our art form,” said ASC president Steven Poster.

Sobocinski was among the first generation of students drawn to the National Film, Television and Theater School at Lodz after it was organized in 1948 and began his collaborations with directors including Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski, Jerzy Skolimowski and Krzysztof Zanussi.

He has more than 30 credits including “Dancing Party in Hitler’s Headquarters,” “Wednesday’s Child a.k.a. Family Life,” The Gateway of Europe,” “The Catamount Killing,” “Ways in the Night,” “Pirates,” “Frantic” and “The Promised Land,” a Polish-language film that was nominated for an Oscar in the foreign film category in 1974.

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