Kim Nguyen’s disturbing portrait of child warriors in war-torn Africa, “War Witch,” won the top international prize, the Golden Frog, at the Plus Camerimage festival in Bydgoszcz, Poland, which focuses on cinematography.
The film toplines debutante Rachel Mwanza as a girl forced to murder her parents before being press-ganged into a rebel army. Mwanza won the actress prize at Berlin, and the film won narrative film at Tribeca. It was lensed by Nicolas Bolduc.
Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors” (director of photography was Caroline Champetier) and Bahman Ghobadi’s “Rhino Season” (d.p. was Touraj Aslani) picked up silver and bronze respectively.
Best Polish film was “To Kill a Beaver” (director was Jan Jakub Kolski; d.p. was Michal Pakulski), and the docu feature prize went to cinematographer/director Seung-Jun Yi for the “sensitive camera work and intimate approach to the subject” in “Planet of Snail.”
There was a jury special mention to Ester Martin Bergsmark and Minka Jakerson for their “extraordinary accomplishment of director’s vision and their creative approach to questions of identity” in “She Male Snails.”
Camerimage showcased 314 films during its week-long run, with guests that include Keanu Reeves, Claudio Miranda, cinematographer on Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi,” and director David Lynch.