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Cinematographer Witold Sobociński Receives EnergaCamerimage Lifetime Achievement Award

Famed Polish DP collaborated with directors Roman Polanski and Andrzej Wajda

Witold Sobocinski
TYTUS ZMIEJEWSKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

EnergaCamerimage paid tribute Saturday to Witold Sobociński. The legendary Polish cinematographer was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award during the opening of the 26th edition of the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, which is being held in Bydgoszcz, Poland, from Nov. 10 to 17.

Sobociński has worked with multiple directors over his long career, including Roman Polanski (1988’s “Frantic”), Andrzej Wajda (1975’s foreign language Oscar-nominated “The Promised Land”) and Piotr Szulkin (1985’s “O-Bi, O-Ba – The End of Civilization”)

“Witold Sobociński is one of the most distinguished Polish cinematographers, and his world-famous camerawork has contributed to over 90 feature films, documentaries, and series,” according to the Camerimage announcement. “The cinematography for one of the first etudes – a film in the style of Italian neorealism, “The Boats Depart At Dawn,” where he illustrated the unity of humans and the elements – brought him international acclaim.”

During his time at the film school, Sobociński was a musician in the legendary jazz band Melomani. It has been said that his ear for music, sense of rhythm and ability to improvise all made their way into his cinematography. Color and light always played an important role in his work.

Since 1980, Sobociński has been a lecturer at the National Film School in Lodz, Poland. He is the father of cinematographer Piotr Sobociński, who died in 2001, and the grandfather of DPs Piotr Sobociński Jr. and Michał Sobociński.