South Korean cinematographer Kim Ji-yong won the EnergaCamerimage fest top prize, the Golden Frog, on Saturday for the sweeping imagery of his Renaissance-era war story “The Fortress” by director Hwang Dong-Hyuk. Juror David Gropman, a production designer, praised the film’s “staggering beauty and epic scale.”
Poland’s own rising-star DP Lukasz Zal won the Silver Frog for the crisp, monochrome look of period love story “Cold War” by Pawel Pawlikowski while Alfonso Cuaron, who wrote, directed and filmed the richly atmospheric black-and-white film “Roma,” named for the Mexico City neighborhood where he grew up, scored the Bronze Frog.
The prizes, handed out at the Opera Nova music hall in Bydgoszcz, Poland, capped a week of top cinematography work in 10 competitions, an experience fest director Marek Zydowicz described as a great success despite “crisis situations” during the week, which included the brief arrest of cinematographer Matthew Libatique on suspicion of assault.
Yorgos Lanthimos’ over-the-top story of vicious court intrigues under Queen Anne, “The Favourite,” lensed by Robbie Ryan, took the audience prize, while the Fipresci award for director of the best film in the main competition went to “Peterloo,” the story of a brutal massacre of British crowds in 1819 filmed by Dick Pope and directed by Mike Leigh.
Social drama “Nina,” lensed by Tomasz Naumiuk and directed by Olga Chajdas, won the Polish films section after the jury dubbed the story of surrogate pregnancy “truthful” and “a film with a heart.”
Two co-directors, Bart Goossesn and Karen Vazquez Guadarrama, won the documentary section main prize for “When the Bull Cried,” an exploration of a mystical Bolivian mining camp filmed by Vazquez Guadarrama. “I, Dolours,” a confessional look at IRA militant activist Dolours Price, directed by Maurice Sweeney and lensed by Kate McCullough, won best docudrama prize.
“Horse Riders,” a visually arresting rendering of ancient Slavic Easter rituals lensed by Tomasz Wolski and directed by Anna Gawlita, won the documentary short prize while “Pain is Mine,” a study in surviving pain with music directed and filmed by Farshid Akhlaghi, took the documentary special mention.
Juror Dick Pope announced the winner of the director’s debut competition, Denmark’s Gustav Moller, for “The Guilty,” filmed by Jasper J. Spanning, citing Moller’s “confident directorial prowess” and “stunning sound design and cinematography.” The Danish film, which takes place in a single location in which a police dispatcher, played by Jakob Cedergren, is drawn into an increasingly fraught crisis by a caller, shows “the greatest special effect in cinema is still the human face,” said Pope.
In the cinematographer’s debut section, juror Stephen Lighthill awarded “Obey,” shot by Albert Salas and directed and written by Jamie Jones, calling its depiction of intense street demonstrations in London “both authentic and dramatic.”
Veteran music video director Julien Temple, who has worked with David Bowie, Johnny Rotten and Neil Young, took home the lifetime achievement award in his field, quipping “the last time I was offered a frog was in the jungles of Costa Rica.”
Music video honors went to Novo Amor’s “Birthplace,” an oceanic pollution polemic directed by Jorik Dozy and Sil Van Der Woerd and filmed by Nihal Friedel, while the prize for cinematography in a music video was scored by Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” a blood-spattered sendup of violence, directed by Hiro Murai and shot by Larkin Seiple.
The fest’s First Look prize for TV pilots went to “Patrick Melrose: Bad News,” a British drama focusing on addiction, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, directed by Edward Berger and lensed by James Friend.
“The Fortress,” Kim Ji-yong – cinematographer; Hwang Dong-hyuk – director
“Cold War,” Lukasz Zal – cinematographer; Paweł Pawlikowski – director
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron – cinematographer/director
“Peterloo,” Dick Pope – cinematographer; Mike Leigh – director
“The Favourite,” Robbie Ryan – cinematographer; Yorgos Lanthimos – director
Best Polish Film
“Nina,” Tomasz Naumiuk – cinematographer; Olga Chajdas – director
“When the Bull Cried,” Karen Vázquez Guadarrama – cinematographer; Bart Goossesn, Karen Vázquez Guadarrama – directors
“I, Dolours,” Kate McCullough – cinematographer; Maurice Sweeney – director
“Horse Riders,” Tomasz Wolski – cinematographer; Anna Gawlita – director
“Pain Is Mine,” Farshid Akhlaghi – cinematographer/director
“The Guilty,” Jasper J. Spanning – cinematographer; Gustav Moller – director
“Obey,” Albert Salas – cinematographer; Jamie Jones – director
Novo Amor – “Birthplace,” Nihal Friedel – cinematographer; Jorik Dozy, Sil Van Der Woerd – directors
Cinematography in a Music Video
Childish Gambino – “This Is America,” Larkin Seiple – cinematography; Hiro Murai – director
First Look TV Pilot
“Patrick Melrose: Bad News,” James Friend – cinematographer; Edward Berger – director
“Sirene,” Douwe Hennink – cinematographer; Zara Dwinger – director (Netherlands Film Academy)
“Almost Everything,” Simon Bitterli – cinematographer; Lisa Gertsch – director (Zurich University of the Arts)
“Them,” Holger Jungnickel – cinematographer; Tim Dünschede – director (German Film and Television Academy, University of Television and Film Munich, Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg)