Images come first at the IMAGO Awards
by Marta Bałaga
- Ed Lachman and Rachel Morrison were among the recipients of the second edition of the IMAGO Awards, celebrating the world’s best cinematographers
Ed Lachman, Rachel Morrison, David Stump and Kommer Kleijn were among this year’s recipients of the IMAGO Awards, given out by the European Federation of Cinematographers – recently rebranded as “international” in order to embrace its growing status. “The IMAGO Awards serve as part of our main focus – to promote the art of cinematography,” explained Paul René Roestad to Cineuropa prior to the event, after being re-elected for another three-year term as the president of IMAGO. “By annually awarding the world’s very best cinematography, we try to make people understand that without images, there would be no films. And to be awarded by your peers – well, it’s the highest honour one can get.”
More than 150 films from 53 national societies (with more than 4,300 cinematographers as members) were competing for the only international award given, as stressed by Roestad, “to cinematographers by cinematographers”. Emmy Award winner David Stump was recognised for Extraordinary Technical Achievement, Kommer Kleijn took home the Honorary Member Award, while the IMAGO International Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the Art of Cinematography was given to the Manaki Brothers ICFF Film Festival. Rachel Morrison, recently lauded for her work on Black Panther, picked up the first Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Cinematography. The IMAGO Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cinematography went to Ed Lachman, nominated for two Academy Awards for his collaborations with Todd Haynes, Carol [+see also:
film profile] and Far From Heaven.
“When I was in art school, I took a cinema appreciation course, and that opened up a world for me. I have a secret, but I am too old to have secrets – I always looked to Europe for the storytelling and the visual language it encompasses,” shared a visibly moved Lachman, after the crowd welcomed him with a standing ovation. “The first films I was really taken by were those of Italian neorealism, then I discovered the French New Wave, Eastern Europe, and it just continued this way. I feel closer to your images than I do to those of my own country,” he added, before dedicating his award to Serbian filmmaker Dušan Makavejev, who passed away in January. “We will always be indebted to him for creating and furthering the socio-political and humanistic approach of his films, and for how he incorporated new forms and languages of cinema. Thank you Duša.”
Among the other winners were Roger Deakins, whose inspiring work on Blade Runner 2049 [+see also:
film profile] earned him a coveted Best Cinematography for Feature Film Award; Adolpho Veloso, who was given the Best Cinematography for Documentary Film Award for On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace; and András Nagy, who got the Best Cinematography for TV Drama gong for Eternal Winter [+see also:
film profile]. New talents were also recognised: the Best Cinematography for Emerging Young Cinematographer Award went to Jurgis Kmins for Bille, and Casting’s Balázs István Balázs, from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest, collected the Best Cinematography for Student Film trophy – instigated this year because, as Roestad put it, “today’s students are tomorrow’s cinematographers”.
Interestingly, two Finnish cinematographers earned nominations in the main categories: Rauno Ronkainen for The Eternal Road [+see also:
interview: Antti-Jussi Annila
film profile] by AJ Annila and Heikki Färm for Virpi Suutari’s documentary Entrepreneur. “The key thing about working with ‘real’ people is mutual trust, which is why my attitude to filming is more intuitive than analytic. I like to get a feeling of the character first, and then try to adjust the camerawork accordingly,” Färm told Cineuropa. Ronkainen recommended a similar approach: “Research is great, but you also want to understand the story in terms of human relations. You want to visualise why people behaved this way.” Based on Antti Tuuri’s book, The Eternal Road focuses on Americans looking for a better life in the Soviet Union in the 1930s – including Jussi Ketola, an American of Finnish origins. “It was a big part of our talks with the director – how to establish that they were living the dream that slowly turned into a nightmare. For these people, it was the last time that they felt they might still have a better future, even though now we know it wasn’t the case.”
This year’s ceremony took place in Belgrade on 16 March. The awards were presented by Zeiss, CVP, Sony, ARRI and Kodak.
Here is the full list of award winners:
IMAGO International Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cinematography
Ed Lachman (ASC)
IMAGO International Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Cinematography
Rachel Morrison (ASC)
IMAGO International Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the Art of Cinematography
The Manaki Brothers ICFF Film Festival (Macedonia)
IMAGO International Award for Extraordinary Technical Achievement
David Stump (ASC)
IMAGO Honorary Member
Kommer Kleijn (SBC)
IMAGO International Award for Best Cinematography for Documentary Film
Adolpho Veloso (ABC) - On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace (Brazil/India/China/USA)
IMAGO International Award for Best Cinematography for Emerging Young Cinematographer
Jurgis Kmins (LGC) – Bille (Latvia)
IMAGO International Award for Best Cinematography for Student Film
Balázs István Balázs (HSC) – Casting
University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest (Hungary)
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