Joker cinematographer wins top prize at Camerimage

Further prizes awarded to Quentin Tarantino, Edward Norton, Peter Greenaway and Richard Gere.

By Tiffany Pritchard 19 Nov 2019

Joker cinematographer wins top prize at Camerimage
Lawrence Sher. Credit: Maria Kowalska

Joker cinematographer Lawrence Sher won the Golden Frog at Poland's EnergaCamerimage International Film Festival on Saturday (November 16).

The box-office hit, starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Todd Phillips, also won the audience award at the festival, which returned to Torun, Poland.

Scroll down for full list of winners

The Silver Frog went to cinematographer César Charlone for his work on Fernando Meirelles’ The Two Popes, while Vladimír Smutný won the Bronze Frog for Vaclav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird.

Second World War drama The Painted Birdwhich is the Czech Republic’s Oscar entry for the International Feature category, also won the Fipresci Award.

The 27th edition of the festival recorded more than 4,500 attendees, 750 of those cinematographers from 75 countries, and screened 188 films.

The closing ceremony proved a star-driven event, with prizes handed out to Quentin Tarantino, Edward Norton and Richard Gere.

Tarantino received the director-cinematographer duo award alongside Robert Richardson, his director of photography on five films, including Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Tarantino compared their relationship to a marriage and recalled how he wanted to order monogrammed towels when they first started working together on Kill Bill: Vol 1, before attributing his visual sophistication to Richardson.

Norton was honoured with the Krzysztof Kieslowski award for his writing, directing and acting work, including his most recent directorial effort, Motherless Brooklyn, which screened in competition.

Gere received the festival’s special award for an actor and presented the lifetime achievement award to John Bailey. The former AMPAS president was DoP on Gere movies including Ordinary People and American Gigolo. In an emotional speech, Bailey cited the inspiration of his wife, editor Carol Littleton (E.T., The Big Chill).

Other awards saw the documentary feature prize handed to Luke Lorentzen’s Midnight Family, which tells the story of a Mexican family who run a private ambulance. The feature previously won the Grand Jury Prize at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Filmmaker Paxton Winters and cinematographer Laura Merians won the best director’s debut award for the Darren Aronofsky-produced Pacified.

However, festival attendees expressed frustration from the lack of female representation in the main competition, where none of the 13 films featured either female cinematographers or directors.

Camerimage returned to Torun, where the cinematography festival was first launched 27 years ago, and is set to oversee the building of a new cultural institution  in the next six years.

Camerimage 2019 Winners

Main Competition

Golden Frog: Joker
DoP: Lawrence Sher
Dir. Todd Phillips

Silver Frog: The Two Popes
DoP: César Charlone
Dir. Fernando Meirelles

Bronze Frog: The Painted Bird
DoP: Vladimír Smutný
Dir. Václav Marhoul

Audience Award

Camerimage Audience Award: Joker
DoP: Lawrence Sher
Dir: Todd Phillips

Fipresci Award

Fipresci International Critics Prize: The Painted Bird
DoP: Vladimir Smutny
Dir: Václav Marhoul

Polish Films Competition

Best Polish Film: Mister T.
DoP: Artur Bajerski
Dir: Marcin Krzysztalowicz

Student Etudes Competition

Laszlo Kovacs Student Award — Golden Tadpole: Lefty/Righty
DoP: Alfonso Herrera Salcedo
Dir: Max Walker-Silverman
School: NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Silver Tadpole: Mariam and Natan
DoP/Dir: David Bajerski
School: Lódz Film School

Bronze Tadpole: The Last Children in Paradise
DoP:: Felix Pflieger
Dir: Anna Roller
School: HFF München – Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film

Documentary Features Competition

Best Documentary Feature: Midnight Family
DoP. Luke Lorentzen
Dir. Luke Lorentzen

Golden Frog — best docudrama: Marek Edelman… and There Was Love in the Ghetto
DoP: Jakub Kijowski, Jolanta Dylewska
Dir. Jolanta Dylewska

Documentary Shorts Competition

Golden Frog — Grand Prix: Kamali
DoP: Jake Gabbay
Dir. Sasha Rainbow

Special Mention: Oneself
DoP:Christiaan van Leeuwen
Dir. Carolien van Maaswaal

Directors’ Debuts Competition

Best Director’s Debut: Pacified
DoP: Laura Merians
Dir. Paxton Winters

Cinematographers’ Debuts Competition

Best Cinematographer’s Debut: Pacified
DoP:Laura Merians
Dir. Paxton Winters

Music Videos Competition

Best Music Video: James Massiah, Natural Born Killer (Ride for Me)
DoP: Mauro Chiarello
Dir. Ian Pons Jewell

Best cinematography in a music video: Jon Hopkins Singularity
DoP: Khalid Mohtaseb
Dir. Seb Edwards

First Look - TV Pilots Competition

Best Pilot: Euphoria
DoP: Marcell Rev
Dir: Augustine Frizzell

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