Camerimage Film Festival Opens With Tributes to Jessica Lange, Robert Lantos

Will Tizard
Variety

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland — The Camerimage Film Festival kicked off its 24th edition Saturday, honoring cinematography from around the globe, and honoring producer Robert Lantos and two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange in the grand hall of the Opera Nova in the town of Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Lange drew applause as she confessed she was “actually thrilled to be out of the United States” this week while accepting the Krzysztof Kieslowski award for outstanding performances. An audience of scores of top DPs and directors, mixed with the cream of Polish cinema and dozens of local film students, expressed appreciation for the actress’ four decades of work, ranging from 1976’s “King Kong” to “Grey Gardens” via “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and “Frances.”

Lantos, a longtime collaborator with the likes of directors Istvan Szabo, David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan, also took to the stage to receive his Golden Frog for producer with unique visual sensitivity.

Some 10 competition categories will run throughout the week, recognizing the best in Polish film, lensing and directing debuts, short and feature-length docus, series pilots, music videos, student work and more.

Fest director Marek Zydowicz said the fest this year “will try to answer many questions concerning the world of cinematography, and film as such, as well as trying to pose many questions about the future of filmmaking.”

He cited the addition of virtual-reality technology workshops as one example from the line-up of a dozen educational events showcasing new developments.

Major camera producers Arri, Panasonic, Sony and Canon are, as usual, rolling out their latest gear in a series of exercises and hands-on sessions moderated by top filmmakers attending.

Screenings of Andrzej Wajda’s final film, “Afterimage,” shot by Pawel Edelman, and Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” filmed by Linus Sandgren, followed awards and the introduction of juries, which feature film headliners such as Alan Parker and Michael Apted, among others.

Polish jazz pianist Wlodzimierz Pawlik, who scored a docu on Wajda’s life work, “Andrzej Wajda: My Inspirations,” set the elegant tone for the opening gala with improvisations inspired by film music. Fest runs through Nov. 19.

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