Camerimage: ‘C’mon C’mon’ Wins Golden Frog

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was remembered during the cinematography film festival and whose death director Marek Żydowicz called the “result of incompetence and a lack of responsibility."

Cinematographer Robbie Ryan’s lensing of Mike Mills’ C’mon C’mon — starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man learning how to take care of a kid for the first time — topped the EnergaCamerimage main competition, collecting the Golden Frog Saturday during the closing ceremony of the international cinematography film festival.

Bruno Delbonnel’s black and white cinematography in Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth was awarded the Silver Frog and DP Greig Fraser’s work on Denis Villeneuve’s epic Dune claimed the Bronze Frog. C’mon C’mon additionally won the Audience Award.

Director Joe Wright, the jury chair, announced the winners of the main competition awards. In a video message, Ryan said, “I’m delighted,” thanking director Mills and the filmmakers, saying “we had a lot of fun and I’m really proud of the film.”

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Delbonnel, accepting via video from London, where he said he was prepping a project with Alfonso Cuaron and DP Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, thanked his collaborators and crew, and added, “There is no winner or loser, I want to congratulate every DP. The beauty of our job is we are all different and the way we see the world [is all different].”

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“This festival has always been a highlight for me … Standing in this group with my peers and my heroes is quite amazing,” Fraser said, thanking Villeneuve as well as his crew as he accepted the Bronze Frog. Villeneuve called the recognition at the festival — he was additionally on hand to accept a special award for outstanding directing — a “beautiful compliment.”

Animals, lensed by Frank van den Eeden and helmed by Nabil Ben Yadir, received the FIPRESCI critics prize. Cannes Palme d’Or winner Titane, helmed by Julia Ducournau and shot by Ruben Impens, won the directors’ debut competition; and My Voice Will Be With You, lensed by Tristan Gal-and directed by Bruno Tracq, claimed the Golden Frog in the feature documentary competition.

Halyna Hutchins — the cinematographer who was fatally shot last month on the set of Rust when a prop gun was discharged — was included in an In Memoriam segment. In his closing remarks, festival director Marek Żydowicz appealed to the film industry to hire responsible people who follow protocols, saying if they had, the tragedy on the set of Rust “likely would not have have occurred.” He received applause when he called the tragedy the “result of incompetence and a lack of responsibility of those on the set with her.” During the week at Camerimage, the American Society of Cinematographers hosted a ceremony to remember the late cinematographer, who was also named as an honorary member of the society.

During the closing ceremony, Jost Vacano (Das Boot, Starship Troopers) was feted with the Lifetime Achievement Award, saying he was proud of both his artistic work as well as his efforts to fight for artist rights. “I have to fight for cinematographers [to be considered] authors of their films,” Vacano asserted, to applause. “Someone has to do something for the cinematographers, as authors of the film [so they] can participate on the income of the film.” (The DP is also known for a lawsuit in which he received additional compensation for Das Boot.)

Camerimage, held annually in Torun, Poland, has become a bellwether for what’s to come in the cinematography Oscar race. In three of the past five years, the winners of Camerimage’s Golden Frog have gone on to earn Oscar nominations in cinematography. Those films include 2016’s Lion, 2019’s Joker and 2020’s Nomadland. The 2017 Camerimage winner, On Body and Soul, was nominated in the foreign-language film Oscar category.

The festival’s 2018 Golden Frog recipient was The Fortress, a 2017 film that was not eligible for that year’s Oscar race. However, the 2018 Silver Frog went to Cold War, which earned a cinematography Oscar nomination and won the American Society of Cinematographers feature competition. The Bronze Frog went to Roma, which won the Oscar in cinematography.

As this year’s festival concluded, Żydowicz showed renderings of the future European film center that will house Camerimage and other events, expected to open in Torun during 2025.

After the awards ceremony, No Time To Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga and cinematographer Linus Sandgren introduceed their Bond film, which closed the festival.

The complete list of winners follows.

MAIN COMPETITIONGolden Frog: C’mon C’moncin. Robbie Ryandir. Mike MillsSilver Frog: The Tragedy of Macbethcin. Bruno Delbonneldir. Joel CoenBronze Frog: Dunecin. Greig Fraserdir. Denis Villeneuve

AUDIENCE AWARDC’mon C’moncin. Robbie Ryandir. Mike Mills

FIPRESCI AWARD
Animalscin. Frank van den Eedendir. Nabil Ben Nadir

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES COMPETITIONGolden Frog — best feature documentary: My Voice Will Be With Youcin. Tristan Gal-anddir. Bruno TracqDOCUMENTARY SHORTS COMPETITIONGolden Frog — best short documentary: Survivecin. Jacob Friedrich Maria Kohldir. Lara Milena Brose, Kilian Armando FriedrichDIRECTORS’ DEBUTS COMPETITIONBest Director’s Debut: Titanecin. Ruben Impensdir. Julia DucournauCINEMATOGRAPHERS’ DEBUTS COMPETITIONBest Cinematographer’s Debut: Bipolarcin. Yuming Kedir. Queena LiMUSIC VIDEOS COMPETITIONBest Music Video: Kuba Kawalec & Ana Andrzejewska “Zdechłam”cin. Kacper Fertaczdir. Zuzanna PliszTV SERIES COMPETITION Best Episode: Welcome to Utmark: Eye for an Eyecin. Andreas Johannessendir. Dagur Kári

FILM AND ART SCHOOL ETUDES COMPETITIONLaszlo Kovacs Student Award – Golden Tadpole – The Howlingcin. Max Bugajak dir. Bartosz Brzezińskischool: Warsaw Film SchoolSilver Tadpole: Tala’visioncin. Philip Henze dir. Murad Abu Eisheh school: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg Bronze Tadpole: Cold Blow Lanecin. Christopher Behrman dir. Luca Homolkaschool: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg