Late Cinematographer Harris Savides to Receive Plus Camerimage Honor

Harris Savides Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images

Harris Savides Headshot - P 2012

Director Gus van Sant, who collaborated with Savides on six films, will accept the festival's Director Duo Award.

COLOGNE, Germany - The late cinematographer Harris Savides, a favourite of directors Gus Van Sant and David Fincher, will receive a posthumous honor at Poland's Plus Camerimage festival, the world's leading fest for the celebration of the art of cinematography.

Savides' long and diverse list of credits includes Fincher's The Game and Zodiac, Ridley Scott's American Gangster, Somewhere from Sofia Coppola, James Grey's The Yards and Woody Allen's Whatever Works.  But he is perhaps most closely associated with the work of director Gus Van Sant. They collaborated on six films: Finding Forrester (2000), Gerry (2002), Elephant (2003), Last Days (2005), Milk (2008) and Restless (2011).

Van Sant will work together with the Plus Camerimage festival on the tribute. Savides' colleagues, including cinematographers Chris Doyle (In The Mood For Love) Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire) and Savides' first camera assistant James McCormick will also contribute to the homage.

Van Sant will accept the festival's Director Duo Award on behalf of Savides and himself. As part of the tribute, the Plus Camerimage fest will screen Elephant and Last Days as well as a retrospective on his entire body of work.

Van Sant and Savides first met on the set of a commercial shoot in the 1990. Their collaboration, which visually ran the gambit from the glossy Hollywood lensing of Finding Forester to the Dogme-esque approach on Gerry to the cinema verite style of Milk, led to one Palme d'Or in Cannes (for Elephant) and to 8 Oscar nominations - and two wins - for Milk.

“The paths of eminent directors and cinematographers often never cross – they choose their own artistic roads and gain individual success. However, luck would have it that a talented director would meet a matching, equally talented, cinematographer, who would later collaborate on several films,” said festival director Marek Zydowicz. “Something special emerges from this visually imaginative and creative relationship. As a result, fans get to experience unique works of art, those that otherwise would never have been created if different filmmakers had collaborated on them.”

The 20th Plus Camerimage festival runs Nov. 24 - Dec.1. Other VIPs attending this year include Life of Pi cinematographer Claudio Miranda (Pi will open the festival); Keanu Reeves, attending with his new documentary Side by Side; and director David Lynch, who will receive the festival's lifetime achievement award.

This year's Plus Camerimage jury is made up of directors Joel Schumacher, Roger Spottiswoode, Pawel Lozinski, Michael Lindsay and Steven Okazaki, producer Alan Parker, Oscar-winning film editor Alan Heim and cinematographer Karl Walter Lindenlaub.