'Leviathan' Wins Poland's Camerimage Festival

Cannes Leviathan Film Still - H 2014

Cannes Leviathan Film Still - H 2014

Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Cannes winner is Russia's official entry for the 2015 foreign-language Oscar race

Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan added to its growing trophy case, winning top honors, the Golden Frog for best film, at Poland's Camerimage Festival for cinematographer Mikhail Krichman. Camerimage is the world's leading festival honoring the art of cinematography.

The film, which won the best screenplay honor in Cannes this year for Zvyagintsev and co-screenwriter Oleg Negin, is Russia's official entry for the 2015 foreign-language Oscar. Leviathan is also one of the front-runners for the European Film Awards, which will be held in Riga, Latvia, next month.

Cinematographer Ehab Assal took the runner-up silver award at the Camerimage festival for his lensing of Hany Abu-Assad’s Omar, while Andre Turpin nabbed bronze for his camerawork on Xavier Dolan’s Mommy.

The Camerimage festival wrapped up Saturday with a glamorous gala at Bydgoszcz’s opera house, honoring the best achievements in cinematography and directing, as selected by international juries of cameramen and directors.

The winner of the Polish Films competition was Krzysztof Skonieczny’s Hardkor Disko, shot by Kacper Fertacz. Winners of the 3D competition were cinematographer Richard Bluck, for his work on director Leanne Pooley's Beyond the Edge, and Thomas Hardmeier, for his work on Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet.

The festival enjoyed a particularly fruitful 22nd edition, with screenings of Birdman, The Imitation Game and Fury, and also hosted a slew of panels and master classes on cinematography, with companies like Arri, Canon, Panavision and Panasonic on hand to present their newest gear and products.

Notable attendees included longtime Martin Scorsese editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who presented three recently restored films by her late husband, Michael Powell, and Emeric Pressburger; director Philip Kaufman and his The Right Stuff cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, who both won lifetime achievement awards; filmmaker Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields) and cinematographers Michael Seresin (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Vilmos Zsigmond (The Deer Hunter), Phedon Papamichael (The Monuments Men) and Matthew Libatique (Black Swan).

Apart from the competition, the festival hosted an exhibition of paintings by Bob Dylan and several special screenings, most notably of director Michael Apted’s Bending the Light, a documentary about people who craft camera lenses and the artists who use them.