Polish Golden, Silver and Bronze Frogs

Vilmos Zsigmond i Allan Starski

Vilmos Zsigmond and Allan Starski. Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, Polish Film Institute


Krzysztof Ptak received the Silver Frog for his work on Dark House, while Marcin Koszałka was awarded the Bronze Frog for Reverse. Both films competed in the Main Competition at the Plus Camerimage film festival, which ended last Saturday. The winner of the Golden Frog was the cinematographer responsible for Lebanon, Giora Bejach.


“This is a really magical festival; I really hope it remains this way”, said the winner of the main prize, Giora Bejach, as he received his Golden Frog. He received the Camerimage main award for the cinematography in Lebanon by Samuel Maoz, winner of this year’s Venice Film Festival.

The other two awards in the main competition went to Polish cinematographers. “I’m so surprised. I thought you could only get a Frog once”, said Krzysztof Ptak, winner of the Silver Frog for Dark House by Wojciech Smarzowski. In 2002 he received the Golden Frog for best cinematography in Eddie by Piotr Trzaskalski.

“This is the most important award in my short career”, said Marcin Koszałka, winner of the Bronze Frog for Reverse by Borys Lankosz, for which he already received the Best Photography award at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia last September.

The results of the student film competition were welcomed with applause, as students filled a large part of the Grand Theatre auditorium. The winner of the Golden Tadpole was Weronika Bilska, a student at the Faculty of Radio and Television at the University of Silesia in Katowice, for best cinematography in Dirty Words by Marcin Maziarzewski. She also received the special award of the Polish Filmmakers Association.

The Silver Tadpole in the student film competition went to Jakub Czerwiński for Through Glass by Igor Chojna, while the Bronze Tadpole was awarded to Lili Horvath for Sunstroke by Robert Maly.

The student film competition also had special awards from Panavision. The award went to Arsen Sarkisians for the cinematography in United We Stand by Alejandro Pedregal. Special recognition went to Paweł Tarasiewicz for Miss Mushroom.

The international jury consisting mostly of prominent filmmakers selected the best film of the Polish competition. The winner was Snow White and Russian Red and its cinematographer Marian Prokop. “I’m a little stunned”, said director Xawery Żuławski. “We are so proud, this is a wonderful moment. Marian is a very mysterious man; right now he is on one of his mysterious journeys.”

Special awards were presented to the masters of world cinema on Saturday.

Allan Starski was awarded for his “unique visual sensitivity”.


“I would particularly like to thank Witold Sobociński, the cinematographer of my first film. Thank you, Witold. You taught me everything I know about the film image”, said Starski.

Vittorio Storaro and Carlos Saura received the special award for the cinematographer-director duo. “This award is a great way of emphasizing the importance of working in a duo. Making a film is an intimate journey into the world of our imagination; a journey the director and cinematographer take together”, said Storaro.

“Thank you very, very, very, very, very much”, rejoiced Saura. In 1998 he received the Golden Frog for “unique visual sensitivity”. “The other one was bigger”, he joked as he received this year’s award.

The lifetime achievement award went to Dante Spinotti, director of photography in a number of films; he has worked on films by Michael Mann, Michael Apted, Bruce Beresford, Brett Ratner, Garry Marshall, Curtis Hanson, Giuseppe Tornatore, Ermanno Olmiego, Roberto Benigni, Roland Joffe, and Barry Levinson, among others.

The winner of the Best Video award in the music video competition was the video for Blonde Fire by The Hickey Underworld (cinematographer:Nicolas Karakatsanis, director: Joe Vanhoutteghem). The award for Best Music Video Cinematography went to Shawn Kim for the video for Depeche Mode’s Wrong (director: Patrick Daughters).

Terry Sanders, who presided over the short documentary competition, received the special award for outstanding achievements in documentary filmmaking. Moments later, he announced the winners of this year’s competition.

The Golden Frog went to Murray Fredericks for Salt by Michael Angus. Special mention went to Aleksandr Filippov for Nyarma by Edgar Bartenev.

In the feature documentary competition the winner of the Golden Frog was Yaron Orbach for Unmistaken Child by Nati Baratz. Special mention went to Juraj Chlpík for Blind Loves by Juraj Lehotský.
Documentary cinematographers also received awards of the Discovery Networks: Martijn van Broekhuizen for The Two Horses of Genghis Khan (director: Byambasuren Davaa), and Jacek Petrycki for Poste Restante (director: Marcel Łoziński).

The end of the closing gala was centered around the mayor of Łódź, Jerzy Kropiwnicki, who once again proved that he can be a real showman. He entered the stage slowly, with his back facing the audience. He then cast a longing look over the crowd. “They want me to say something I don’t want to say. So I’ll say it in another way”.


Then he shouted: “I’d like to invite everyone to Łódź for next year’s Plus Camerimage festival!”

“And now it is, unfortunately, the end”, he added in an almost whisper.

Information about the festival is available at www.pluscamerimage.pl.


Translated by Karolina Kołtun