Definition December 2022 - Web



The city of Toruń in Poland may not have the cachet or glamour of Venice, Cannes or LA, but it’s cemented its status as the home of world cinema as far as cinematographers are concerned. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, renowned international film festival EnergaCamerimage, which is co-run by European Film Center Camerimage with Tumult Foundation, was founded by art historian Marek Żydowicz. His vision was simple: make it about the image. “He was teaching students all about the importance of structure and composition in paintings at the university here in Toruń,” says Kazik Suwała, director of the European Film Center Camerimage. “Around the time he started to think about the event, Marek was dealing with medieval and contemporary paintings. The painter’s job was to deal with light, just like a cinematographer does. That’s where he got the idea to make a festival that’s quite different to the others.” Although silver screen heavyweights are more than welcome to attend every year, Suwała says the event is very much aimed at cinematographers – so much so that the organisers have started to focus more on those attempting to break into the industry. “The event has three legs: we focus on films, students and debutants, and technology,” he adds. “It’s not about celebrities and directors. The cinematographer was someone who was not appreciated and recognised as they should have been. As the festival grew, Kazik Suwała, director of the European Film Center Camerimage, talks about the festival’s history and vision

GOOD NEIGHBOUR Festival organiser Kazik Suwała has found resources to host two displaced Ukrainian film festivals – called Oko and Kinoko – at this year’s EnergaCamerimage in Toruń, Poland

“The Ukrainian festivals can’t operate as normal, so we’re giving them a platform” cinematography – called Kinoko (‘cinema eye’) film festival. “Two Ukrainian films will be screened, but the most important thing is around ten people will travel 50 hours by bus from Ukraine to Poland for a seminar called Cinematographers at War, where they will share their stories,” Suwała concludes. THE EYES HAVE IT This year, the red carpet treatment has been rolled out to Ukrainian festivals. “Because of the situation in Ukraine, their festivals can’t operate as normal. So we are giving them a platform,” says Suwała. One is Oko (Ukrainian for ‘eye’), a festival of ethnographic and anthropological cinema. “The organisers are creating their own festival within the framework of EnergaCamerimage,” adds Suwała. “It will showcase 24 films in different competitions, and four special screenings. “We gave Oko’s organisers resources to do that in terms of covering travel costs and the hospitality here – but we’re not involved in the programming. They retain their autonomy.” The other, smaller festival given a platform is dedicated to the art of

we began inviting directors, production designers and talent, but the focus remained on the image.” To get an idea of just how popular EnergaCamerimage has become, over 5000 people attended the 2019 event, of which 860 were cinematographers based in 60 countries. The 2020 festival was switched to online because of the Covid-19 pandemic – in 2021, it welcomed 3000 people, including 450 cinematographers from 40 countries. Some 4000 attendees (made up of between 500 and 600 DOPs) are expected this year. “That’s why companies like Arri, Panasonic, Sony, Canon, Panavision and Vantage Film are here to meet filmmakers and other key people, so they can learn about their needs. That’s what makes the festival different.”

JUST A TASTER Simon Mozgovyi’s Salt from Bonneville (left) will play at the festival within a festival, Kinoko


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