With its Lifetime Achievement Award
the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography CAMERIMAGE
recognizes truly exceptional filmmakers. Those who changed the way movies are being made with their creativity, visual skills and passion for their craft. Those who were able in each of their projects to become valuable partners for directors, producers, actors, production designers and other professionals on set, and were simultaneously firm and tolerant leaders of their own crews. For Camerimage
does not make a merit only of great framing, superb use of colors, or the mastery in handling the light, but also of the awareness of using the available means, prowess in working with all the external and internal limitations, and the ability of co-operating with others for the sole purpose of creating the best film possible. We are therefore immensely proud to announce that this year's Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award
recipient will be Caleb Deschanel
, the acclaimed American cinematographer and director working in the industry for over four decades now. During that time he became known as a true artist of his craft and an innovative filmmaker always keeping up with the times. His work was also crucial in creating one of the essential tools of modern cinematographers - the Steadicam. Caleb Deschanel
will be the special guest of the 22nd edition of Camerimage
and he will meet the Festival audiences after the screenings of his films. Tumult Foundation
will also publish Black Album
dedicated to his career.
Caleb Deschanel, courtesy of Douglas Kirkland
While looking back at Caleb Deschanel's
career, one has to acknowledge all the great filmmakers - many of whom are nowadays considered as one of the most distinguished figures of American cinema - who helped to shape his artistic skills and integrity. Even as early as during his times at John Hopkins University, where he initially went to study medicine, he met with the future editor, sound designer and three-time Oscar winner Walter Murch
, with whom he staged various happenings. Deschanel
was, together with David Lynch
and Terrence Malick
, a graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory first class ever (he also helped Malick shoot his short film debut, Lanton Mills
). He was one of the members of the original production team of American Zoetrope, together with Francis Ford Coppola
and George Lucas
learned the cinematographer's craft on the sets of films by John Cassavetes
(A Woman Under the Influence
) and George Lucas
), and he spent his own money to intern with Gordon Willis
, the future cinematographer of The Godfather
trilogy and his subsequent mentor. He worked with Hal Ashby
on Being There
and the Rolling Stones
documentary Let's Spend the Night Together
, he directed three episodes of David Lynch's
game-changing TV series Twin Peaks
, and he joined the ASC after being proposed for membership by Haskell Wexler
and Conrad L. Hall
. However, Caleb Deschanel
remained a filmmaker curious about the world surrounding him and different techniques and ways one can adopt to storytelling. He always stuck to his rule that "to do anything well, you have to love it and work hard at it"
Still from "The Black Stallion"
Still from "The Right Stuff"
Five Academy Award nominations (for Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff
, Barry Levinson's The Natural
, Carroll Ballard's Fly Away Home
, Roland Emmerich's The Patriot
and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ
), a BAFTA nomination (for Carroll Ballard's The Black Stallion
), Berlinale Silver Bear (for directing his short film Trains
) and American Society of Cinematographers' Lifetime Achievement Award - they all speak for themselves, but it is Deschanel's
cinematography, the images he created, that serve as the best testimony to his artistry and wonderful career. His work on Gibson's The Passion of the Christ
, inspired by Caravaggio's paintings and the art of the Renaissance, elucidates the Christ's suffering with its ephemeral beauty and visual subtlety. The poetic, perfectly framed shots of Ballard's The Black Stallion
help the film become something much more than just a beautiful tale of a boy and his horse. The battle scenes of Emmerich's The Patriot
that were shot on 65mm are wonderfully epic. Deschanel's
work on Jim Sheridan's Dream House
blurs the distinction between the reality and fiction, beauty and horror of the main character's imagination. His exotic and incredibly sensual cinematography for Andy Tennant's Anna and the King
made it possible for a Western viewer to better understand - even more, to feel! - the culture and mental landscape of the 19th century Siam. Deschanel
gave us countless moments of cinematic awe and fascination with the power of a single image that is able to convey more than a thousand words.
Still from "The Patriot"
Still from "The Passion of the Christ"
has shot in almost every possible way, from 16mm cameras to working digitally with ARRI Alexa and staging in 3D. During his career he made numerous commercials, different TV projects and gathered dozens of different experiences in the film industry. However, he often emphasizes that what he is most interested in is complementing with his work the given director's vision, what is more - that art should always be an invitation to a discussion, a dialogue between filmmakers and audiences, and it is bringing the viewers "some kind of understanding of all the suffering and joys and pain that we go through"
. This personal ethos Deschanel
brings to each and every set he works on, into each and every discussion about the art of cinematography he participates in. We are more than proud that Caleb Deschanel
will come to Bydgoszcz to receive Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award
and share his attitude towards cinema with the Festival's participants.