CamerImage 2013: The Golden Frog
Posted on Saturday November 23, 2013, 19:51 by Simon Braund in Under The Radar
The burning question surrounding the CamerImage festival is why did it name its top awards in honour of the humble frog? Well, if you’re sitting comfortably…
Some time in the Middle Ages, the city of Torun (40 kilometers from Bydgoszcz and the home town of CamerIamge director Marek Zydowicz) was overrun by a plague of frogs. In desperation the Mayor consulted the fairytale playbook and offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to anyone who could rid the city of the amphibian scourge. Up to the plate stepped a local raftsman name Flisak, renowned for his skills on the violin. In fact, so beautiful was Flisak’s fiddle-playing that he entranced the frogs and lead them out of the city, never to return. Breaking with tradition, the Mayor fulfilled his promise. The raftsman and his daughter were married and, aside from a messy legal battle with the Pied Piper Of Hamlyn, lived happily ever after.
In the town square of Torun a statue of Flisak stands in a fountain surrounded by frogs. The CamerIamge award is a golden replica of one of them.
Friday at the festival saw packed out audiences with director Marc Forster and cinematographer Roberto Schaefer (collaborators on Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction, Stay, The Kite Runner, Quantum Of Solace and Machine Gun Preacher) and with legendary producer-writer-director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In The Name Of The Father et al). At tonight’s closing ceremony, Forster and Schaefer will receive the CamerImage Cinematographer-Director Duo award. Jim Sheridan will be handed the Lifetime Achievement Award For Directing.
Having put the kibosh on 12 Year’s A Slave’s chances of winning the Golden Frog by touting it as the favourite, Empire is duty bound to similarly ruin the prospects of Polish film Ida, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, cinematography by Lukasz Zat and Ryzsard Lenczewski. The story of a novice nun, Ida/Anna, and her aunt’s journey to find the burial place of Ida’s parents, murdered by the Nazis, and to uncover a family secret, it’s already cleaned up on the festival circuit, taking the International Critics Prize at Toronto, a Golden Lion at the Gdynia film festival, the international Grand Prix at Warsaw and the Grand Prix for Best Film at last month’s BFI London Film Festival. Well, at least one thing’s for sure, it’s going home empty handed at Bydgoszcz thanks to your correspondent’s endorsement.
Tonight’s closing ceremony will be followed by a screening of Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.