The Camerimage festival was inaugurated in 1993. The first seven editions were held in the city of Toruń. In 2000, the festival moved to Łódź, where it stayed for ten editions. Since 2010, Camerimage has been held in Bydgoszcz. It takes place annually in late November. Over the years, the festival has become a prime meeting point for industry professionals, film students and cinema lovers.
The main goal of the festival is to increase the prestige of the art of cinematography. It was conceived as an alternative to traditional film festivals, many of which have become commercialized. Films that participate in Camerimage’s competition are evaluated according to their visual, aesthetic, and technical values.
The festival hosts several film competitions including the Main Competition, Polish Films Competition, Documentary Films Competition, Documentary Shorts Competition, Feature Debuts Competition (including Cinematographers’ Debuts and Directors’ Debuts), Music Videos Competition (featuring awards for the best music video and best cinematography), TV Pilots Competition, 3D Films Competition, and Students Etudes Competition. Categories might change from year to year.
As Camerimage is a competitive festival, its jury gives out several awards. The main prize of the festival is the Golden Frog. It is awarded to the best film in the Main Competition. The films in the second and third place are awarded the Silver Frog and the Bronze Frog, respectively. The Student Etudes competition has its own award called the Tadpole (the Golden Tadpole, the Silver Tadpole, the Bronze Tadpole). Besides, there are several special awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Of course, the program of the festival is not limited to competitive screenings. Camerimage features a wide range of events such as special screenings (exclusive premieres, retrospectives, reviews, tributes, and screenings of student films that didn’t make it to the main competition), live music performances, equipment showcases as well as meetings, seminars, talks, presentations and workshops featuring established filmmakers. The festival hosts Camerimage Forum (a seminar for industry professionals devoted to working conditions of cinematographers and copyright-related issues) and Camerimage Market.
Photo by Ewelina Kamińska