BSC Members Roster – Full Accredited

Jake Polonsky BSC

Category: Full Accredited

Role: Director of Photography

Websites: IMDb and


Jake studied cinematography at the American Film Institute [LA] and the Royal College of Art [London]. While at the RCA he was awarded the Freddie Young/ BSC Cinematography scholarship, and won the Arriflex award from his camerawork on the short film STROWGER SWITCH in the Fuji Film Scholarship of 1996.

After graduating he cut his teeth on hundreds of music videos and commercials, working with some of the biggest names in popular music - including Robbie Williams, the Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt, Athlete, and Groove Armada - and was nominated for best cinematography at the CADS Music Video awards in 2002, 2005 and 2006, winning in 2004. His camerawork has been featured in publications ranging from American Cinematographer to Shots, Promo, Creative Review and Broadcast.

He has lit many award winning short films including GRANDPA [director: Andy Shelley, Best Film, Greenwich Film Festival 2000],  THE ARCHITECT [director: Luke Watson, Most Promising New Talent award, British Short Film Festival 1997], SWALLOWED [director: Olly Blackburn, Best Short Film, Karlovy Vary Film Festival 1997]. He shot the Film 4 funded short film, SONGS FOR MY MOTHER for artists JANE and LOUISE WILSON, and the ‘North London Book of the Dead,’ the first cinematic adaptation of any Will Self short story, for Jake Lushington [Newcomer award, Rushes Short Film Festival 2012].

He has extensive experience in television with credits including the TV shows SPOOKS and HUSTLE, both for the BBC,  SECRET SMILE for Granada starring David Tennant and Kate Ashfield, and PRIMEVAL for ITV, starring Douglas Henshall. Recent credits include Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror – ‘The National Anthem,’ [winner of Best Comedy at the Montreux television festival and an international Emmy], the Doctor Who episode ‘Journey to the Centre of the Tardis,’ ITV’s ‘The Bletchley Circle,’ and the US series ‘The Assets’ an original ABC show about the CIA in the 80s. He was the lead cinematographer on Russell T Davies’s ‘Cucumber’ for Channel 4 in 2014. Last year he shot 10 episodes of the first season of Billions for Showtime, a US drama about the world of US high finance starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis.

Jake has also gained valuable experience as a 2nd unit DP, working on movies including Enduring Love [Director: Roger Michell, DP Haris Zambarloukos BSC], Salmon Fishing in the Yemen [Director: Lasse Hallstrom, DP: Terry Stacey ASC], The World’s End [Director: Edgar Wright, DP: Bill Pope ASC] and Divergent [Director: Neil Burger, DP Alwin Kuchler BSC].

In 2003 he was invited to participate in the inaugural Berlin Talent Campus at the Berlin Film Festival, and was inspired to make SCHOOL OF LIFE [2004] - his first film as a director.

Winner - British Council/Nokia award for Best British Short Film at the British Independent Film Awards 2004.

The film has been to many international festivals including: Dresden, Oberhausen, Emden, Galway, Almeria, Capalbio, Rushes Soho Shorts, Raindance, Cinema Tout Ecran [Geneva], Tehran, Wiesbaden, Seagate Foyle, Leeds, Olympia [Greece], Brief Encounters, MFA Planet Europe, Commonwealth, MedFilm, Britspotting, Calgary, Short Shorts [Japan], Shorts at Midnight [Germany] and Atlantic film festivals.

Played at Shooting People’s Mobile Cinema 2005, and at Shooting People’s ‘Best of the Best’ screening at the Curzon Soho, London. Anthologized on Shooting People’s Best vs the Best DVD.

A member of the Lensmodern Picture Agency, Jake began exhibiting his photographs in 2007. He has concentrated on panoramic infrared landscapes in the countryside of Kerala, South India and New Zealand. Some of his photography is for sale via The Artful Project.


Educational History:

1991-94 Wadham College, Oxford

BA(Hons) English and Modern History – First Class

1994-95 American Film Institute

Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies

First Year MFA program, Cinematography – Fulbright Scholarship

1995-97 Royal College of Art - MA Film & TV (Cinematography)