British Cinematographers have triumphed in competition for the Best Cinematography for a feature film in both Imago Annual Awards held since they were inaugurated in Helsinki. Last year the votes of cinematographers globally, ignored the earlier Oscar triumph of Linus Sandgren for La La Land by awarding the first Imago Award to Seamus McGarvey for Nocturnal Animals. There were no such surprises this year in Belgrade. The winner was Roger Deakins BSC CBE for Blade Runner 2049 against the nominations of Greg Fraser ACS for Lion, Rauno Ronkainen FSC for The Eternal Road, Robbie Ryan ISC for The Favourite and the Russian master Yury Klimenko RGC for Matilda.
This Imago initiative to hold an Award ceremony was the brain child of the Australian President, Ron Johanson OAM ACS, an Imago Board member and himself an inspiration since Imago became global three years ago. All indications are this first Award, voted Internationally by cinematographers, for cinematographers is on track to be recognised Internationally significantas a permanent event to promote the craft of cinematography and raise the profile of Imago. In 2020 the Awards are expected to be held in Brussels.
The Imago International Award for Best Cinematography for a student film went to Balazs Istvan Balazs from the University of Film Arts in Budapest: the Emerging Young Cinematographer to Jurgis Kmins LGC from Latvia for Billie: Documentary Film to Adolpho Veloso ABC from Brazil: Television Drama to Andras Nagy HSC Hungary were other winners in the five categories, nominations for which are initially selected by all the 53 Imago Societies. The Lifetime Achievement Award in Cinematography was awarded to Ed Lachman ASC who needed no introduction from European cinematographers. It was presented by Milan Krsljanin from Arri. The Imago Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Cinematography went to Rachel Morrison ASC.
Ed Lachman ASC
A popular Award with the Audience was the Imago International Award for an Extraordinary Contribution to the Art of Cinematography which was received by the Festival Directors of the Manaki Brothers Festival, Gena Teodosievska and Dore Kunovski Read report here
It was believed to be the first International Award to any organisation in the newly named North Macedonia. In 2017 the Award was given to Camerimage and the founder Marek Zydowicz.
Other Awards were given to Kommer Kleijn SBC and David Stump ASC for Extraordinary Technical Achievement.
The Awards were preceded by the Annual IAGA (AGM) of Imago which had been organised well by the Serbian Society under their President Pedrag Bambic SAS. Although both Russia and Ukraine were represented an absence of delegates from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia was disappointing as was Bulgaria and neighbouring Croatia. Brazil was the lone delegate from South America and the cost of travel from Asia may have been a factor accounting for their absence.
One early resolution for a name change from Imago, the European Federation of Cinematographers to Imago, the International Federation of Cinematographers was approved unanimously. New members for Imago Committees were voted including Barry Ackroyd for the Authorship Committee and John Daly for the Technical committee the latter being further strengthened by the addition of Aleksej Berkovic RSC
Nigel Walters BSC