The International Film Festival Ostrava Kamera Oko – the one and only cinematography festival in the Czech Republic – has finished its thirteenth year. The drama True Mothers by cinematographer Yûta Tsukinaga won in the Official Selection, the main competition of the festival. The Special Jury Prize went to France by cinematographer David Chambill. The Short Film Competition was won by Lubomir Ballek’s Sing for us and the Special Jury Prize went to cinematographer Helena Fikerová’s for her film Sleeping. The festival, which was this year attended by five hundred spectators, ended on Sunday, 3 October.

The main competition, the so-called Official Selection, presented six feature films that caught the attention of the dramaturgs at the most prominent European film festivals. The winner was decided by a three-member international jury consisting of Indian cinematographer Bhumika Singh, South Korean cinematographer Tae Ho Kim, and domestic filmmaker Jana Hojdová. The main prize went to the Japanese drama True Mothers by cinematographer Yûta Tsukinaga.

It was difficult to choose from such a wide range of films, each with its own specific film style. In the end, however, we decided that True Mothers would be the winner. It had simple but beautiful shots, was deeply emotional and resonated with us. It was very pleasant to watch this intimate and profound film – at times poetic, at times narrative, but above all realistic,” says Bhumika Singh about the jury’s decision.

The jury awarded a special prize to France by cinematographer David Chambill and director Bruno Dumont. Bhumika Singh explains: “The appearance of the main character changing according to her momentary mental state was very impressive. The viewer can see her set in the artificial lighting of a television studio, alpine nature, or war scenes in the Middle East. The vivid colors expressing the heroine’s narcissism, the pure white that is supposed to symbolize a new beginning and the machinated shots of the Middle East that deny the very essence of the reportage, all feel believable.

The jury of the Short Film Competition, the second competition section of the festival, included this year cinematographer and director George Chiper Lillemark from Romania, cinematographer Irina Lubtchansky from France and cinematographer Santiago Racaj from Spain. The jury awarded the main prize for a short film to Lubomír Ballek for his film Sing for us. A special prize was awarded to Helena Fikerová for her film Sleeping.

Despite the large number of thematic images and sources that have already been used many times, we can feel the emotion and sensitivity with which all the images of the competition were taken, and the intention with which they were taken to achieve iconic images linked to the authentic essence of the film. In our opinion, the winning film Sing for us is a great work of image construction and point of view. The framing, camera position and, of course, the timing is very precise,” appreciate the judges of the Short Film Competition.

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