Festival de Cannes : Angénieux celebrates a decade of excellence in visual storytelling
Angénieux, a Thales Group brand, holds the singular honour of being the only lens manufacturer with official partner status at the Cannes Film Festival. During the iconic event on the Côte d'Azur, the company organises a ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the unsung heroes of the silver screen – Directors of Photography. Now in its 10th year, the Pierre Angénieux Tribute ceremony has progressively staked out a claim as one of the highlights of the world's most prestigious international film festival.
Since 2013, the annual Pierre Angénieux Tribute has been a unique opportunity for filmmakers and film enthusiasts to celebrate the art of cinematography. It upholds the legacy of Pierre Angénieux, who laid the foundations of the modern zoom lenses back in 1935 and stand as a testament to the brand's continuing commitment to innovation, quality and excellence in the film industry. The tribute recognises the contribution of an established Director of Photography, while the annual Special Encouragement introduced in 2018 highlights a promising young cinematographer to help them to continue their creative journey.
The latest edition of the ceremony will be opened by festival General Delegate Thierry Frémaux on 26 May 2023. As announced in April, the winner of the 2023 Pierre Angénieux Tribute is the British Director of Cinematography Barry Ackroyd, BSC, while this year's Special Encouragement goes to the Egyptian cinematographer Haya Khairat. The day before the ceremony, Barry Ackroyd will give a masterclass moderated by journalist Jordan Mintzer from The Hollywood Reporter, offering an insight into his creative process, his collaboration with directors and his distinctive approach to lighting and camera work.
The prize for the winner of the Pierre Angénieux Tribute is a specially engraved zoom lens, while the Special Encouragement includes a year's free rental of one of the premium brand's flagship products.
The art of collaboration
Directors of Photography (DPs) play a crucial role in capturing the director's vision on camera and bringing it to life. One of the primary reasons why DPs are so important to the film industry is their ability to work collaboratively with directors, production designers and other crew members to create a cohesive visual narrative. Like orchestra leaders, they play a crucial role in setting the tone and mood of a work, selecting the camera angles, lighting set-ups and lens choices that serve the story best. They also work with the production designer to ensure that the overall visual aesthetic is consistent throughout the film. In addition, DPs oversee the colour grading and post-production process to ensure that the final product matches the director's original vision.
Likewise, Angénieux owes its success to the ability to work creatively with the users of its lenses, and DPs therefore have a central role to play in the company's strategy. Each innovation and each new product is shaped by the practical insights and experience of cinematographers as we seek to develop the tools and technologies they need to fully express their creativity.
Interchangeable Rear Optics (IRO) technology, for example, allows them to adapt zoom lens configurations to different camera sensor formats, while the Integrated Optical Palette (IOP) for prime lenses includes customisable elements to expand the cinematographer's creative toolset and guarantee continuity of effect across the entire range of lenses. Both innovations are exclusive to Angénieux, and both were thought with DPs to tailor the latest technology to their artistic tastes and standards.
The enduring relevance of an exceptional brand
Today, Angénieux is recognised throughout the industry as an exceptional brand with unique know-how, a tried-and-trusted capacity for innovation, a strong global presence and solid partnerships with other industry leaders. For example, the company worked with Band Pro in the Americas and Jebsen in China to develop the EZ series of zooms – the first cine lenses to offer interchangeable full-frame and Super 35 shooting formats. These lenses are particularly popular with younger generations of cinematographers and are now among the most widely used cine zooms industry-wide. Band Pro and Jebsen are also partners in the Optimo Primes project.
Angénieux occupies a unique position in the cinema landscape as the only manufacturer to offer a complete family of high-quality, wide-ratio zoom lenses – from the flagship Optimo Ultra 12X to very compact models like the Optimo Ultra Compact – as well as prime lenses of equivalent quality, the Optimo Primes. Coveted for their ability to create a unique visual identity for each work, Angénieux lenses are a benchmark in virtually every genre, including feature films, documentaries, TV dramas, music videos and commercials. Famously, they were even selected by NASA to capture images of man's first step on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission…
The Angénieux catalogue offers a complete toolset of high-end products, allowing established cinematographers to give free rein to their creativity and encouraging the next generation of talent to push the boundaries of visual storytelling.
The 10th anniversary of the Pierre Angénieux Tribute marks a significant milestone in the brand's history. The entire Angénieux team is proud to honour some of the world's most outstanding Directors of Photography and to uphold a tradition that highlights the subtle artistry of Directors of Photography and testifies to the brand's unflagging commitment to the film industry.
Philippe Rousselot, 2013
Vilmos Zsigmond, 2014
Roger A. Deakins, 2015
Peter Suschitzky, 2016
Christopher Doyle, 2017
Edward Lachman, 2018
Bruno Delbonnel, 2019
Agnes Godard, 2021
Darius Khondji, 2022
Barry Ackroyd, BSC, is a renowned British cinematographer known for his innovative approach to filmmaking and a uniquely gritty style. Born in Manchester in 1954, Ackroyd started his career in the 1980s working on documentaries before transitioning to feature films. In a career spanning more than thirty years, he has won multiple awards and nominations. He was Ken Loach's regular cinematographer for twelve films, including The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. He also collaborated with Paul Greengrass on several feature films including United 93 and Green Zone, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography in 2008 for Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker. Ackroyd is best known for his hand-held camera work and use of natural light, which creates a realistic and immersive experience for the viewer.
Born in 1995, Egyptian cinematographer, photographer and director Haya Khairat began her career as a lighting script and 1st assistant camera on several popular Egyptian TV series. In 2019, she was honoured by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture for her contributions to the future of women in the filmmaking industry, and the same year her first short film as a Director of Photography, Dark Chocolate, was voted best short film of the year at the Cairo International Film Festival. Her work as director and DP for Zero Tolerance Ribbon (Female Genital Mutilation campaign), was awarded a Silver Lynx at the 2020 Dubai Lynx Awards. Another important part of Haya Khairat’s work has been linked to music: since her early days, she has made and re-edited music videos and has worked in recent years with some of the rising stars on the Egyptian music scene.