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Pierre Angénieux Tribute
 awarded to Agnès Godard AFC  

Jun 15, 2021

Friday July 16,2021 at 8pm – Buñuel Theater, Palais des Festivals

Official partner of the Cannes Festival since 2013, Angénieux celebrates a major and successful director of photography with the Pierre Angénieux Tribute during an exceptional ceremony opened by Delegate General Thierry Frémaux and presented by French journalist Pierre Zéni. This event represents a unique opportunity to turn the spotlight on these professionals, without whom cinema would not exist.

This year Agnès Godard, Claire Denis historic collaborator, will receive the prestigious “Pierre Angénieux Tribute” after Philippe Rousselot AFC ASC in 2013, Vilmos Zsigmond HSC ASC in 2014, Roger A. Deakins BSC ASC in 2015, Peter Suschitzky ASC in 2016, Christopher Doyle HKSC in 2017, Edward Lachman ASC in 2018 and Bruno Delbonnel AFC, ASC in 2019.

Agnès Godard will be surrounded by an artistic delegation for the Tribute evening dedicated to her on Friday July 16.

Optical engineer and eminent French industrial Pierre Angénieux is the inventor of pioneering and revolutionary principles such as retrofocus and legendary lenses since the 1930’s. He was awarded twice by the Academy Awards and brought home two Oscars from Hollywood, in 1964 and 1989. Since then Angénieux teams have themselves received multiple awards including Scientific and Technical Awards from the Academy in 2009. Timeless and internationally acclaimed, Angénieux lenses offer top quality and the most up to date  in modern technology and innovation.

“For me the magic of cinema is the moment when sensation and feeling flow into one another, the alchemy of a visual experience,  seen and lived, which brings  the images life”.  

Agnès Godard is one of the few women directors of photography in cinema: she is one of the most remarquable and talented directors of photography in French cinema.

Born on May 28th 1951 in Dur-sur-Auron in the Cher department of France, Agnès Godard said that she “started with no contact within the film industry. Neither by friends nor family” and first headed towards journalism studies – a career she pursued for several years – before shifting towards cinema.

After studying cinema at the French university Censier in Paris, she went on to study at the IDHEC, one of the most prestigious of French film schools and graduated in 1980. She started as a camera assistant alongside the great master of image Henri Alekan – similarly to 2019 Angénieux recipient Bruno Delbonnel. Alekan turned out to have a great importance on her work throughout her career. Godard then assisted Robby Müller for the Wim Wenders film Paris, Texas and quickly became second camera operator followed by director of photography. Besides Wim Wenders, Godard also worked at the time with prestigious directors such as Peter Greenaway or Alain Resnais.

Agnès Godard on Angénieux zooms:

“I started to work shooting mostly with fixed focal. Then, little by little, I included Angénieux zoom lenses in my practices. The Optimos have taken up more and more space. I have just finished a film shot only with Angénieux Full Frame zooms. These lenses have imposed themselves without any hesitation. There is not a single shot where I have not been seduced and impressed by the luxury of their quality.” Agnès Godard

Her reputation is mainly based on  her long-lasting collaboration with French director Claire Denis, with whom she has worked really closely on more than 15 films.

Her partnership with Claire Denis was awarded many times: Best Feminine Photography for U.S Go Home at Torino Festival (1994), Special Jury Prize at Image de Film de Chalon-sur-Saône for I Can’t Sleep (1994), César for the Best Photography for the internationally acclaimed Beau Travail (2001) and also the Chlotrodis Award of best photography for Friday Nights (2004).

She was behind the photography of many renowned directors such as Agnès Varda, André Téchiné (Godard was a César nominee for Strayed),  Emmanuelle Crialese or Claude Berri, she was also the cinematographer for most of Catherine Corsini and Ursula Meier’s films (Godard won the ADF Cinematography Award for Home at the 2008 Mar Del Plata Festival de Mar del Plata and the 2009 Lumières Best Cinematography Award) as well as for other directors including Noémie Lvovsky, Emmanuelle Bercot, Brigitte Roüan, Carol Morley, Claudia Sainte-Luce, Teona Strugar Mitevska or Eva Ionesco. She also worked with Érick Zonca on The Dreamlife Of Angels for which she received a César in 1999.

Ursula Meier’s Sister (2012) was the first time Agnès Godard decided to switch to digital cameras and worked on the additional lights, playing with consistency, driven by a desire to reinvent the image, ad infinitum. She now considers that they “have changed texture and colour rendering, the poetic charge is different, as a result we have to re-invent images, tame this new technology which is constantly moving forward and enriching itself at a top speed”.

In October 2014, Godard had her first photo exhibition at the Galerie Cinéma Anne-Dominique Toussaint. My Favorite Dance featured a couple, played by Emmanuelle Bercot and Stéphane Bouquet, through shots with a texture almost as palpable as they are evanescent.

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