Lifetime Achievement Award

14 May 2019

János Kende cinematographer, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 3rd Zsigmond Vilmos International Film Festival

His career started with real momentum. He had just finished his studies in cinematography in 1965 when director Miklós Jancsó asked him to shoot his fifth film, Silence and Cry, instead of the experienced cinematographer he had worked with before (on such successful films as My Way Home, The Round-Up and The Red and the White). In the next 25 years, we saw Jancsó’s world through Kende’s camera, who was very much open to the latest technological developments in cinematography, and who became ‘the master of the long takes’ - they made 14 films together. In 1989 Kende was chosen among the 100 best cinematographers in the world.

Some of his favourite films from his later years include A Mad Night, Mathias Sandor, Hungarian Rhapsody and Every Sunday.

He stopped filming in 2002 (as he says he felt he would just repeat himself), since then, he has spent all his time teaching. He has worked at the University of Theatre and Film Arts as a lecturer since 1994, he was the head of the cinematography department between 1999-2004, and the head of the film and television department between 2004-2006.

He has photographed 60 feature films altogether as well as a number of television films, documentaries and ads. His films have been awarded at the most prestigious European festivals. He has also received the major Hungarian art awards for his work and for his lifetime achievement.