Renato Berta to receive Honorary Award
Ticinese cinematographer Renato Berta has profoundly influenced European auteur cinema over the past 45 years. As a key figure in the renaissance of cinema, he seeks solutions that go beyond conventional image matrices. His collaboration with major film directors makes him a cinematographer of international renown.
Let there be light! The Federal Office of Culture presents the 2016 Honorary Award for Swiss Film to Renato Berta, director of photography.
Born in Bellinzona in 1945, Renato Berta completed his studies at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, where he trained with Pasolini, Visconti and Fellini, among others. The early stages of his career at the end of the 1960s are closely linked to the upswing of New Swiss Cinema; this is due in particular to his significant contribution as the cinematographer in works by Francis Reusser, Alain Tanner, Daniel Schmid, Michel Soutter and Thomas Koerfer.
Owing to his penchant for auteur cinema, Berta has collaborated with filmmakers in more than a hundred films, including Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Jean-Luc Godard, Patrice Chéreau, André Téchiné, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, Alain Resnais, Manoel de Oliveira, Robert Guédiguian, Amos Gitaï and Philippe Garrel. He has received numerous awards, for example, the César for Best Cinematography for “Au revoir les enfants” by Louis Malle in 1988, as well as the David di Donatello for Best Cinematography for “Noi credevamo” by Mario Martone in 2010.
At the retrospective dedicated to him by the Cinémathèque française in March 2011, Berta, who is still far from retiring, commented as follows: “I have never really liked the term ‘cinematographer’. I prefer having ‘director of photography’ used in the credits. It seems to me that this encompasses the work of framing and lighting more completely. The image is the culmination of photography and framing, an extremely fragile result, because the most difficult thing is to bring the two into a harmonious balance.”
Vincent Adatte, film critic