Saturday, March 1, 2014

Janusz Kaminski Assistant Lenses First Feature

The cinematographer for comedy-drama The Purple Onion, Bartosz Nalazek, has been privileged to learn from a master.

He worked as an assistant to Janusz Kaminski on the Steven Spielberg films War Horse and Lincoln, and with Kaminski on the upcoming David Dobkin drama The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr. and Vera Farmiga. Next weekend, a rough cut of Nalazek's first feature The Purple Onion will screen at the Cinequest film festival in San Jose.

Bartosz met director Matt Szymanowski when both were attending the Polish National Film, Television and Theater School in Lodz. Their movie about a struggling Chinese-American stand-up comedian (Edwin Li) forced to welcome his mother as a new roommate features another august international flavor. Playing the mom is Chinese actress Kechun Li, twice nominated for the Chinese Academy Award and China's equivalent to the Golden Globes.

Director Szymanowski has taught at San Francisco's School of Digital Film and also once worked as the doorman at comedy clubs Punchline Cobbs. This is also his first feature, following some shorts made at the National Film school and editing of a colleague's 2013 short The Audition.

In the Bay Area, writer-director Szymanowski he has also worked for CBS Interactive, creative media agency MKSHFT and shot music videos. The Purple Onion was shortlisted for both the Berlin Film Festival's Talent Project market and the Sundance Screenwriter's Lab.

It's received support from the San Francisco Film Society and $20,038 in crowd-funding.

[The Purple Onion]

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