Janusz Kamiński

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Janusz Kamiński
Janusz Kamiński.jpg
Kamiński in 2014
Janusz Zygmunt Kamiński

(1959-06-27) June 27, 1959 (age 59)
Alma materColumbia College Chicago (B.A., 1987)[2]
AFI Conservatory (M.F.A., 1987)[3]
OccupationCinematographer, film director, television director
Years active1986–present
OrganizationAmerican Film Institute
Holly Hunter
(m. 1995; div. 2001)

Rebecca Rankin
(m. 2004; div. 2010)

Janusz Zygmunt Kamiński (Polish: [ˌjanuʂ kaˈmiɲskʲi]; born June 27, 1959) is a Polish[1] cinematographer and film director who started his career in the United States. He rose to fame in the 1990s with his work on Schindler's List (1993). He has established a partnership with Steven Spielberg, working as a cinematographer on his movies since 1993.[4] He won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan (1998). In recent years, Kamiński has also moved into the field of directing, first with the horror film Lost Souls, and later television series like The Event and The Divide.

In 2019, the American Society of Cinematographers included Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, both shot by Kamiński, on the list of the best-photographed films of the 20th century.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Kamiński was born in Ziębice, Poland, the son of mother, Jadwiga Celner, and father, Marian Kaminski.[6] In 1981, he emigrated to the United States at the age of 21 after Prime Minister Jaruzelski imposed martial law.

He attended Columbia College in Chicago from 1982 to 1987, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree,[2] taking up filmmaking as a profession before attending to the AFI Conservatory, where he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree. He worked under cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, first as a gaffer, and eventually as second unit director of photography. He shot numerous B-movies for directors Roger Corman and Katt Shea, as well as the romantic musical comedy Cool as Ice, starring Vanilla Ice.

Kamiński was first discovered by Steven Spielberg in 1991. After seeing the television film Wildflower, Spielberg hired Kamiński to shoot Class of '61, a television film in which Spielberg served as producer.[7]

He twice won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in the 1990s, for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. He has been nominated four additional times for Amistad, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, War Horse and Lincoln. In 2010, he was awarded the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal by the AFI Conservatory.[8]

Kamiński became a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) in 1994,[9] but resigned in 2006.[9][10][11]

Kamiński was married to actress Holly Hunter from 1995 until 2001. He married ABC reporter Rebecca Rankin in 2004. They divorced in 2010.[12]


As cinematographer[edit]

Year Title Dir. Notes
1986 Lady America Nick Gaitatjis
1990 Grim Prairie Tales Wayne Coe
1991 The Terror Within II Andrew Stevens
Killer Instinct David Tausik as Jennifer Stotlz
Pyrates Noah Stern
Cool as Ice David Kellogg
Wildflower Diane Keaton Television film
1993 Trouble Bound Jeffrey Reiner
Class of '61 Gregory Hoblit Television film
The Adventures of Huck Finn Stephen Sommers
Schindler's List Steven Spielberg Won:

Nominated for:

1994 Little Giants Duwayne Dunham
1995 Tall Tale Jeremiah S. Chechik
How to Make an American Quilt Jocelyn Moorhouse
1996 Jerry Maguire Cameron Crowe
1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg
Amistad Won:

Nominated for:

1998 Saving Private Ryan Won:

Nominated for:

2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence Nominated for:
2002 Minority Report Nominated for:
Catch Me If You Can
2004 The Terminal
Jumbo Girl Daniel Curran Short film
2005 War of the Worlds Steven Spielberg
Munich Nominated for:
2007 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Julian Schnabel Won:

Nominated for:

2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Steven Spielberg
2009 Funny People Judd Apatow
2010 How Do You Know James L. Brooks
2011 The Adventures of Tintin Steven Spielberg
War Horse Won:

Nominated for:

2012 Lincoln Nominated for:
2014 The Judge David Dobkin
2015 Bridge of Spies Steven Spielberg Nominated for:
2016 The BFG
2017 The Post
2018 Ready Player One
2020 Call of the Wild Chris Sanders Post-production

As other[edit]

Year Title Dir. DoP. Notes
1988 Not of This Earth Jim Wynorski Zoran Hochstätter Gaffer
Saturday the 14th Strikes Back Howard R. Cohen Levie Isaacks
1989 Lords of the Deep Mary Ann Fisher Austin McKinney Uncredited;
Director of 2nd Unit Photography
Stripped to Kill II: Live Girls Katt Shea Phedon Papamichael Gaffer
Dance of the Damned
After Midnight Ken Wheat
Jim Wheat
Chief lighting technician
1990 Streets Katt Shea Director of 2nd Unit Photography
Watchers II Thierry Notz Edward J. Pei
1992 One False Move Carl Franklin James L. Carter
Star Time Alexander Cassini Fernando Argüelles Director of Additional Photography
1993 Love, Cheat & Steal William Curran Kent L. Wakeford
1998 Armageddon Michael Bay John Schwartzman
2000 Lost Souls Mauro Fiore As director
2011 The Event Feliks Parnell As director

1 episode

2014 The Divide Robert Aschman

Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Awards
2 6
BAFTA Film Awards
1 4
ASC Awards
N/A 6
César Award
1 N/A
Independent Spirit Awards
1 N/A

Industry awards[edit]

Academy Award for Best Cinematography

American Film Institute (AFI) Awards

American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography

British Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography


Cannes Film Festival

César Award for Best Cinematography

Hollywood Film Awards

  • 2002: Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
  • 2015: Bridge of Spies (won)

Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography

Palm Springs International Film Festival

  • 2000: Da Vinci's Cinematographer's Award (won)

Satellite Award for Best Cinematography

Stockholm International Film Festival

Critics awards[edit]

Alliance of Women Film Journalists

Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography

Broadcast Film Critics Association

Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography

Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography

Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematography

Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Cinematography

IndieWire Critic's Poll

International Online Film Critics' Poll

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography

National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography

New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematographer

St. Louis Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematographer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Can Kaminski clinch Oscar for Lincoln?". Polskie Radio. February 22, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Spot On: Mauro Fiore" Archived 2012-09-09 at the Wayback Machine, Demo, January 2010, Columbia College, Chicago
  4. ^ He Makes It Look Picture-perfect, Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2007
  5. ^ "ASC Unveils List of 100 Milestone Films in Cinematography of the 20th Century". Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  6. ^ "Janusz Kaminski (1959–)". Filmreference. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  7. ^ Mamelstein, David (February 20, 2013). "Spielberg's Eye". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  8. ^ Sullivan, Michael (June 10, 2010). "AFI awards Kaminski". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Turnbaugh, Kristi (Fall–Winter 2013). "Shooting Stars: Columbia's award-winning cinematographers light up Hollywood". DEMO. Columbia College Chicago. p. 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 11, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2018.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  10. ^ Ryzik, Melena (January 11, 2012). "Cinematographers Give 'Dragon Tattoo' a Lift but Overlook 'War Horse'". The Carpetbagger. The New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  11. ^ "ASC awards Emmanuel Lubezki and 'The Tree of Life' best cinematography of 2011". Uproxx. February 13, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "Rebecca Rankin and Janusz Kaminski". Variety. Reed Business Information. February 16, 2004. Retrieved February 27, 2013.

External links[edit]