Robby Müller Award

30 October 2019

IFFR’s new award honours an ‘image maker’ in the name of the late Dutch cinematographer.

IFFR’s new award, the Robby Müller Award, honours an ‘image maker’ (director of photography, filmmaker or visual artist) who, in the spirit of the late Robby Müller, has created an authentic, credible and emotionally striking visual language throughout their oeuvre. The first award goes to Diego García and will be presented at our 49th festival edition.

In honour of Robby Müller

With this award, IFFR celebrates the internationally acclaimed Dutch cinematographer and his pioneering camerawork. Robby Müller was a virtuoso who spun light and darkness like no other – it’s why he became known as the ‘Master of Light’, and why Film Comment famously described him as ‘the greatest Dutchman with light since Vermeer’. Robby Müller contributed greatly to the success of a generation of auteur cinema from the 1970s, working closely with the likes of Lars von Trier, but also Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch – on films such as Breaking the Waves (1995), Paris, Texas (1984), Dead Man (1995), and more. Scuzzy sci-fi punk comedy, Repo Man by Alex Cox (IFFR 1985), is another great example of his work, which is why we will be screening it again at IFFR 2020.

You can also see Robby Müller’s work in our upcoming screening: IFFR KINO #28: To Live and Die in L.A.


The Robby Müller Award

The award is a collaboration between IFFR, the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers (NSC) and Andrea Müller-Schirmer, Robby Müller’s wife. Each year, an ‘image-maker’ will be chosen by Andrea and a jury of film professionals. At a ceremony during IFFR, the winner will receive a print of one of Robby Müller’s rare Polaroids as their award. Prior to this ceremony, the winner will have the opportunity to present a masterclass on their work, as part of the festival’s Masterclasses & Talks programme.

To celebrate the first award, IFFR 2020 will also showcase a collection of Robby Müller’s personal and photographic work on Polaroid.


First award-winner Diego García

Mexican cinematographer and writer Diego García is our first winner. He’s known for his camerawork in films such as Nuestro tiempo, the latest by Carlos Reygadas; Cemetery of Splendour by Apichatpong Weeresatekul; and Neon Bull by Gabriel Mascaro, which was supported by our Hubert Bals Fund. Editor Jay Rabinowitz (ACE), cinematographers Josje van Erkel and Richard van Oosterhout (NSC), art historian Andrea Müller-Schirmer, and IFFR-programmers Gerwin Tamsma and Evgeny Gusyatinskiy made up this year’s jury. 

Andrea Müller-Schirmer: “The beautiful long takes of Diego García's camera are a moving encounter with the characters and the setting. Like Robby's, Diego's visual language is credible, convincing and not constructed. It is supportive of the story but also carries its own signature. Both are telling stories via the poetry of light”.

Diego García: “I have profound respect and admiration for Robby Müller’s work and the spirit with which he approaches art and creativity. In fact, he was one of my main influences to discover my path in cinema”. 

The awards ceremony will take place on Monday 27 January, during IFFR 2020. More information on this event, Diego García’s masterclass and the exhibit of Robby Müller’s Polaroids at WORM will follow soon. 

See our first-confirmed titles for IFFR 2020

Other blog posts on IFFR 2020