Awards contenders to receive Polish premieres at cinematography festival.

The 22nd Camerimage (Nov 15-22) is to open with the Polish premieres of Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and The Imitation Game.

The cinematography festival, held in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, will screen Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman at the Opera Nova on Nov 15 - more than three months ahead of its Polish release on Feb 27 through Imperial CinePix.

The film, starring Michael Keaton as an actor looking to relaunch his career, also plays in the main competition at Camerimage. Emmanuel Lubezki was cinematographer.

Second World War drama The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as codebreaker Alan Turing, will be released by Forum Film Poland on Jan 16.

Birdman debuted at Venice while The Imitation Game bowed at Toronto. Both are expected to be heavyweight contenders during awards season.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Camerimage has also announced that Philip Kaufman is to receive its Lifetime Achievement Award for Directing at the festival.

The US director and screenwriter wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark with George Lucas and directed films including Oscar winner The Right Stuff and Quills.

It was previously announced that cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, who worked on The Right Stuff with Kaufman, will be the recipient of the festival’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.