The veteran cinematographer Witold Sobocinski is to receive the American Society Of Cinematographer's (ASC) International Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to international cinema.

Sobocinski, who was born in Poland in 1929 and has made more than 30 features mostly seen in Poland and Eastern Europe, is the first recipient of an ASC award whose main body of work comes from outside the US. His credits include Andrzej Wajda's The Promised Land, which was nominated for the best foreign language Oscar in 1974, and Roman Polanski's 1988 feature Frantic, starring Harrison Ford. Both Polanski and Wajda have been lifelong collaborators with the cinematographer.

"Witold Sobocinski's films were made in Poland at a time when political barriers blocked the free exchange of ideas," ASC awards committee chairman Owen Roizman said in a statement issued on Oct 30. "He is an extraordinary artist with an impressive body of work and a dedicated teacher who has inspired a new generation of film-makers." Previous winners include Jack Cardiff, Giuseppe Rotunno and Douglas Slocombe.

The ceremony is due to take place on February 16, 2003, at the 17th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. The awards were inaugurated in 1986.