It is rather difficult to fully define the job of a production designer, though it is by far one of the most important professions on a film set. Not because their work is shrouded in mystery, but due to a fact that production designers are responsible for everything that is physically (or virtually) existing on a set; what is in front of a camera, and what is outside of a frame. Their job is to create an environment in which the actors can “feel” their characters. Their function within the filmmaking process is to support directors, cinematographers, costume designers and other crew members in making the locations and specially built sets serve as physical extensions of the film's overall concepts. Or, as British production designer Eve Stewart likes to say: “Whenever I design a set for a film, I want to make a whole world.” This distinguished industry professional will be this year's recipient of Camerimage Award to Production Designer with Unique Visual Sensitivity.
 Eve Stewart

Eve Stewart studied theatre design at Central Saint Martins and architecture at the Royal College of Art, and like many other production designers she originally started her career in the world of theatre. During preparations to one of the plays, she met director Mike Leigh who was so smitten with their co-operation that he offered her the job of art director on his film Naked. Stewart was initially in a bit of a shock but she quickly took full control over the process, delivering what was asked of her. She made five more films with Mike Leigh, including Topsy-Turvy, a tale about the world of the 19th century theatre, and Vera Drake, a full-fledged drama set in the 1950s. For the former she received her first Academy Award® nomination (as of today, she got two more, for Tom Hooper'sThe King's Speech and Les Misérables), and for the latter she got nominated for BAFTA® for the first time (she later won the award for her incredible work on Les Misérables).

Still from "Topsy-Turvy"
 Still from "Vera Drake"

Being an utter perfectionist whose greatest assets were always a detailed approach to researching her projects and the ability to work with each and every budget available, Stewart became known as a number one specialist for recreating the epochs of the past. The filmmaker who made the best use of her skills was Tom Hooper. Together with him the production designer recreated depression-era London of the 1930s (The King's Speech), brutally class-divided Paris of the first half of the 19th century (Les Misérables), artistic world of Copenhagen of the 1920s (The Danish Girl), and many more. Among her accomplishments one can find Irwin Winkler'sDe-Lovely, a musical tale of composer Cole Porter, dark gangster comedy Revolver directed by Guy Ritchie, or Julian Jarrold'sBecoming Jane, a wonderfully cinematic interpretation of the life of writer Jane Austen. Soon her new project will hit the screens – in Victor FrankensteinStewart and director Paul McGuigan made an exciting reinterpretation of the legendary myth about the overly curious scientist and his monstrous creation.
Still from "The King's Speech"
Still from "Les Misérables"

At the same time, Stewart had never let herself be pigeonholed as a “production designer of period films.” The best proof for this could be seen in her eclectic work on James Bobin'sMuppets Most Wanted, a positively bonkers crime caper in which the famous puppets travel through half of Europe. British production designer is constantly looking for new artistic challenges that would give her the opportunity to explore different areas of her profession. One of such projects was last year's Nike ad campaign designed for the World Cup in soccer in Brazil on which she worked with director Terry Gilliam. Stewart is also quite accomplished in the TV realm. Among numerous projects she had done, one can find mini-series Elizabeth I (for which she was awarded with a Primetime Emmy®) and popular shows Call the Midwife and Upstairs Downstairs. The latter, which was a modern-day continuation of a cult British show from the 1970s, immortalized her talent and work for several generations of viewers.
Still from "Muppets Most Wanted"
Still from "Elizabeth I"

Eve Stewart is a production designer who puts her heart and soul to each project she is dealing with. She loves to work with small crews as she values co-operation with trusted partners and she wants to create among the people who she knows and respects. No wonder, her department has to be constantly on the move, introducing the rest of the film crew to one set and quickly moving on to the next to finish all the necessary preparations. This line of work requires the ability to focus on specifics, being creative and versatile in a number of ways, and leading the whole department through the muddled waters of an artistic process. Eve Stewart has definitely all these qualities, being at the same time a distinguished industry professional and an inspiration to others. We are honored that we will host her during the 23rd edition of the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography CAMERIMAGE and hand her the well-deserved Award to Production Designer with Unique Visual Sensitivity.