Originally from Lodz, Poland, Bartkowaik studied cinematography at the Lodz Film School before emigrating to the United States in 1972. He began his career as a cinematographer working on commercials and independent films. Following work on the feature Deadly Hero he worked with director James Ivory on the short story telefilm, The 5:48.
Bartkowiak then began a long-lasting and rewarding relationship with the feature film industry. From 1976 to 2000, he worked as cinematographer for hit films like The Verdict, Terms of Endearment, Twins, Falling Down (for which he earned a Golden Frog nomination), Speed, Losing Isaiah, Species, The Devil's Advocate, U.S. Marshals and Lethal Weapon 4.
For the start of the new millennium, Bartkowiak began a second career behind the camera. Working as a director, he took on the fast-paced re-telling of the Romeo and Juliet story, Romeo Must Die. The attempt proved to be a success for him, and he continued to develop his new skills with his next feature, Exit Wounds.
Filmography:Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)