The 35th American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) handed out their yearly awards for excellence in cinematography for feature film, documentary and television today as well as a host of special honors in a virtual ceremony hosted by Ben Mankiewicz from the historic ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood.
Erik Messerschmidt won the theatrical feature film award for Mank in a bit of an upset. Joshua James Richards has been the frontrunner leading up to the Oscars for his work on Nomadland. The other film nominees were Cherry, News of the World and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Last year’s ASC feature film winner was Roger Deakins (who co-presented the award with his wife, Isabella James Purefoy Ellis) for 1917, who went on to win an Oscar for Best Achievement in Cinematography. Mank, News of the World, Nomadland and The Trial of the Chicago 7 are all Oscar-nominated in cinematography with Judas and the Black Messiah replacing Cherry there.
The Queen’s Gambit and The Mandalorian continued their wave of wins by triumphing here today. For The Queen’s Gambit, it marks a complete sweep of every guild of the season (more than 10) on its way to the Emmys later this summer.
The Spotlight Award went to Aurélien Marra for Two of Us, which was France’s submission for the International Feature Film Oscar. The Spotlight Award recognizes exceptional cinematography in independent, foreign or art-house-type films. Jarin Blaschke won the ASC Award in 2020 for The Lighthouse and earned an Academy Award nomination for his work.
Oscar-winning director Sofia Coppola will receive the ASC Board of Governors Award. Coppola earned an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as well as Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Picture for Lost in Translation (shot by Lance Acord, ASC) in 2004. The film received worldwide recognition from the DGA, WGA, BAFTA, Golden Globes, AFI, Film Independent and the Venice Film Festival, in addition to a host of worldwide honors for the cast and crew. The award was presented to her by Ed Lachman, who shot The Virgin Suicides and Philippe Le Sourd, who lensed The Beguiled and On the Rocks.
“Beginning with her breakout hit The Virgin Suicides, Sofia Coppola has been a powerful influence in the filmmaking community,” says ASC President Stephen Lighthill. “We’re excited to honor her contributions and celebrate her accomplishments. Her collaborative spirit and imaginative execution puts her at the forefront of a unique cinematic category.”
Three categories honoring a student’s undergraduate, graduate or documentary project were submitted and judged by an ASC blue-ribbon panel for demonstrating exceptional cinematographic skill. Winners were announced on February 27.
Each year, the ASC Student Heritage Awards also celebrate the memory of an esteemed ASC member. This year’s Undergraduate Award honors five-time Oscar-nominee Allen Daviau, ASC (Bugsy, Avalon, Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial).
Here is the complete list of ASC Awards nominees and winners.
- Erik Messerschmidt, ASC for Mank [WINNER]
- Phedon Papamichael, ASC, GSC for The Trial of the Chicago 7
- Joshua James Richards for Nomadland
- Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC for Cherry
- Dariusz Wolski, ASC for News of the World
- Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw for The Truffle Hunters [WINNER]
- Victor Kossakovsky and Egil Håskjold Larsen for Gunda
- Gianfranco Rosi for Notturno
- Katelin Arizmendi for Swallow
- Aurélien Marra for Two of Us [WINNER]
- Andrey Naydenov for Dear Comrades!
Motion Picture, Miniseries, or Pilot Made for Television
- Martin Ahlgren, ASC for The Plot Against America “Part 6”
- Anette Haellmigk for The Great “The Great”
- Pete Konczal for Fargo “The Birthplace of Civilization”
- Steven Meizler for The Queen’s Gambit “End Game” [WINNER]
- Gregory Middleton, ASC, CSC for Watchmen “This Extraordinary Being”
Episode of a One-Hour Television Series – Non-Commercial
- David Franco for Perry Mason “Chapter 2”
- Ken Glassing for Lucifer “It Never Ends Well for the Chicken”
- Adriano Goldman, ASC, ABC, BSC for The Crown“ Fairytale”
- David Greene, ASC, CSC for Impulse “The Moroi”
- M. David Mullen, ASC for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel “It’s Comedy or Cabbage”
- Fabian Wagner, ASC, BSC for The Crown “Imbroglio” [WINNER]
Episode of a One-Hour Television Series – Commercial
- Marshall Adams, ASC for Better Call Saul “Bagman”
- Carlos Catalán for Killing Eve “Meetings Have Biscuits”
- François Dagenais, CSC for Project Blue Book “Area 51”
- Jon Joffin, ASC for Motherland: Fort Salem “Up is Down” [WINNER]
- C. Kim Miles, ASC, CSC, MySC for Project Blue Book “Operation Mainbrace”
Episode of a Half Hour Series for Television
- Ava Berkofsky for Insecure “Lowkey Lost”
- Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS for The Mandalorian“ Chapter 1: The Mandalorian”
- Baz Idoine for The Mandalorian “Chapter 13: The Jedi” [WINNER]
- Matthew Jensen, ASC for The Mandalorian “Chapter 15: The Believer”
- Jas Shelton for Homecoming “Giant”
Michael Chapman Student Heritage Award – Graduate Category
• Becky Baihui Chen for Welcome Back (University of Southern California)
• Ai Chung for A Young Tough (Chapman University) [WINNER]
• Chaochen Li for Mr. This for That (University of Southern California)
• Vanon Li for Nobody’s Boy (University of Southern California)
• Yiyao “Kelsey” Zhu for Paz (Chapman University)
Allen Daviau Student Heritage Award – Undergraduate Category
• Andres Aragon for Silly Human (Biola University)
• Drew Gardella for Intrepidus (Chapman University: Dodge College of Film and Media Arts)
• Elias Ginsberg for Milk Teeth (University of Southern California) [WINNER]
• Gabriel Knoos-Newton for Iron Head (Chapman University: Dodge College of Film and Media Arts)
• Griffin Voth for Places We Won’t Walk (Loyola Marymount University)
Haskell Wexler, ASC Student Documentary Award
• Melanie Grams for Driven (University of Southern California) [WINNER]
• Sean Thomson for Haven in the Booth (Chapman University)
• Hark Xu for Dream with One Eye Open (University of Southern California)
Photos courtesy of Netflix