Christian Berger, AAC, Alar Kivilo, ASC, CSC and Eagle Egilsson claimed top honors in the three competitive categories at the 24th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration here tonight at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.
Berger won the feature film competition for The White Ribbon. Egilsson earned top accolades in the episodic category for Dark Blue (“Venice Kings”). Kivilo was the recipient of the television movie/miniseries award for Taking Chance.
Actor Timothy Dalton espoused some poetic insights about the diverse range of films that were nominated for top honors in the feature film category when presenting the award to Berger. “Movies are amazing,” he said. “You walk into a darkened theater and are swept up in a story steeped in fact or built on fantasy and everything in-between. You can fall in love with characters or the story can break your heart.”
The other nominees in the feature film category were Barry Ackroyd, BSC for The Hurt Locker, Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS for Nine, Mauro Fiore, ASC for Avatar and Robert Richardson, ASC for Inglourious Basterds.
Amanda Righetti, who plays a featured role in The Mentalist, also commented on the diversity of the films nominated for the cinematography award in the episodic television category during her presentation to Egilsson. “The stories range from undercover cops in Los Angeles to forensic specialists in Las Vegas, a New Yorker struggling to be fashionable to a would-be super hero,” she said. “The common denominator is that artful cinematography helped to transport audiences into their worlds.”
The other nominees in the Television Episodic Series/Pilot Category were Jeffrey Jur, ASC for FlashForward (“The Gift”), Michael Price for Ugly Betty (“There’s No Place Like Mode”), Christian Sebaldt, ASC for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (“Family Affair”), and Glen Winter, CSC for Smallville (“Savior”).
When presenting the Television Movie/Miniseries Award to Kivilo, actor Ryan O’Neal noted, “This year’s nominees have all soared above the raised bar, crafting powerful images for profound stories that reward the audience’s watching.”
Nominated along with Kivilo were Rene Ohashi, ASC, CSC for Jesse Stone: Thin Ice and Jerzy Zielinski, ASC for The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.
Tom Stern, ASC presented the Board of Governors Award to Morgan Freeman in recognition of the actor’s body of work and contributions to the art of filmmaking. Stern was behind the camera when Freeman earned an Oscar® for his performance in Million Dollar Baby and last year during the production of Invictus. Freeman collected his sixth Oscar nomination this year for his portrayal of Nelson Mandela.
The presentation of the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award to Caleb Deschanel, ASC by his daughters Zooey and Emily Deschanel was a highlight of the memorable evening. The ASC International Award was presented to Chris Menges, ASC, BSC by actor Tim Roth. The Career Achievement in Television Award was presented to John C. Flinn III, ASC by Michael O’Shea, ASC. All three honorees made it clear that their best work is yet to come.
The ASC Presidents Award was given to Sol Negrin, ASC by his son Michael Negrin, ASC, in recognition of his accomplishments as a cinematographer, and for his ongoing commitment to preparing the next generation for the future.
ASC also recognized the next generation of cinematographers with the presentation of the ASC Richard Moore Student Heritage Award to graduate student Benji Bakshi of the American Film Institute, and undergrad Garrett Shannon from Loyola Marymount University.
The ASC was founded during the dawn on the industry in 1919 for the purpose of advancing the evolving art and craft of filmmaking. There are more than 300 members today from countries around the world. ASC also has some 150 associate members from allied sectors of the motion picture and television industries. For more information about the ASC, visit www.theasc.com.