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Inception Earns Top Honors from Cinematographers


Wally Pfister, ASC, Jonathan Freeman, ASC and Stephen Windon, ACS claimed top honors in the three competitive categories at the 25th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom, Feb. 13.

Pfister won the ASC Award in the feature film competition for Inception. Freeman earned top accolades in the television episodic category for Boardwalk Empire (HBO). Windon was the recipient of the television movie/miniseries award for The Pacific (HBO).

“All of the nominees here tonight earned the respect of their peers,” said Richard Crudo, ASC, chairman of the Awards Committee. “Once again, they showed the world that while cinematography requires mastering a complex craft, the art of telling stories with moving images comes from the heart and soul.”

The ASC Award for best feature was presented by Oscar-nominated actress Diane Lane who noted, “At their best, movies have the power to immerse us in other worlds and inspire us to look at our own lives through different eyes.”

Pfister, who was unable to attend, was previously nominated by the ASC for Batman Begins (2006) and The Dark Knight (2009). This is his first win.

Emmy Award-winning actress Allison Janney presented Freeman the Outstanding Achievement Award for the Boardwalk Empire episode “Home.” This is the second ASC Award for Freeman, who previously won in 2005 for the telefilm Homeland Security. He has also earned ASC nominations for Prince Street (1998), Strange Justice (2000) and Taken (2003).

Actress Gillian Jacobs presented the television movie/miniseries to Windon for the “Okinawa” episode of The Pacific. This was Windon’s first ASC nomination.

Oscar-winner Tom Hanks presented the Board of Governors Award to the Julia Roberts in recognition of her body of work and contributions to the art of filmmaking. Roberts earned an Academy Award in 2001 for her powerful role in Erin Brockovich, and Oscar nominations for her heartfelt character portrayals in Steel Magnolias and Pretty Woman.

The presentation of the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award to 10-time ASC Award nominee Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC by Joel Coen was a highlight of the evening. Deakins has also earned nine Oscar nominations. Five of those films were written and directed by Joel and his brother Ethan Coen (True Grit; No Country For Old Men; The Man Who Wasn’t There; O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and Fargo). He won ASC Awards for The Man Who Wasn’t There in 2002 and The Shawshank Redemption in 1995.

The ASC International Award was presented to John Seale, ASC, ACS by acclaimed director Michael Apted. They collaborated on the Oscar-nominated film Gorillas In The Mist. Seale’s credits include The English Patient, for which he won an Oscar, as well as Cold Mountain, Rain Man and Witness, among others.

The Career Achievement in Television Award was presented to Emmy-winner Michael O’Shea, ASC (CSI: Miami) by John C. Flinn III, ASC. The ASC Presidents Award was given to renowned photographer Douglas Kirkland by Ellen Kuras, ASC.

The ASC also recognized the next generation of cinematographers with the presentation of the ASC William. A. Fraker Student Heritage Award to undergraduate student Boyd Hobbs of Full Sail University and graduate student Dagmar Weaver-Madsen of UCLA.

“The 25th anniversary of the ASC Awards is a celebration of the best that we can be, and an inspiration for those who will tell memorable visual stories in the future,” said ASC president Michael Goi. “It is a milestone in our ongoing celebration of the power an indelible photographic image has to move an audience, influence social change, and communicate who we are within a snapshot in time.”

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