This past Friday, the Advanced Imaging Society had its 14th annual awards and it was a wonderful celebration of the best creative and technical achievements of the past year of film and television. Amid a very busy award season it was possibly the most thoughtful of the bunch, winners knew in advance and crafted eloquent speeches about craft. The event which took place at Beverly Hills Hotel moved swiftly and the batch of winners were all very deserving.
Celebrating “Masters and Magic” the ceremony did just that awarding Oppenheimer best feature film feting a blend of cinematic innovation and fascinating dialogue. Star Cillian Murphy was on hand to accept the award on behalf of director Christopher Nolan. Animated Film went to the groundbreaking Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which actress Hailee Steinfeld presented to writers/producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
Best International Film went to the stunning Godzilla Minus One which surprised audiences worldwide with a blend of Kaiju action with a moving story of love, loss, and redemption. Director Takashi Yamazaki took the stage with his translator and delivered a very moving speech about feeling welcome there and wanting to be back with other films. The innovative film, 32 Sounds, won best documentary and master sound designer Mark Mangini accepted the award.
Possibly the best moment of the afternoon came with the Harold Lloyd Award presentation which started with a classic Harold Lloyd clip that was magical, just how the lively room became very quiet while watching the silent master. The silent film era while long gone left us with indelible artifacts which can be enjoyed forever. Lloyd’s granddaughter took the stage and introduced Paul Giamatti. Even though he has only done two films with director Alexander Payne, including The Holdovers, they are synonymous as collaborators.
Giamatti gave a heartfelt speech about the beloved director and why his films about “the everyman” really hit home. When Payne hit the stage he gave a great speech about his art not necessarily being innovative but then explained how he chose digital over film to achieve a “1970s look,” which was especially illuminating. This summed up how well technology serves even the most non-tech films like making a period drama look like it was shot in 1970.
The Inaugural Distinguished Artist award went to the amazing Mr. Jeffrey Wright, who’s rightfully so nominated for his enthralling performance in American Fiction. Wright also gave an impassioned speech with a sports metaphor. As the actor explain, everyone working on a project is all on the same team.
Here are the complete list of winners:
Best Feature Film – Live Action: Oppenheimer
Best Feature Film – Animated: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Best Feature Film – International: Godzilla Minus One
Best Documentary: 32 Sounds
Best Motion Picture – Musical: Color Purple
Best Audio – Theatrical: The Creator
Best Audio – Episodic: The Last of Us
Best Original Song: “I’m Just Ken” from Barbie
Best Use of High Dynamic Range – Feature Film: Barbie
Best Use of High Dynamic Range – Episodic: The Last of Us
Best 2D to 3D Conversion: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3
Best Musical Scene or Sequence: “I’m Here” from Color Purple
Best Theatrical Scene or Sequence: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Best Episodic – Animated: Star Wars: Visions Volume 2
Best Episodic – Live Action: The Last of Us
Best Achievement in 8K Production: Satayama Niigata: Living with Snow; NHK/NHK Enterprises Inc.
Innovation in Production Technology Award: Ryff
Heritage Award for Media Preservation: Iron Mountain Media and Archive Services
Sir Charles Wheatstone Award for Creative Excellence in Visual Effects: Walt Disney Studios
Voices For The Earth Award: Darren Aronofsky and Sphere Entertainment, Postcard from Earth
Distinguished Artist Award: Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction
Harold Lloyd Award: Alexander Payne, The Holdovers