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American Society of Cinematographers Announces Finalists for 2016 Student Heritage Awards


Continuing their mission to advance the art of cinematography by inspiring and educating the next generation of filmmakers, the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has announced the nominees for the 2016 ASC Haskell Wexler Student Documentary Award and the Vilmos Zsigmond Student Heritage Award for Undergraduates and Graduates.

 A panel of prestigious ASC members judged the entries, and selected 18 students from a talented pool of filmmakers with exceptional abilities in cinematography.

 The students represent 12 different U.S. film schools; winners will be revealed on October 15.

 The finalists are:

Documentary category:

  • Rachel Bardin of the University of Texas at Austin, RTF for Nocturne
  • Mina Fitzpatrick of Northwestern University for Run of Press
  • Colin F. Shepherd of Rochester Institute of Technology for Into the Microscope

In the Undergraduate category:

  • Logan Fulton of Loyola Marymount University for Clementine
  • Tyler Harmon-Townsend of UNCSA School of Filmmaking for The Roma Project
  • Marz Miller of Art Center College of Design for Opaque
  • Ian Quill of Chapman University for The Witching Hour
  • Isaiah Rendon of University of Texas at Austin, RTF for Barrow
  • Emmett Sutherland of Art Center College of Design for Closer
  • Derek Tonks of University of Southern California for Simon Parker

 In the Graduate category:

  • Jeremy Donaldson of Florida State University for Isa and the Frog Prince
  • Simu Feng of American Film Institute Conservatory for Breathe
  • Wesley Hunt of American University School of Communication/Film for Moonshot
  • Andrew Jeric of USC School of Cinematic Arts for Prisoner
  • Kai Krause of American Film Institute Conservatory for Unremarkable
  • Matthew J. Petrunak of Kent State University for Paper Harvest
  • Nicholas Ramsey of Chapman University for Angeltown
  • Jessica Ynez Simmons of Northwestern University for Emerald Ice

The ASC Student Heritage Awards are renamed annually in memory of an extraordinary ASC member. This year, the awards are dedicated to Wexler and Zsigmond—both cinematic legends and beloved ASC members.

Wexler, who began his career shooting documentaries and remained a passionate documentarian, earned an Academy Award in 1966 for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and a second Oscar in 1976 for  Bound for Glory. He also received nominations for  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (shared with Bill Butler, ASC), Matewan and  Blaze. In 1969, Wexler wrote, directed and shot Medium Cool, which is studied by film students worldwide for its cinéma vérité style. In 1992, he was honored with the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Haskell was a revered, successful commercial moviemaker whose passion for nonfiction storytelling never wavered,” shared ASC president Kees van Oostrum. “It is fitting that this award be given in honor of Haskell who always effused enthusiasm for the documentary community, and was a mentor to many.”

Zsigmond was one of the Society’s most distinguished members. In 1978, he earned an Academy Award for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He received additional nominations for The Deer Hunter (1979), The River (1985) and The Black Dahlia (2007). He won an Emmy in 1993 for shooting the HBO movie Stalin. Zsigmond served on the ASC Board of Governors for many years. In 1999, he was honored with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Film students have been studying Vilmos’ brilliant images for years, and will continue to do so long into the future,” said van Oostrum. “He was always so generous with his time, consistently sharing his experiences with emerging filmmakers and students from around the world. He made a great impact on the art form, both through his own work and the work of those he nurtured.”

For additional information about the ASC, visit, or join American Cinematographer on Facebook.

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