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ASC Honors Year’s Top Cinematographers

Los Angeles, January 26, 2008 – Robert Elswit, ASC, Ben Nott, ACS and Glen Winter, CSC earned top honors in the three competitive categories at the 22nd Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards here tonight at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom. Elswit won the feature film competition for There Will Be Blood. Nott topped the movie/miniseries/pilot category for The Company (TNT). Winter won the episodic TV competition for “Noir,” an episode of Smallville (CW).

“It”s exciting for me as an actor to partner in creating movies with such amazing artists,” said Casey Affleck, who presented the award to Elswit.
The other contenders were Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC for The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and No Country for Old Men, Janusz Kaminski for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Seamus McGarvey, BSC for Atonement.

“Artful cinematography isn”t just about what the audience sees,” said Minnie Driver who bestowed the award to Nott. “It”s about what the images make people feel.”

In the television movie/miniseries/pilot category, nominees included Oliver Bokelberg for the Raines pilot, David Franco for the telefilm Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Rene Ohashi, ASC, CSC for the telefilm Jesse Stone: Sea Change and Michael Weaver for the Pushing Daisies pilot.

“Cinematography for episodic television has evolved into a major art form,” said Ron Perlman who presented the award to Winter. “These artists have created feature film quality images on short schedules and with limited budgets, and they do this every day.”

The other nominees in the episodic television competition were James L. Carter, ASC for “Happy Ending”/CSI: Crime Scene Investigations, Eagle Egilsson for “Inside Out”/CSI: Miami, Russell Lee Fine for “All of Us Are in the Gutter”/The Black Donnellys and John Fleckenstein for “Welcome to the Club”/ Women”s Murder Club.

The ASC Board of Governors Award was given to Annette Bening by Allen Daviau, ASC in recognition of her artistry in front of the lens and contributions to filmmaking.

“One of the joys of being a cinematographer is that you get to work with talented actors and actresses as they create their characters and interact with one another,” Daviau said. “It was a joyful experience working with Annette Bening on Bugsy. Scene by scene, she brought life to her character and magic to the screen.”

Career achievement awards went to four ASC members who have earned the admiration of their peers. The ASC Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Stephen H. Burum, ASC by Caleb Deschanel, ASC. The ASC International Award was given to Walter Lassally, BSC by Haskell Wexler, ASC. The ASC Career Achievement in Television Award was bestowed upon George Spiro Dibie, ASC by Donald M. Morgan, ASC. The ASC Presidents Award was presented to visual effects guru Richard Edlund, ASC by writer-producer-director John Fasano.

One of the emotional highlights of the evening was a nod to the future when Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC presented the ASC Laszlo Kovacs Heritage Award to Andrew M. Davis of Chapman University and Sean Stiegemeier from the American Film Institute. This student award is re-dedicated annually to the memory of a cinematographer who has made an indelible impression on the art of filmmaking.

“Laszlo was one of the most talented cinematographers of our times,” Zsigmond said. “He was also my friend and partner in life. Laszlo led the ASC outreach program to students and other young filmmakers for many years. He will never be forgotten, because he was a great artist who helped so many other people”s dreams come true.”