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“Inception” Surprises At Cinematographer Awards

"Inception" Surprises At Cinematographer Awards

Wally Pfister’s work on “Inception” won the main film prize at the 25th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards tonight, topping Oscar frontrunner Roger Deakins and his work on “True Grit.” Pfister had been nominated for both “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” but this is his first win.

Full release below.

LOS ANGELES, February 13, 2011-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 here tonight at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom.

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 regrettably not able to attend, was previously nominated by the ASC for BATMAN BEGINS (2006) and THE DARK KNIGHT (2009). This is his first win.

The other nominees in the feature film category were Matthew Libatique, ASC (BLACK SWAN), Danny Cohen, BSC (THE KING’S SPEECH), Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (THE SOCIAL NETWORK), and Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (TRUE GRIT). All of the ASC feature nominees are also Oscar®-nominated this year.

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).

The other nominees in the Television Episodic Series/Pilot Category wereEagle Egilsson, ASC for “Shell Game”/ DARK BLUE (TNT); Christopher Manley, ASC for “Blowing Smoke” / MAD MEN (AMC); Kramer Morgenthau, ASC for “Family Limitation” / BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO); David Stockton for the NIKITA pilot (CW); Michael Wale, CSC for “Shield” / SMALLVILLE (CW); and Glen Winter, CSC for “Abandoned”/ SMALLVILLE.

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

Nominated along with Windon were David Gribble, ACS for JESSE STONE: NO REMORSE (CBS) and Jon Joffin for “Episode 2″/ALICE (Syfy).

Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks presented the Board of Governors Award to the Julia Roberts in recognition of her tremendous 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 MAGNOLIASandPRETTY WOMAN. Her films have grossed more than $2.5 billion worldwide. Hanks and Roberts star together in CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR and the upcoming LARRY CROWNE.

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 memorable 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?; 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.

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.”

Last year, Christian Berger, AAC won the ASC feature award for THE WHITE RIBBON.

For more information regarding the ASC Awards, visit the ASC website at www.theasc.com or call 323-969-4333. #

About The American Society of Cinematographers The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) is a nonprofit association dedicated to advancing the art of filmmaking. Since its charter in 1919, the ASC has been committed to educating aspiring filmmakers and others about the art and craft of cinematography. For additional information about the ASC, visit www.theasc.com. Join ASC on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/the.ASC and American Cinematographer magazine fan page at http://www.facebook.com/AmericanCinematographer.

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