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Lukasz Zal's moody black-and-white rendering of Pawel Pawlikowski's Cold War won the feature competition at the 33rd American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards on Saturday at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
The work topped a field of nominees that included another black-and-white nominee, director Alfonso Cuaron's cinematography for Roma; Matty Libatique for A Star Is Born; Robbie Ryan for The Favourite; and Linus Sandgren for First Man.
Cuaron, Libatique, Ryan and Zal are also nominated for the cinematography Oscar, alongside Caleb Deschanel for Never Look Away. In six of the past 10 years, the winner of the ASC feature competition went on to win the Oscar in cinematography.
Zac's work on Cold War was also recently honored by cinematographers at the international cinematography festival Camerimage, where it won the Silver Frog. (The Bronze Frog was presented to Roma, while the Golden Frog was awarded to 2017's The Fortress.) Zal previously won an ASC Award in the Spotlight Award category and earned his first Academy Award nomination for Cold War director Pawlikowski's Ida.
Polish cinematographer Zal was working and unable to attend the ASC ceremony. His camera operator read a statement from the DP, thanking the ASC and saying, "It's an honor to find myself among great cinematographers like yourselves."
During the ceremony, which also marked the society's centennial, three-time Oscar winning cinematographer Robert Richardson (JFK, The Aviator, Hugo) was presented the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award by his longtime collaborator, Quentin Tarantino.
“We stand here with 100 years of history,” Richardson said, adding that they “stand on the shoulder of giants … I dedicate this to those who came before, those here and those that will lead us into the future."
“I have never had as much fun making movies as I have had since I started making them with Robert Richardson,” Tarantino said, recalling their first lunch meeting. "I can honestly say it was the greatest first date of my life because when the date was over, I asked him to marry me.”
Among other honors bestowed, Jeff Bridges accepted the Board of Governors Award; two-time Emmy winner Jeff Jur (Carnivale) was recognized with the Career Achievement in Television Award; and Arri leader Franz Kraus was surprised with the ASC Bud Stone Award, which was presented by ASC president Kees van Oostrum.
This year's winner of the ASC Spotlight Award went to Giorgi Shvelidze for Nemme. In the TV categories, the winners were Adriano Goldman for The Crown (for the second consecutive year) in the category for non-commercial TV; Jon Joffin for Beyond, in the commercial TV category; and James Friend for Patrick Melrose, for a TV movie or miniseries.
Throughout the ceremony, clip reels included ASC history and previous ASC Award honorees and their work.
The list of winners is below.
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