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The American Society of Cinematographers is launching “Changing the Face of the Industry” with a daylong event on April 21, designed to advocate for inclusion and diversity in production.
“By bringing filmmakers together, we hope to create a network that expands opportunities, raise awareness of the exceptional talent for hire and give underrepresented crewmembers the opportunity to meet cinematographers who may one day recruit them,” said Cynthia Pusheck, who with John Simmons co-chairs the event.
Simmons added, “We’re hopeful this event encourages camera department heads to continually evolve their mindset and practices for inclusivity.”
A 2017 study found that women made up just 4 percent of the cinematographers of the top 250 grossing films. This figure received particular attention when earlier this year, Rachel Morrison (Mudbound) broke a glass ceiling by becoming the first woman nominated for an Oscar in cinematography. Also bringing attention to the diversity conversation, a year earlier, Bradford Young (Arrival) became the second black cinematographer nominated for an Oscar. (The first was Remi Adefarasin for 1998’s Elizabeth.)
The ASC program will include a keynote from Dr. Stacy Smith, associate professor at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and founder-director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Two subsequent panels will look at hiring statistics and mandates, and explore ideas for cultivating more diverse crews.
Expected panelists (subject to availability) include Rebecca Rhine, Local 600 national executive director; Xiomara Comrie, Local 600, national diversity officer and lead Western region business rep; Tema Staig, Women in Media executive director; Sarah Caplan, producer (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Brothers & Sisters); and cinematographers Alan Caso, (Hawaii Five-0, Dexter), Donald A. Morgan (Last Man Standing, The Ranch) and Simmons and Young.
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