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Cinematographer John Toll — who holds the rare distinction of having won consecutive Oscars, for Legends of the Fall in 1995 and Braveheart in 1996 — will receive the Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award during the upcoming 25th Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, which will be held Nov. 11-18 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Over his four decades working in film and television, Toll has collaborated with such filmmakers as The Wachowskis, Ang Lee, Mel Gibson, Francis Ford Coppola, Terrence Malick, Carroll Ballard, Cameron Crowe, Edward Zwick and Vince Gilligan.
“When working on epic Hollywood films, [Toll] used light, shadow and camera movement to create striking moments of intimacy that define characters, while infusing smaller projects with beautiful scope and a sense of exceptionality,” stated Camerimage in the announcement. “He has photographed war movies, crime dramas, sci-fi/fantasy films, melodramas, comedies and westerns, in each and every one of them being at the service of the director and his vision, while at the same time making them somehow his own.”
Before he became a director of photography, Toll worked on every level of the world of cinematography, from gathering experience as a production assistant to shooting films as a camera operator. As camera operator he worked with John A. Alonzo on director Martin Ritt’s Norma Rae and Brian De Palma’s Scarface, as well as with filmmakers such as Jordan Cronenweth on Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married.
As a director of photography, in addition to Legends of the Fall and Braveheart, Toll earned a third Academy Award nomination for Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line.
He also reteamed with Zwick on The Last Samurai, worked with Cameron Crowe on Almost Famous and with the the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer on Cloud Atlas. He lensed Lee’s groundbreaking Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk in 4K, 3D and 120 frames per second.
His work in television has included the Wachowskis’ Sense8, for which Toll is currently nominated for an Emmy.
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