'Avatar' grabs cinematography nomination

Will compete against 'Hurt Locker,' 'White Ribbon'

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"Avatar" continued its awards season run Monday as it was nominated in the feature film category of the 24th annual American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards.

"Avatar's" Mauro Fiore, who shot the 3D sci-fi tale, will compete in the category with Christian Berger, who filmed "The White Ribbon" on color stock and then converted it to black-and-white in post-production, along with Barry Ackroyd for "The Hurt Locker," Dione Beebe for "Nine" and Robert Richardson for "Inglourious Basterds."

The winner will be announced Feb. 27 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

"Ribbon's" Beebe won the ASC Award for "Memoirs of a Geisha" in 2006 and was also nominated for "Collateral." "Basterds'" Richardson, the only U.S.-born nominee this year, has received eight previous nominations, most recently for "The Aviator" and "The Good Shepherd."

While "Ribbon" is the only film among this year's nominees to be presented in black-and-white, ASC nominated Robert Elswit in 2006 for "Good Night and Good Luck" and Roger Deakins, who won the award, in 2002 for "The Man Who Wasn't There." Both those films were also shot in color and then converted to black-and-white. "Schindler's List," for which Janusz Kaminski was nominated in 1994, was the last film nominated by ASC that was actually filmed in black-and-white.

Last year's ASC winner, Anthony Dod Mantle for "Slumdog Millionaire," went on to win the best cinematography Oscar.