WIF honors Mandy Walker


Women in Film is honoring Mandy Walker with the Kodak Vision Award for her achievements not as a woman but as a cinematographer on features such as director Baz Luhrmann's upcoming Fox adventure "Australia" and 2003's "Shattered Glass," which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination.

But it couldn't have escaped WIF that she is a woman working in the top tier of a film trade that is still almost exclusively a boy's club. For Walker, however, it is a complete non-issue.

"Until people talk about it, I forget that there aren't many women doing my job," she says.

Born in Australia, Walker inherited her appreciation for the visual arts from her mother, who began taking her to art galleries when she was just a toddler. "I had an interest in art, painting, photography and cinema, and by the time I got to about 12 or 13, I sort of put all that together and said, '(Cinematography) would be the job that I would love to do,'" she recalls.

She landed gigs on documentaries, music videos and independent features, working her way up from runner to director of photography, with stints as clapper loader, focus puller and camera operator in between. At the age of 25, she shot her first feature, 1990's "Return Home," and in the years since, she's compiled a list of credits that includes 1996's "Parklands," 2001's "Lantana" and the Australian TV series "Raw FM." She's also filmed commercials for Nike and a spot for Chanel No. 5 directed by Luhrmann and featuring "Australia" star Nicole Kidman.

"Every film I look at as a new challenge and a new story, so I never get bored," she says.