Bruno Delbonnel, AFC took top honors for A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT in the feature film competition at the 19th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC)Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. It was the first ASC Award for Delbonnel, who was also nominated for AMELIE in 2002, another collaboration with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Nominees in the feature category were Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS and Paul Cameron for COLLATERAL, Caleb Deschanel, ASC for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, Pawel Edelman, PSC for RAY, and Robert Richardson ASC for THE AVIATOR.
Alec Baldwin presented the award to Delbonnel. “Each of the nominees has earned the respect of their peers for their artful and skillful rendering of images that accurately reflect the spirit of the stories they tell,” Baldwin said. “Each successfully interpreted the intentions of the directors and performances of the cast in ways that allow audiences to embrace the story.”
Jonathan Freeman, Robbie Greenberg, ASC and Nathan Hope claimed ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards in the three television categories. Greenberg claimed top honors for IRON JAWED ANGELS (HBO) in the cable movie competition.
Freeman won for HOMELAND SECURITY (NBC) in the competition for original movie for broadcast television. Hope won the episodic series competition for the segment “Down the Drain” of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS). The awards were presented by Victor Garber (ALIAS), Kathryn Morris (COLD CASE) and Poppy Montgomery (WITHOUT A TRACE), respectively.
Fred Koenekamp, ASC received the prestigious ASC Lifetime Achievement Award. The cinematographer compiled nearly 90 film credits during his career, which stretched over some 40 years. He earned his first director of photography credit in 1964 for the pilot episode of the classic THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. television series. Koenekamp won an Oscar(R) for THE TOWERING INFERNO in 1975. He also received nominations for ISLANDS IN THE STREAM and PATTON. His body of work also includes such classic films as THE GREAT BANK ROBBERY, FUN WITH DICK AND JANE, and KANSAS CITY BOMBER.
The award was presented to Koenekamp by cinematographer William A. Fraker, ASC, BSC who was the 2000 recipient of the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award. Koenekamp offered sage advice to the next generation of cinematographers, “Be proud of yourselves, be patient, and never give up on your dreams.”
The cinematographers also feted Gilbert Cates, who received the organization’s Board of Governors Award, which is presented annually to an individual who has made extraordinary and enduring contributions to advancing the art of filmmaking. It is the only annual award that ASC reserves for an individual who is not a cinematographer. The award was presented to Cates in recognition of his achievements as a producer and director, and for his many services to the industry. Debbie Allen presented the award. She said, “Gil Cates is a true renaissance man who has earned our respect and admiration as an artist and human being. I am so happy to have this opportunity to publicly thank Gil Cates for everything he does for all of us.”
Alan Alda presented the ASC International Achievement Award to Tonino Delli Colli, AIC. The legendary Italian cinematographer began his career at Cinecitta Studios in Rome in 1938 when he was 16 years old. He was a driving force in the birth and evolution of neorealist cinema in Italy during the mid-1940s and 1950s. Delli Colli told the audience that neorealism was “a child of necessity.” He explained that the defining characteristic of those films was that they were shot in real-life environments. “We used only ambient light and the light coming through windows as the starting point for photography,” he added.
Delli Colli compiled 137 credits over 60 years, including such classic films as THE NAME OF THE ROSE, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA and LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. He was a frequent collaborator with such iconic Italian filmmakers as Sergio Leone, Federico Fellini and Louis Malle.
Film critic Leonard Maltin received the first-ever ASC Award of Distinction. The award was presented to Maltin by cinematographer Allen Daviau, ASC, who said, “Film critic doesn’t begin to describe who Leonard Maltin is, and what he does for all of us. He is a scholar, journalist, historian, preservationist and passionate aficionado of the art form.”
Peter Fonda presented the Presidents Award to Richard Moore, ASC. Moore co-founded Panavision with Robert Gottschalk in 1954. He shared a technical Oscar for designing and developing a 65 mm camera system. About eight-and-a-half years deep into Panavision history, Moore returned to his first love, cinematography. Fonda and Moore collaborated on Roger Corman’s THE WILD ANGELS. Moore went on to shoot such classic as THE REIVERS, MYRA BRECKENRIDGE, SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN and ANNIE.
ASC also gave a nod to the future with the presentation of the Charles B. Lang, Jr., ASC Heritage Award to PJ Raval from the University of Texas at Austin. The award is presented annually to one or more promising student filmmakers. It is dedicated each year to the memory of an ASC member who made a seminal impact on the art of filmmaking. Lang earned 18 Oscar nominations. He took top honors in 1934 for A FAREWELL TO ARMS.