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By Film Threat Staff | February 21, 2002

Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC won the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Award in the feature film category for “The Man Who Wasn’t There.” Deakins was cited for his artful rendering of black-and-white images in a relatively modest, character-driven story set in the mid-1940s. The presentation was made here tonight by Geena Davis at the 16th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards ceremonies at the Century Plaza Hotel.
Deakins topped a competitive, international field including Bruno Delbonnel, AFC for Amelie, Andrew Lesnie, ACS for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Donald McAlpine, ASC, ACS for Moulin Rouge and John Schwartzman, ASC for Pearl Harbor. This was the sixth nomination for Deakins in the feature film competition. He won in 1994 for The Shawshank Redemption.
“There is no simple way to define great cinematography,” Davis observed. “Each of these nominations recognizes a singular artistic achievement. In every case, the cinematographer helped the audience embrace the reality of the film.”
Thomas A. Del Ruth, ASC earned the Outstanding Achievement Award in the episodic television competition for The West Wing for the second consecutive year. It was the sixth ASC Outstanding Achievement Award nomination for Del Ruth and the fourth time he has won. Del Ruth won twice in 1994 for lensing the ER pilot and episodic series.
Denis Lenoir, ASC, AFC won the Outstanding Achievement Award in the TV movie (network) competition for Uprising, a dramatic miniseries focusing on a band of Jewish freedom fighters who defied the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto during the early days of World War II. The miniseries initially aired on NBC Television.
Steven Fierberg earned the top Outstanding Achievement Award in the TV movie (cable) competition for Attila, an epoch miniseries set in Europe during the fifth century. Attila aired on the USA Cable Network.
It was the first ASC nomination for both Lenoir and Fierberg.
ASC also presented four special awards honoring career achievements.
Laszlo Kovacs, ASC was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC. Kovacs’ body of work includes such classics as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, King of Marvin Gardens, Paper Moon, Mask, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Miss Congeniality.
“Laszlo and I arrived in this country together (in 1957) as political refugees when it was no longer safe for us to stay in our homeland,” Zsigmond said. “We were following a dream… sometimes it seemed like an impossible dream, but he never gave up.”
Steven Spielberg presented Douglas Slocombe, BSC with the ASC International Achievement Award. Slocombe compiled more than 75 feature credits, earning Oscar nominations for Travels with My Aunt, Julia and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Spielberg noted that Slocombe began his career in film when he shot Lights Out in Europe, a documentary about the early days of World War II which ‘touched the conscience of the world.”
Stanley Donen received the ASC Board of Governors Award, which was presented by Warren Beatty. Donen’s directorial credits include such musicals as On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain, Pajama Game, Funny Face and Damn Yankees!
Sylvester Stallone presented Garrett Brown with the ASC Presidents Award for inventing the Steadicam. The device enables cinematographers to pull audiences deep into stories with fluid camera movement from a subjective point-of-view. Stallone pointed out that one of the first applications for the Steadicam was during the production of Rocky in 1975. Brown previously earned an Oscar for his invention.
ASC also gave a nod to the future with the presentation of the Robert Surtees Heritage Award to Diego Quemada-Diez, a recent graduate of AFI, and Armando Salas, a graduate student at Florida State University. Richard Crudo, ASC, co-chair of the organization’s education committee, presented the scholarships.
The ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards were inaugurated in 1986 to recognize and inspire artistic and innovative cinematography in narrative filmmaking. The organization was founded in 1919 to advance the art and provide a forum where cinematographers could share experiences and ideas. There are currently 240 members.
For more info, visit the ASC website.
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