Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC, (“Children of Men”), Dick Pope, BSC (“The Illusionist”), Robert Richardson, ASC (“The Good Shepherd”), Dean Semler, ASC, ACS (“Apocalypto”), and Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC (“The Black Dahlia”) are vying for top honors in the feature film category at the 21st Annual American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards competition. The winner will be announced during the awards gala on February 18 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.

“There is no textbook formula for artful cinematography,” says Russ Alsobrook, ASC who chairs the organization’s Awards Committee. “It takes talent and skill to master a complex craft, as well as a collaborative spirit. These five, amazingly talented individuals were selected by their peers who believe they have set the standard for artful visual story-telling in a sharply competitive field from 2006.”

This is the eighth ASC nomination for Richardson, the third for Zsigmond who won in 1993 for the telefilm “Stalin,” the second for Lubezki and Semler, and the first for Pope.

“Favorable reviews tend to mention beautiful images, but that’s a matter of taste,” says ASC President Daryn Okada. “Artful images can be distressing if that’s what it takes to properly affect the emotional flow of a film. Our members judge whether the cinematographer helped to create a sense of time and place that pulls the audience into the story. We ask how the visual language affects the emotional content of the film. Great cinematography is something you feel.”

Okada also points out that all five nominees trace their origins to different countries. Semler was born and launched his career in Australia, Zsigmond in Hungary, Lubezki in Mexico, Richardson in the United States, and Pope in England where he still resides.

The ASC traces its roots to the dawn of the motion picture industry in 1913, when the Cinema Club in New York and the Static Club in Los Angeles were organized by the first generation of cinematographers who were literally inventing a new language. Fifteen members of those two clubs organized the ASC in January 1919. They wrote a charter, which dedicated the organization to advancing the evolving art and craft of telling stories with moving images. There are some 290 ASC members from many nations today, and approximately 140 associate members from allied sectors of the industry.

For more information about the 21st Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards, visit the ASC Web site>>>

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