‘Cold War’ takes top honors in Cinematographers Awards

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Lukasz Zal, cinematographer for Cold War, scored an upset victory Saturday night at the American Society of Cinematographers Awards by beating out Roma director and cinematographer Alfonso Cuarón, who could have become the first person to win DGA and ASC Awards.

That will have to happen some other time for Cuarón.

Cinematography’s biggest night of the year took place Saturday, February 9, in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland complex. Hosted by Turner Classic Movie’s Ben Mankiewicz, this year’s ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography celebrated the Society’s 100-year anniversary alongside masters of imagery.

This was Żal’s, who was out of town, second ASC Award win. He previously earned a Spotlight Award for his co-cinematography duties with Ryszard Lenczewsk on Ida. A native of Poland, the cinematographer’s other credits include the documentaries Paparazzi, Left Side of the Face and Icon, the Oscar-nominated animated film Loving Vincent, and the narrative features The Here After, Dovlatov and High Frontier.

Ernest Wilczyński accepted the award on Żal’s behalf.

The award for television work — Episode of a Series for Commercial Television, went to Jon Joffin, ASC for the Freeform series Beyond and his work on the episode “Two Zero One.”

Joffin previously earned ASC Award nominations for The Andromeda Strain (for which he also earned an Emmy nomination) and Alice. A native of South Africa, he built his career as an AC and operator until he was brought in to shoot second unit on The X-Files, and was soon being brought in to share director of photography duties. His other series credits also include Strange World, Masters of Horror, Crusoe and Rush, as well as the telefilms A Wrinkle in Time, Elvis, Fallen, Snow White: The Fairest of Them All and Sole Survivor.

The ASC Board of Governors Award, was given to actor, producer, musician and philanthropist Jeff Bridges — who was introduced by actor-stuntman Loyd Catlett. Bridges, who is also an accomplished photographer, brought his camera to accept his award, and took a few shots of the crowd and of himself and Catlett.

Cuarón and Zal will face off again in two weeks at the Oscars. This victory at the ASC does seem to give Cold War the lead in the category.

The complete list of winners is below:

Motion Picture, Miniseries, or Pilot Made for Television:
James Friend, BSC for Patrick Melrose, “Bad News””

Episode of a Series for Non-Commercial Television
Adriano Goldman, ASC, ABC, BSC for The Crown, “Beryl””

Episode of a Series for Commercial Television
Jon Joffin, ASC for Beyond, “Two Zero One””

Spotlight Award
Giorgi Shvelidze for Namme

Theatrical Release
Łukasz Żal, PSC for Cold War

Source: The American Society of Cinematographers

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