'Sixth,' 'Beauty,' 'Insider,' 'Sleepy,' 'Cedars' named

The cinematographers for “American Beauty,” “The Insider,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Sleepy Hollow” and “Snow Falling on Cedars” have been selected as nominees by the American Society of Cinematographers for this year’s outstanding achievement award.

The selections featured three lensers with 10 previous ASC nominations between them, along with a pair of first-timers.

This year’s nominees include “American Beauty’s” Conrad Hall, a four-time nominee who won the ASC honor in 1988 for “Tequila Sunrise” and in 1993 for “Searching for Bobby Fischer”; three-time nominee Dante Spinotti, for “The Insider”; first-time nominee Tak Fujimoto, for “The Sixth Sense”; first-time nominee Emanuel Lubeski, for “Sleepy Hollow”; and six-time nominee Robert Richardson, for “Snow Falling on Cedars.”

“Frankly, I don’t know how our members will select one of these films and say it was the most artful work a cinematographer did last year,” ASC president Victor J. Kemper said. “There are many reasons why each of these cinematographers deserves to win. They all made important contributions in telling different types of stories where cinematography played an essential but unobtrusive role.”

Select membership

The ASC, which was founded in 1919 and is composed only of invited members, organized its first outstanding achievement awards in 1987 and honored Jordan Cronenweth for “Peggy Sue Got Married.” Dean Semler became the first ASC winner to receive the Academy Award for best cinematography four years later for “Dances With Wolves.”

The ASC and Oscar winners matched in 1996 with John Toll for “Braveheart,” in 1997 with John Seale for “The English Patient,” and in 1998 with Russell Carpenter for “Titanic.” Toll won the ASC award last year for “The Thin Red Line” while Janusz Kaminski won the Oscar for “Saving Private Ryan.”

The winner, determined by voting among the current 225 ASC members, will be announced at the ASC’s 14th annual awards ceremonies Feb. 20 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

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