The category, in its third year, is meant to shine a light on films with limited exposure.
The American Society of Cinematographers announced Wednesday nominees for the org’s Spotlight Award. They are Adam Arkapaw for “Macbeth,” Mátyás Erdély for “Son of Saul” and Cary Joji Fukunaga for “Beasts of No Nation.”
The Spotlight Award was inaugurated in 2014 to recognize outstanding cinematography in features and documentaries that are screened at festivals, internationally or in limited theatrical release. Essentially it was a measure to expand the reach of the annual ASC nominations to unsung contenders, not unlike the Directors Guild of America’s decision this year to inaugurate a first-time director category.
For the Spotlight Award, ASC members submit entries for consideration that are then brought before a Blue Ribbon panel to determine nominees. All active members may vote to select the winner.
“Each nominated film evokes intense emotions through its cinematography,” said ASC Awards chairman Daryn Okada. “Their commitment to the visual narrative of their stories and characters are an integral part of the cinematic experience.”
The inaugural winners of the Spotlight Award were Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski for “Ida.” They went on to receive an Academy Award nomination the following year. Last year’s winner was Peter Flickenberg for “Concrete Night.”
This year’s winners will be revealed at the 30th annual ASC Awards on Feb. 14.