The ASC nominees for feature film, documentary and television cinematography represent the organization’s picks for the most compelling visual filmmaking. Last year’s ASC feature film winner was “Mank” cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt who upset “Nomadland” DP Joshua James Richards, the Oscar favorite. Messerschmidt went on to win the Best Cinematography Oscar.
Cinematographer Ari Wegner was nominated in the theatrical film category for her work on Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog,” becoming the second woman ever nominated by the guild, after Rachel Morrison for Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” (2017).
“Power of the Dog” director Jane Campion made history almost 30 years ago when she became the second woman ever to be nominated for best director for “The Piano” (1993) after Lina Wertmüller for “Seven Beauties” (1975). Wegner seems to be following in her director’s footsteps, likely heading towards an Oscar nomination.
Set in Montana in 1925, the film tells the story of Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch), a rancher who inspires fear in those around him. When his brother George (Jesse Plemons) brings home a new wife and her son (Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee), Phil torments them, which finds him possibly exposed in vulnerable ways.
If Wegner nabs Oscar’s attention, she’ll be the second woman to be nominated in 94 years. Wegner, who also worked on Janicza Bravo’s “Zola” from A24, has received a mountain of accolades this year for work on “The Power of the Dog.” After receiving the Variety Artisan Award at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, she’s received the second-most prizes from critics this awards season with 13 so far, behind Greig Fraser (“Dune”).
Netflix, which distributed both “The Power of the Dog” and “Mudbound,” has an especially strong slate of female auteurs and cinematographers this year. Aside from Campion and Wegner, many of the streamer’s awards contenders this year are either helmed by women, such as Halle Berry (“Bruised”), Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Lost Daughter”) and Rebecca Hall (“Passing”) or shot by female DPs, which includes Alice Brooks (“Tick, Tick … Boom!”), Daria D’Antonio (“The Hand of God”) and Helene Louvart (“The Lost Daughter”).
According to a recent study from Dr. Martha Lauzen and the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, women comprise 25% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers working on the top 250 grossing films of 2021, up slightly from 23% in 2020. However, in 2021, 94% of the top 250 films had no women cinematographers, 92% had no women composers, 82% had no women directors, 73% had no women editors and 72% had no women writers.
In other ASC categories, the nominees for the Spotlight Award — which recognizes cinematography in independent, foreign or art-house-type films — went to “Pig, “Jockey” and “Titane.”
The 36th Annual ASC Awards ceremony will take place on March 20. The event will be streamed live from the ASC Clubhouse with a limited in-person component.
Full list of nominees below.
Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC for “The Tragedy of Macbeth”
Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS for “Dune”
Dan Laustsen, ASC, DFF for “Nightmare Alley
Ari Wegner, ACS for “The Power of the Dog”
Haris Zambarloukos, BSC, GSC for “Belfast”
-category sponsored by KESLOW CAMERA
Ruben Impens, SBC for “Titane”
Pat Scola for “Pig”
Adolpho Veloso, ABC for “Jockey”
-category sponsored by PANAVISION
Jessica Beshir for “Faya Dayi”
Isabel Bethencourt and Parker Hill for “Cusp”
Daniel Schönauer for “The Hidden Life of Trees”
-category sponsored SONY
Motion Picture, Limited Series, or Pilot Made for Television
Steve Annis for “Foundation” – Pilot Episode: The Emperor’s Peace
Tim Ives, ASC for “Halston” – Episode: The Party’s Over
James Laxton, ASC for “The Underground Railroad” – Episode: Chapter 9: Indiana Winter
Christophe Nuyens, SBC for Lupin” – Pilot Episode: Chapter 1
Ben Richardson, ASC for “Mare of Easttown”– Episode: Illusions
-category sponsored by ARRI
Episode of a One-Hour Television Series – Non-Commercial
Stuart Biddlecombe for “The Handmaid’s Tale”– Episode: The Wilderness
David Garbett for “Sweet Tooth” – Episode: Big Man
David Greene, ASC, CSC for “Chaplewaite” – Episode: The Promised
Jon Joffin, ASC for “Titans” – Episode: Souls
Boris Mojsovski, ASC, CSC for “Titans” – Episode: Home
Kate Reid, BSC for “The Nevers” – Episode: Hanged
-category sponsored by PANAVISION
Episode of a One-Hour Television Series – Commercial
Thomas Burstyn, CSC, NZSC for “Snowpiercer” – Episode: Our Answer for Everything
Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, ASC for “Snowfall” – Episode: Weight
Ronald Paul Richard for “Riverdale” – Episode: Chapter Eighty-Nine: Reservoir Dogs
Brendan Steacy, CSC for “Clarice” – Episode: Silence is Purgatory
David Stockton, ASC for “MAYANS M.C.” – Episode: The Orneriness of Kings
Gavin Struthers, ASC, BSC for “Superman & Lois” – Episode: Heritage
-category sponsored by RED DIGITAL CINEMA
Episode of a Half-Hour Television Series
Marshall Adams, ASC for “Servant” – Episode: 2:00
Michael Berlucchi and Marc Carter for “Mythic Quest” – Episode: Backstory!
Adam Bricker for “Hacks” – Episode: There is No Line
Paula Huidobro for “Physical” – Episode: Let’s Get Together
Jaime Reynoso, AMC for “The Kominsky Method” – Episode: And it’s Getting More and More Absurd
-category sponsored by PICTURE SHOP