Jane cinematographer Ellen Kuras won for Outstanding Cinematography on the National Geographic documentary about the titular primatologist Jane Goodall and backstage, she addressed the lack of females in the field.
She said that there were a “handful of women in the field” when she first started in the industry. “It’s so different back then,” she adds. “We didn’t have role models and very few opportunities.”
Kuras said that the reason for this was the assumption that women “couldn’t be comfortable in a technical field” and that they couldn’t “handle machines.”
“It’s changing a lot,” she points out. “People have been made aware of that — there are more opportunities and people are looking to diversity.”
Even so, she said that “cultural biases are hard to change” and that it’s a step by step process. In order for change to happen more people have to be able to give opportunities to women. She points out that “It will take some time to see benefits” from her win.
Kuras joins a slow wave of female cinematographers getting recognition which also includes Rachel Morrison who worked on Black Panther and received an Oscar nomination for her work on Mudbound.