Dune‘s Greig Fraser won the top film prize at the American Society of Cinematographers’ 36th annual ASC Awards, which were handed out tonight in Hollywood.
Denis Villeneuve’s epic based on the classic Frank Herbert novel was one of the two films coming into tonight with the most momentum, having won the cinematography prize at the BAFTA Film Awards last week. It beat out The Power of the Dog, which fetched the Critics Choice Award that same day.
Katelin Arizmendi, the second unit DP on Dune, accepted the award for Fraser, who recently tested positive for Covid and was unable to attend the ceremony. Arizmendi read a speech from Fraser, who ASC win for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases was his second after 2017’s Lion.
The other nominees for the marquee film prize were Ari Wegner for The Power of the Dog, Bruno Delbonnel for The Tragedy of Macbeth, Dan Laustsen for Nightmare Alley, and Haris Zambarloukos for Belfast. All but Zambarloukos also are nominated for the Best Cinematography Academy Award, with West Side Story’s Janusz Kaminski up for the Oscar. All of those titles also are vying for Best Picture next weekend.
The ASC film winner historically goes on to win the Oscar about half the time — 16 times in the past 35 years, including a golden double for Mank last year. That film’s Erik Messerschmidt presented the prize tonight.
The other film winners tonight were Pat Scola, who picked up the Spotlight award for Neon’s Nicolas Cage starrer Pig, and Jessica Beshir for Faya Dayi, Janus Films’s documentary about khat, the psychoactive plant that plays a big role in Ethopia’s economy.
On the TV front, James Laxton won the Motion Picture, Limited Series or Pilot Made for Television prize for Prime Video’s The Underground Railroad. The Half-Hour Television Series award went to Michael Berlucchi for Apple TV+’s Mythic Quest. Tommy Maddox-Upshaw then picked up the One-Hour Commercial Television Series award for FX’s Snowfall, and the One-Hour Non-Commercial Television Series trophy went to Jon Joffin for HBO Max’s Titans.
Debbie Allen jovially hosted the in-person ceremony from the ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood.
This year’s ASC honorees are two-time Emmy winner and 2009 Oscar nominee Ellen Kuras, the first woman to receive ASC’s Lifetime Achievement Award; two-time Emmy winner Peter Levy (Career Achievement in Television Award); Field of Dreams DP and union leader John Lindley (President’s Award); and Panavision VP Optical Engineering Dan Sasaki (the inaugural Curtis Clark Technical Achievement Award).
Martin Scorsese offered a taped tribute to Kuras.
The “In Memoriam” segment included tributes to George Spiro Dibie, Bill Taylor, Joseph Tawil, Willy Kurant and Halyna Hutchins, who was killed by a live round that was fired on the New Mexico set of indie western Rust in October.
#ASCAwards Honoree – Lifetime Achievement Award
Ellen Kuras, ASC#TheASChttps://t.co/fSUQdmgS9z pic.twitter.com/Kv0p0HaJoP
— AC Magazine (@AmericanCine) March 21, 2022
A jovial Debbie Allen hosted the in-person ceremony from the ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood.
Here are the winners announced at the ASC Awards thus far, followed by the remaining nominees:
Motion Picture, Limited Series, or Pilot Made for Television
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD – Episode: Chapter 9: Indiana Winter
Episode of a One-Hour Television Series – Non-Commercial
TITANS – Episode: Souls
Episode of a One-Hour Television Series: Commercial (presented by LaMonica Garrett)
SNOWFALL – Episode: Weight
Episode of a Half-Hour Television Series
MYTHIC QUEST – Episode: Backstory!
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