ACS names Mandy Walker cinematographer of the year

Mandy Walker.

The Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) named Mandy Walker cinematographer of the year at its national awards in Sydney tonight, marking the first time the society’s Milli Award – presented since 1968 – has ever been won by a woman.

Walker also took home the Gold Tripod in the Feature Films – budget $2 million category for her work on Elvis. Again she is the first woman to win this award.

The Milli Award is yet another glass ceiling smashed by Walker in the last 12 months, having also been the first woman to ever win the AACTA Award for Best Cinematography and the American Society of Cinematographers feature film award for Elvis. Walker was also just the third woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. She was also nominated for a BAFTA.

Walker told the audience at the ACS Awards that she was proud to be the first woman to win the Milli and that she hoped many more will follow.

“It’s an honour and privilege to have won the Milli and to have worked on Elvis with so many Australian filmmakers who are undeniably at the top of their game. As a team we created an incredibly special piece of cinema,” said Walker.

“Australian cinematographers continue to create some of the best work across the globe and thus, again, I am truly humbled to win this award.”

Held in Luna Park, the ACS National Awards were presided over by their regular host, Ray Martin alongside presenters including ACS national president Erika Addis and special guest Russell Boyd.

Addis presented Hall of Fame Awards to David Gribble, Laurence McManus and Robert Krasker, the Life Membership Award to Mark Evans and Ron Windon ACS Contribution Awards to Richard Chataway and James Cunningham.

Joanna Cameron was given the John Leake OAM ACS Emerging Cinematographer Award and the National Judges Merit Award went to Jonathon Le Grice for Echoes of Darkness. The Bob Miller ACS Technical and Innovation Achievement Award was taken out by Mark Ruff.

Jules O’Loughlin triumphed in the drama series category, winning the Gold Tripod for The Old Man. Tyson Perkins received a distinction for Mystery Road: Origin.

Bob Nguyen took home two awards, the Gold Tripod for Feature Films – Budget under $2 million for The Curse Returns and the gong for Short Films with Black Hen.

The Ron Taylor AM ACS & Valerie Taylor AM Wildlife & Nature award went to Benjamin Cunningham for The Mating Game – Fiddler Crabs – S1E2, the Documentaries award went to Mitchell Woolnough for Dead on Arrival and Dramatised Documentaries was won by Carl Allison for Mad Martha.

“I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Mandy on winning the Milli and also all the other award winners for their amazing and inspiring work. It has been a remarkable year for Australian cinematographers with other recent successes including Jules O’Loughlin ACS ASC who recently won the ASC’s Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Episode of a One-Hour Commercial Television Series award and Greig Fraser ACS ASC who was nominated for the ASC’s best cinematography award for his work on The Batman,” ACS National President Erika Addis said,

See the full list of winners on the ACS website.