By Zona Marie Tan

The Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) celebrated their 50th Anniversary Annual Awards Dinner last night at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay in an illustrious evening filled with laughter, tears and intense pride.

In a wrap up of the four day long conference sessions and debates over the ‘Future of the Image’, the Awards dinner saw the celebration of the industry’s most talented cinematographers beginning with the presentation of three Outstanding Awards to long-time members John Leake ACS, Bruce Hillyard ACS and Butch Calderwood ACS for their dedication and contribution to the society.

In its second year of recognition, the ACS presented this year’s International Award for Cinematography to Roger Deakins BSC ASC for his work on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Recipients of the Golden Tripods and distinction awards this year proudly received their awards from guest of honour, Academy Award winner Dean Semler AM ACS ASC (Apocalypto, Mad Max 2 & 3).

Semler, in his speech before giving out the awards, expressed his disappointment that the production of Justice League Mortal could not materialise in Australia which would otherwise have an amazing contribution to the film industry. Then proceeded to joke that if production had gone ahead, he would have been filming Megan Gale in her Wonder Woman costume and missed out on the ACS50.

Among the recipients of the Golden Tripods were Geoffrey Simpson ACS for Romulus My Father, Ben Nott ACS for The Company, Simon Chapman for Katoomba and Oscar winner Dion Beebe ACS ASC for Tony Bennett: An American Classic. While the Directors of Photography inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame were war cinematographer David Brill and documentary cinematographer David Parer ACS.

This year’s prestigious Milli Award was bestowed on Ben Nott ACS for his amazing work on the American mini-series about the history of the CIA, The Company.

The awards night was made special by the presentation of commemorative mementos to the ACS Federal President Ted Rayment by the European Federation of Cinematographers’ (IMAGO) president Nigel Walters BSC and the president of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Daryn Okada ASC.

Okada in his congratulatory speech said that he was honoured to be in Sydney to celebrate the society’s 50th and was pleasantly amazed to realise that most of the cinematographers he knew in Hollywood were Australians.

Other news:
At the ACS50: Hot opening
At the ACS50: Tools of Tomorrow

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