Denson Baker.

Denson Baker was named Australian cinematographer of the year for his work on TVNZ/BBC mini-series The Luminaries at the national Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) Awards in Canberra this evening.

In addition to the Milli Award, Baker also won a Gold Tripod for his work on episode 2 of the series, ‘The Place You Return’.

On winning the award Baker said: “I am indebted to my fellow Australian cinematographers for this incredible honour. Milli recipients are some of the world’s most influential and inspiring cinematographers.

“It is beyond a privilege to be included alongside these very people who define great cinema – both in Australia, and on the world stage. Thank you to each and every member of the Australia Cinematographer’s Society. Your artistry and leadership is deeply appreciated.”

Dion Beebe snared the Gold Tripod for Feature Films – Budget $2 million and over for his work on wife Unjoo Moon’s I Am Woman, while the equivalent prize for films with a budget less than $2 million went to Sky Davies for Blood Vessel.

The evening also saw the ACS induct Geoffrey Hall, Terrance Byrne and Michael Edols into the Hall of Fame, while Kim Batterham took home the Life Membership Award and Erika Addis the Ron Windon ACS Contribution Award.

Megan Ogilvie was given the John Leake OAM ACS Emerging Cinematographer Award and the Sony Judges Award went to Bella Merlino. 

Guest of Honour on the evening was Ivan Sen.

“One of the most important roles performed by the ACS is its encouragement and pathway development for newer generations,” Sen said.

“The support and encouragement I received from the ACS as a young filmmaker with very little experience, was pivotal to my development in the film industry. Since the beginning, my contact with the ACS has always been one of respect and inspiration. These are traits I have tried to maintain and radiate to everyone I have since worked with.” 

The Ron Taylor AM ACS Wildlife & Nature went to Jon Shaw for Australia’s Ocean Odyssey S1Ep1 ‘The Tropics’; the Documentaries award went to Allan Hardy for Viva the Underdogs, Dramatised Documentaries was won by Michael McDermott for Wild Butterfly and Michael McDermott and Kieran Fowler took the gong for short film with Soulmate.

For a full list of winners, go here.

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