2022 Rising Stars of Cinematography: Eclectic Perspectives

Tara Jenkins

July 27, 2022

AC shines its annual spotlight on nine talented artists working behind the camera.
Since 2017, American Cinematographer has released an annual roster of up-and-coming cinematographers selected by a panel of ASC members and the magazine’s staff. This year’s Rising Stars have accrued an impressive list of accomplishments over the course of their upward-trending careers. Veronica Bouza; Matthew Chuang, ACS; Jomo Fray; Michael “Cambio” Fernandez; Catherine Goldschmidt; Isiah Donté Lee; Christine Ng; Julia Swain; and Erin G. Wesley come from varied backgrounds and have eclectic artistic sensibilities, and all show immense talent, promise and an impressive dedication to the art of cinematography. Here are their stories.

Matthew Chuang, ACS was pushed toward filmmaking when he didn’t get high enough grades in high school to pursue architecture — because he was spending so much time watching movies. “My dad was like, ‘Oh, why don’t you go to film school, then?’ At the time, I didn’t know I could do that.”

Chuang subsequently studied film at the Academy of Photographic Arts in Sydney, Australia. After graduating, he began his career by shooting music videos in Sydney, and after moving to Melbourne, Chuang began to shoot commercials. “I had a music video that went to the Camerimage cinematography festival in Poland. It was there that I realized, ‘Maybe I should move to the U.S. so I can grow as a filmmaker.’ I’ve been in L.A. for about five years, and I’ve started to do more feature-film work.”

Chuang’s first big break was his collaboration with director Justin Chon on the drama Blue Bayou, on which he served as co-cinematographer with Ante Cheng; the film premiered at Cannes in 2021. Chuang then shot the period witchcraft drama You Won’t Be Alone, directed by Goran Stolevski, which premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival — and subsequently earned coverage in our Sundance Standouts 2022 article. “I would love to continue to build with directors like Justin Chon and Goran Stolevski,” he says. “Both of them are writing really compelling character dramas. My goal is to just keep doing more films that are bold and sincere.”