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Emerging Cinematographer Awards Celebrate Eight Honorees, Recognize Janusz Kamiński and Stephen Lighthill

Jaden Thompson

October 4, 2023

The International Cinematographers Guild hosted its 25th annual Emerging Cinematographer Awards in Los Angeles this past weekend with a luncheon at the ASC Clubhouse on Sept. 29 and an awards ceremony at the Television Academy on Oct. 1.

The awards celebrated the work of eight up-and-coming cinematographers, whose short films were all screened at the Television Academy. Additionally, Stephen Lighthill was awarded the ASC Mentor Award and Janusz Kamiński, Steven Spielberg’s longtime collaborator, was given the Distinguished Filmmaker Award.

The eight awardees included Connor Van Bodell (“Nisei”), Brook Lee Karner (“The Coop”), Petros Antoniadis (“Flickering Souls Set Alight”), Drew Dawson (“For Those Who Don’t Know How”), Grant MacAllister (“Blood Positive”), Edward Guinn (“Torn”), Sarah Anne Pierpont (“Juliet”) and Yusuke Sato (“White Now Please”).

“Neither pandemic nor industry strikes will stop the creative vision of our membership. Congratulations to all the honorees and to our ASC awards recipient,” said Baird B. Steptoe, national president of ICG, at Friday’s event.

During the luncheon, Lighthill accepted the ASC Mentor Award. Lighthill is the Head of Discipline: Cinematography at the American Film Institute Conservatory; he has worked on furthering gender diversity for the faculty and graduate students at AFI. The projects he’s shot include “Berkeley,” “Gimme Shelter” and “Vietnam War Story.”

In his acceptance speech, Lighthill acknowledged three phases of his career: his work on documentaries, his work in narrative storytelling, and his work as an educator.

“It’s great to receive this recognition,” Lighthill said. “I think we’re all put on this planet to help each other, and that’s something that comes naturally to cinematographers because it’s hard for us to have secrets. [What we do is] all projected up there…Cinematographers are natural educators because a lot of what they do on set is to get everybody unified.”

Kamiński was honored two days later at the Television Academy. The Polish-born director and cinematographer is known for his frequent collaborations with industry titan Spielberg. His body of work includes “Schindler’s List,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Minority Report,” “West Side Story” and “The Fabelmans,” among other titles. Kamiński is a five-time Academy Award nominee for Best Cinematography and two-time winner for his work on “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.”

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