American Society of Cinematographers announces Student Heritage Award winners

February 28, 2021
Ai Chung win the Michael Chapman Student Heritage Award – Graduate Category for A Young Tough (Chapman University)

The winners of the 2020 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Student Heritage Awards were named during a virtual presentation. Three student filmmakers were chosen for demonstrating exceptional cinematography skills in their submitted work.

ASC cinematographers Paul Atkins, Tommy Maddox-Upshaw and David Stockton presented the awards alongside ASC President Stephen Lighthill, Student Awards Co-Chairs Crag Kief and Armando Salas, and Sony’s Manager of Digital Cinema Camera Sales and Business Development Daniel Perry.

As this year’s student awards sponsor, Sony also bestowed gift packages, including Sony cameras, to the nominees and winners. The recorded event will be made available for on-demand streaming on the ASC website and social channels in the coming weeks.

Following is the complete list of winners:

Michael Chapman Student Heritage Award – Graduate Category:

Ai Chung for A Young Tough (Chapman University)

Allen Daviau Student Heritage Award – Undergraduate Category:

Elias Ginsberg for Milk Teeth (University of Southern California)

Haskell Wexler, ASC Student Documentary Award:

Melanie Grams for Driven (University of Southern California)

Elias Ginsberg won the Allen Daviau Student Heritage Award – Undergraduate Category for Milk Teeth (University of Southern California)
Melanie Grams won the Haskell Wexler, ASC Student Documentary Award for Driven (University of Southern California)

Designed to encourage and support the next generation of cinematographers, the annual ASC Student Heritage Awards also celebrate the memory of an ASC member. This year’s Undergraduate Award was named in honour five-time Oscar-nominee Allen Daviau, ASC (Bugsy, Avalon, Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). The ASC Graduate Award recognises two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Chapman, ASC (Raging Bull, The Fugitive). The Documentary category is enduringly dedicated to multi-Oscar-winner Haskell Wexler, ASC (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Bound for Glory).

Many of those recognized by the ASC Student Heritage Award program since inaugurated in 1999 have gone on to have successful careers in filmmaking, including the Student Awards Committee Co-chairs Craig Kief and Armando Salas, alongside other ASC members Nelson Cragg, Masanobu Takayanagi, and Lisa Wiegand.

Haskell Wexler, ASC (right) makes a point to director Mike Nichols while filming Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).
Michael Chapman, ASC (right) stands by as director Ivan Reitman takes a look at the shot while filming the comedy Kindergarten Cop (1990).
Allen Daviau, ASC checks his light while shooting Empire of the Sun (1987) on location in China.

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