Erik Messerschmidt ASC wins cinematography Oscar for Mank

Apr 26, 2021
Erik Messerschmidt accepts the Oscar for Cinematography

The film industry’s finest were honoured at the 93rd Academy Awards, a smaller than usual – but no less entertaining and celebratory – COVID-safe event at Los Angeles’ Union Station. Erik Messerschmidt ASC won the cinematography award for his magnificent lensing of Mank, his first Oscar win. Nominees in the category were Sean Bobbitt BSC (Judas and the Black Messiah); Dariusz Wolski ASC (News of the World); Joshua James Richards (Nomadland); and Phedon Papamichael ASC GSC (The Trial of the Chicago 7).

Accepting his award, Messerschmidt said: “Wow, I wish I could cut this into five pieces because it’s such an honour to be nominated amongst all of you. David [Fincher], thank you for creating an environment where we could do our best work. I got to go home and feel like I gave it my all every night. Ceán [Chaffin], thank you for the endless support. Eric Roth, thank you for the guidance. Amanda [Seyfried], Gary [Oldman], what a privilege and a joy to watch you work. The entire cast, thank you for hitting your marks; it mattered. This really belongs to an extraordinary crew who I could not do anything without. Brian, Will, Alex, Dave, Gary, Dwayne, Danny, Jerry, and all of your team, you make my job easy. Thank you. And thank you to my beautiful wife Naiara, who tolerates this crazy business and helped me get through this movie.”

Erik Messerschmidt backstage with the Oscar for Cinematography

Nomadland also triumphed, winning best picture, best director for Chloé Zhao, and best actress for Frances McDormand. Zhao is the second woman in the history of the Ocars to win the best director award and the first woman of colour. Taking to the stage with some members of the Nomadland cast and crew – including British cinematographer Joshua James Richards – Zhao said: “On behalf of my fellow producers, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, and the one and only Frances McDormand, we thank the Academy, and we thank our brilliant fellow nominees, and we thank all the hearts and hands that come together to make this movie; from Searchlight Pictures and Jessica Bruder, who trusted us with her beautiful book, to our brilliant cinematographer Joshua James Richards, and to the entire Nomadland company. We want to show our deepest gratitude to Linda May, Swankie, Bob Wells, and the nomadic community – all the people we met on the road. Thank you for teaching us the power of resilience and hope and for reminding us what true kindness looks like.”

Director Chloé Zhao takes to the stage with some members of the Nomadland cast and crew – including British cinematographer Joshua James Richards

Other wins on the sparkling night of filmmaking celebration included Mank which took home best production design (Donald Graham Burt and Jan Pascale); Sound of Metal’s best sound and best editing triumphs (Mikkel E. G. Nielsen); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’s awards for costume design (Ann Roth) and hair and make-up; and Tenet’s visual effects win (Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher – DNEG). British writer-director Emerald Fennell was crowned victorious in the best original screenplay category for Promising Young Woman (lensed by Benjamin Kračun). Anthony Hopkins won the best actor award for his role in The Father and another British actor, Daniel Kaluuya, was presented with the best supporting actor for his portrayal of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah. Among the other shining stars of film recognised on the night was Youn Yuj-jung who won best supporting actress for Minari; Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round which won best international feature; My Octopus Teacher which took home the best documentary award; and Pixar’s Soul which was awarded best feature and best original score.

Photo credits: Todd Wawrychuk/A.M.P.A.S., Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S., ABC/AMPAS




Winner: Mank – Erik Messerschmidt ASC

Judas and the Black Messiah – Sean Bobbitt BSC
News of the World – Dariusz Wolski ASC
Nomadland – Joshua James Richards
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Phedon Papamichael ASC GSC

Erik Messerschmidt accepting his award for cinematography


Winner: Nomadland


The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7


Winner: Nomadland – Chloé Zhao


Another Round – Thomas Vinterberg
Mank – David Fincher
Minari – Lee Isaac Chung
Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell

Chloé Zhao accepts the Oscar for Directing


Winner: Another Round – Denmark


Better Days – Hong Kong
Collective – Romania
The Man Who Sold His Skin – Tunisia
Quo Vadis, Aida? – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Thomas Vinterberg accepts the Oscar for International Feature Film for Another Round


Winner: My Octopus Teacher – Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster


Collective – Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana
Crip Camp – Nicole Newnham, Jim Lebrecht and Sara Bolder
The Mole Agent – Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez
Time – Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn

James Reed and Pippa Erlich accept the Oscar for Documentary Feature for My Octopus Teacher


Winner: Colette – Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard


A Concerto Is a Conversation – Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers
Do Not Split – Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook
Hunger Ward – Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman
A Love Song for Latasha – Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

Alice Doyard and Anthony Giacchino accept the Oscar for Documentary Short Subject for Colette


Winner: Promising Young Woman – written by Emerald Fennell


Judas and the Black Messiah – screenplay by Will Berson and Shaka King; Story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas and Keith Lucas
Minari – written by Lee Isaac Chung
Sound of Metal – screenplay by Darius Marder and Abraham Marder; story by Darius Marder and Derek Cianfrance
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – written by Aaron Sorkin

Emerald Fennell accepts the Oscar for Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman


Winner: The Father – screenplay by Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller


Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman and Lee Kern; story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer and Nina Pedrad
Nomadland – written for the screen by Chloé Zhao
One Night in Miami… – screenplay by Kemp Powers
The White Tiger – written for the screen by Ramin Bahrani


Winner: Soul – Pete Docter and Dana Murray


Onward – Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae
Over the Moon – Glen Keane, Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon – Richard Phelan, Will Becher and Paul Kewley
Wolfwalkers – Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young and Stéphan Roelants

Pete Docter and Dana Murray accept the Oscar for Animated Feature Film for Soul


Winner: Frances McDormand – Nomadland


Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day – The United States Vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Frances McDormand accepts the Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role


Winner: Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari


Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank

Yuh-Jung Youn accepts the Oscar for Actress in a Supporting Role


Winner: Anthony Hopkins – The Father


Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Gary Oldman – Mank
Steven Yeun – Minari


Winner: Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah


Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Leslie Odom, Jr – One Night in Miami…
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah

Daniel Kaluuya accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role


Winner: Mank – production design: Donald Graham Burt; set decoration: Jan Pascale


The Father – production design: Peter Francis; set decoration: Cathy Featherstone
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – production design: Mark Ricker; set decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton
News of the World – production design: David Crank; set decoration: Elizabeth Keenan
Tenet – production design: Nathan Crowley; set decoration: Kathy Lucas

Jan Pascale and Donald Graham accept the Oscar for Production Design for Mank
Erik Messerschmidt ASC, Donald Graham and Jan Pascale backstage with the Oscars for cinematography and production design (Mank)


Winner: Tenet – Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher


Love and Monsters – Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox
The Midnight Sky – Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins
Mulan – Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram
The One and Only Ivan – Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez

Scott Fisher accepts the Oscar for Visual Effects for Tenet


Winner: Sound of Metal – Mikkel E. G. Nielsen


The Father – Yorgos Lamprinos
Nomadland – Chloé Zhao
Promising Young Woman – Frédéric Thoraval
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Alan Baumgarten

Mikkel E. G. Nielsen accepts the Oscar for Film Editing for Sound of Metal


Winner: Sound of Metal – Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh


Greyhound – Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman
Mank – Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin
News of the World – Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett
Soul – Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker

Nicolas Becker (on screen), Jamie Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc (R), Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh accept the Oscar for Sound for Sound of Metal


Winner: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Ann Roth


Emma – Alexandra Byrne
Mank – Trish Summerville
Mulan – Bina Daigeler
Pinocchio – Massimo Cantini Parrini


Winner: Two Distant Strangers – Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe


Feeling Through – Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski
The Letter Room – Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan
The Present – Farah Nabulsi
White Eye – Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman

Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe accept the Oscar for Live Action Short


Winner: If Anything Happens I Love You – Will McCormack and Michael Govier


Burrow – Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat
Genius Loci – Adrien Mérigeau and Amaury Ovise
Opera – Erick Oh
Yes-People – Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson

Michael Govier and Will McCormack accept the Oscar for Animated Short Film


Winner: Soul – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste


Da 5 Bloods – Terence Blanchard
Mank – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Minari – Emile Mosseri
News of the World – James Newton Howard

Trent Reznor, Jon Batiste and Atticus Ross accept the Oscar for Original Score


Winner: ‘Fight for You’ from Judas and the Black Messiah – music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas


‘Hear My Voice’ from The Trial of the Chicago 7 – music by Daniel Pemberton; lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite
‘Husavik’ from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga – music and lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
‘Io Sì (seen)’ from The Life Ahead (La vita davanti a se) – music by Diane Warren; lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
‘Speak Now’ from One Night in Miami… – music and lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr and Sam Ashworth

Tiara Thomas, H.E.R. and Dernst Emile, II accept the Oscar for Original Song


Winner: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson


Emma – Marese Langan, Laura Allen and Claudia Stolze
Hillbilly Elegy – Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle and Patricia Dehaney
Mank – Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri and Colleen Labaff
Pinocchio – Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti

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