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ASC Names 2015 Student Heritage Award Nominees

Thirteen students representing 11 different U.S. film schools are selected as nominees for the 2015 ASC Gordon Willis Student Heritage Awards, with the winners will be revealed on September 26.

LOS ANGELES -- In support of their mission to advance the art of cinematography by inspiring and educating the next generation of filmmakers, the American Society of Cinematographers has announced the nominees for the 2015 ASC Gordon Willis Student Heritage Awards.

A blue-ribbon panel of ASC members judged the entries and selected 13 students from a talented pool of filmmakers with exceptional abilities in cinematography. The students represent 11 different U.S. film schools; winners will be revealed on September 26.

The finalists are as follows.

In the Undergraduate category:

  • Nicolas Aguilar Ketchum of Chapman University for Run
  • Garrett Nicholson of Ithaca College for Nightfire
  • Sten Olson of Chapman University for Darkstar
  • Casey Schendel of Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) for The Death of Colm Canter
  • Oren Soffer of New York University for Reservations
  • West Webb from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for No Tip

In the Graduate category:

  • Justin Alpern of Chapman University for Straw Dolls
  • Paul Cannon of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for Awake
  • John Wakayama Carey of Columbia University School of the Arts for Two Sisters
  • Steven Holloway of American University for The Defeat x3
  • Nico Navia from the American Film Institute (AFI) for Against Night
  • Justin Perkinson of UCLA for Random Stop

In the Documentary category, the judges nominated only one finalist, making Rob Scribner of Full Sail the winner for Warbird Pilot: Behind the Visor.

The ASC Student Heritage Awards are renamed annually in memory of an extraordinary ASC member. This year it is dedicated to Gordon Willis, the legendary cinematographer of The Godfather trilogy. Over the course of a superlative career, Gordon (who passed away in May of 2014) was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2009 and also received Academy Award nominations for his work on Zelig and The Godfather: Part III. Some of his other ground breaking credits include Klute, The Paper Chase, The Parallax View, The Drowning Pool, All The President's Men, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Stardust Memories, Pennies From Heaven, Broadway Danny Rose, Presumed Innocent and Malice. He received the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

“There can be no doubt that Gordon Willis was one of the two or three greatest cinematographers who ever lived,” said ASC President Richard Crudo. “His bold inventiveness changed the way movies looked, and cut the path for everything we've come to accept as outstanding cinematography. These students are only beginning their dance with the art form; there is no better example for them to study as they strive to reach the next level."

Source: American Society of Cinematographers

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Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.