BIRDMAN wins top honors at ASC Awards

Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC; Jonathan Freeman, ASC; John Lindley, ASC; and Peter Flinckenberg, FSC earned top honors in the four competitive categories at the 29th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Los Angeles.

Lubezki won the ASC Award for best feature for BIRDMAN, captured on ALEXA M and ALEXA XT using ARRI/ZEISS Master Primes from ARRI Rental NY. Lubezki also won the organization's top prize last year for GRAVITY. This marks the first time that a cinematographer has won consecutive ASC Awards in the theatrical category. Lubezki previously won in 2012 for THE TREE OF LIFE, in 2007 for CHILDREN OF MEN, and earned a nomination in 2000 for SLEEPY HOLLOW. Lubezki thanked the cast and crew of BIRDMAN: "…Especially Steadicam operator Chris Haarhoff, who was able to walk very fast backwards chased by Michael Keaton, and I think he only fell once. Gregor Tavenner, our focus puller, who made the impossible possible; and my friend, director Alejandro González Iñárritu, for his genius."

The TV Movie/Miniseries/Pilot award went to Lindley for the MANHATTAN pilot. Lindley earned a previous nomination from the organization for PAN AM in 2012. MANHATTAN is captured on ALEXA. The DP credited his hardworking crew and director Tommy Schlamm for not being afraid of a wide shot. "I'm very honored to get this award from this organization, whose members I've admired since I was old enough to spell 'cinematographer,'" Lindley said.

Flinckenberg won the ASC Spotlight Award for CONCRETE NIGHT. The award recognizes outstanding cinematography in features and documentaries typically screened at film festivals, internationally or in limited theatrical release. Flinckenberg captured CONCRETE NIGHT in anamorphic on the ALEXA Studio. "I come from a cold country – Finland – and I really feel the warmth that I've received here," said the DP. "Thank you so much, this means a lot to me."

For the second straight year, Freeman took the Outstanding Achievement Award for an episode of a regular series, which was presented by actress Sarah Paulson. Freeman won for his work on the “Golden Days for Boys and Girls" episode of the HBO series BOARDWALK EMPIRE. Last year Freeman took home the award for GAME OF THRONES. He previously won for BOARDWALK EMPIRE (2012, 2011), and HOMELAND SECURITY (2005). He earned additional nominations for BOARDWALK EMPIRE (2011), TAKEN (2003), STRANGE JUSTICE (2000) and PRINCE STREET (1998). Said Freeman, "This is certainly the highest honor that any cinematographer can receive and I must say I think my fellow nominees are equally deserving to be up here tonight."

Writer-producer-director Lawrence Kasdan presented the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award to John Bailey, ASC. Bailey's work on ORDINARY PEOPLE (1980) and THE BIG CHILL (1983) earned critical acclaim. He has subsequently compiled more than 70 credits, including AMERICAN GIGOLO, THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE, SILVERADO, MISHIMA, THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, GROUNDHOG DAY, IN THE LINE OF FIRE, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, THE WAY WAY BACK, and the upcoming THE FORGER and A WALK IN THE WOODS.

The ASC International Award was presented to Phil Méheux, BSC by ARRI Rental's International Marketing Executive Dana Ross. Méheux's work spans four decades, encompassing films such as THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY, GOLDENEYE, THE MASK OF ZORRO, ENTRAPMENT, BICENTENNIAL MAN, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, THE LEGEND OF ZORRO, EDGE OF DARKNESS, and CASINO ROYALE.

Bill Roe, ASC took home the Career Achievement in Television Award, which was presented by actor Nathan Fillion. Roe has been nominated for three Emmy® Awards for his work on THE X-FILES and FAITH OF MY FATHERS. The ASC has nominated him 9 times, for which he won consecutive awards for THE X-FILES (1999, 2000). Roe has shot nearly 200 television episodes including CASTLE, BROOKLYN SOUTH, LAS VEGAS, DAY BREAK, ROBBERY HOMICIDE DIVISION, MAD MEN, and such pilots as TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, THE MENTALIST, and EASTWICK.

Award-winning actress-director-producer-writer-singer Barbra Streisand accepted the ASC Board of Governors Award from DP Andrzej Bartkowiak, ASC. She is the only artist to achieve Oscar®, Tony®, Emmy®, Grammy®, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe®, and Peabody Awards, as well as a National Medal of Honor, France's Légion d'honneur, the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors. Streisand directed YENTL, THE PRINCE OF TIDES, THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES, which earned a total of 14 Academy Award® nominations.

Matthew F. Leonetti, ASC was recognized with the ASC Presidents Award for his cinematographic contributions and dedication to the ASC. Leonetti's credits include POLTERGEIST, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, WEIRD SCIENCE, JAGGED EDGE, STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, DAWN OF THE DEAD and RUSH HOUR 2. Forty years after his first role as director of photography on BAT PEOPLE (1974), Leonetti continues to shoot, including the recent DUMB AND DUMBER TO, whose directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly bestowed the Presidents Award at the ceremony.

The ASC Bud Stone Award of Distinction was given to Otto Nemenz, founder and CEO of the rental facility Otto Nemenz Intl, and Denny Clairmont, president and co-founder of Clairmont Camera. The two men have been competitors for decades, but at the same time close friends who have continuously raised the bar for filmmakers. The award is presented to an Associate ASC Member who has demonstrated extraordinary service to the society.