At this year’s Fujinon Fujifilm Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) National Awards held at Luna Park in Sydney, it was Mandy Walker AM ACS ASC who won the prestigious Australian Cinematographer of the Year Milli Award. Walker also won a Gold Tripod in the Feature Films – Budget AUD$2m and over category for her work on Elvis.
Winning the Milli caps off an incredible 12 months for Walker who recently also won the gong for best cinematography at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA) and the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) feature-film award for Elvis.
On winning the award Walker said, “Walker said, “It’s an honour and privilege to have won the Milli and to have worked on Elvis with so many Australian filmmakers who are undeniably at the top of their game. As a team we created an incredibly special piece of cinema. Australian cinematographers continue to create some of the best work across the globe and thus, again, I am truly humbled to win this award. Thank you also to the ACS and all of their sponsors, as we wouldn’t be here without you.
“I’m also very proud that I shot this film in Australia with an Australian crew, totally, Australian crew. Amazing. I especially want to thank Baz Luhrmann for taking me on this journey with him. And we’ve been working together for 20 years and have a great relationship and I’m very proud of what we’ve done together.
“I want to say thank you to the always inspiring Catherine Martin and everybody at Baz Mark, to Skyler Weiss, our producer, to my incredible crew, Sean Conway, my gaffer, who I’ve been also working with for 25 years, to Greg Tidman, my key grip, Jason Elston, my A camera operator, and Jay Torter, who was my B camera and second unit director of photography.
“I want to say thank you to ARRI Rental and a very special thank you to Panavision and Paul Jackson, who I’ve been working with for 30 years, who’s always been a most amazing support for me and a collaborator. And I thank you very much for all of that.
“I’m incredibly proud and honoured to be the first woman to win this award. And may there be many more after me. And also here’s to all the other glass ceiling breakers that will come afterwards. There’s many more.”
The ACS National Awards wouldn’t be the same without its charming and professional host and MC for the evening, Ray Martin AM. Martin as usual, took care of proceedings in his clever and quick-witted fashion alongside presenters including ACS national president, Erika Addis and special guest Russell Boyd AO, ACS, ASC.
Addis presented Hall of Fame Awards to David Gribble ACS, Laurence McManus ACS and Robert Krasker BSC ASC, the Life Membership Award to Mark Evans and Ron Windon ACS Contribution Awards to Richard Chataway ACS and James Cunningham. Joanna Cameron was given the John Leake OAM ACS Emerging Cinematographer Award and the National Judges Merit Award went to Jonathon Le Grice for Echoes of Darkness. The Bob Miller ACS Technical & Innovation Achievement Award was taken out by Mark Ruff.
Then the ACS CineKids 13-15 years old Gold Award went to Cathryn Alford for The Last Haven and a Gold Award for Student Cinematography was also awarded to Jonathon Le Grice for Echoes of Darkness.
Other Gold Tripod winners included Tony Luu ACS who won the John Bowring ACS Station Breaks & Promos for the SBS “We All” Campaign, Alice Stephens took home the Music Videos award for Faces by Stephanie Cherote and James Cannon ACS who won the Neil Davis International News award for War in Ukraine – Retreat from Iprin.
The Current Affairs award went to Mathew Marsic for Pacific Capture and Dave May won in Entertainment & TV Magazine for Andrea Lam – Live at Sydney Opera House.
The Ron Taylor AM ACS & Valerie Taylor AM Wildlife & Nature award went to Benjamin Cunningham ACS for The Mating Game – Fiddler Crabs – S1E2, the Documentaries award went to Mitchell Woolnough for Dead on arrival, Dramatised Documentaries was won by Carl Allison for Mad Martha and Bob Nguyen ACS took out the gong for Short Films with Black Hen.
The Gold Tripod for Feature Films – Budget under $2m also went to Bob Nguyen ACS for Muoi – The Curse Returns.
ACS National President Erika Addis said, “I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Mandy on winning the Milli and also all the other award winners for their amazing and inspiring work. It has been a remarkable year for Australian cinematographers with other recent successes including Jules O’Loughlin ACS ASC who recently won the ASC’s Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Episode of a One-Hour Commercial Television Series award and Greig Fraser ACS ASC who was nominated for the ASC’s best cinematography award for his work on The Batman. I would also like to thank Simon Murphy and all at FUJIFILM FUJINON, our Major National Sponsor, for their incredible and unparalleled support of our society.”
Other Gold Tripod Winners included:
- Corporate – Corporate Branding & Advertising – Christian Fitzpatrick ACS for King Island Distillery
- Corporate – Branded Content, Education & Events – Matthew Allard ACS for Culinary Journey with Marriott Bonvoy
- Commercials – Local / Regional – Liam Gilmour ACS for Crown Towers
- Commercials – National / International – Edward Goldner ACS for The Story of Dan Murphy
For a complete list of 2023 Australian Cinematographers Society National Awards winners go to: https://www.cinematographer.org.au