ASC Dedicates Student Awards to Haskell Wexler, Vilmos Zsigmond

Carolyn Giardina

Each year, the American Society of Cinematographers renames its student awards in memory of an ASC member, and this year it will dedicate the 2016 Student Documentary Award to Haskell Wexler and its Student Heritage Award to Vilmos Zsigmond.

Both are cinematic legends. Wexler earned Academy Awards for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Bound for Glory. Zsigmond earned an Oscar for Close Encounters of the Third Kind and additional nominations for films including The Deer Hunter. Both were recipients of the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award.

The finalists in the student documentary award category are Rachel Bardin of the University of Texas at Austin, RTF for Nocturne; Mina Fitzpatrick of Northwestern University for Run of Press; and Colin F. Shepherd of Rochester Institute of Technology for Into the Microscope.

In the undergraduate category, the finalists are Logan Fulton of Loyola Marymount University for Clementine, Tyler Harmon-Townsend of UNCSA School of Filmmaking for The Roma Project, Marz Miller of Art Center College of Design for Opaque, Ian Quill of Chapman University for The Witching Hour, Isaiah Rendon of University of Texas at Austin, RTF for Barrow, Emmett Sutherland of Art Center College of Design for Closer, and Derek Tonks of USC for Simon Parker.

Finalists in the graduate category are Jeremy Donaldson of Florida State University for Isa and the Frog Prince, Simu Feng of American Film Institute Conservatory for Breathe, Wesley Hunt of American University School of Communication/Film for Moonshot, Andrew Jeric of USC School of Cinematic Arts for Prisoner, Kai Krause of AFI Conservatory for Unremarkable, Matthew J. Petrunak of Kent State University for Paper Harvest, Nicholas Ramsey of Chapman University for Angeltown and Jessica Ynez Simmons of Northwestern University for Emerald Ice.

Said ASC president Kees van Oostrum: "Haskell was a revered, successful commercial moviemaker whose passion for nonfiction storytelling never wavered. It is fitting that this award be given in honor of Haskell who always effused enthusiasm for the documentary community, and was a mentor to many. ... Film students have been studying Vilmos' brilliant images for years, and will continue to do so long into the future. He was always so generous with his time, consistently sharing his experiences with emerging filmmakers and students from around the world. He made a great impact on the art form, both through his own work and the work of those he nurtured."