ASC Announces 2020 Student Heritage Award Winners

Two attend the University of Southern California, the third studies at Chapman University. All were chosen for demonstrating exceptional cinematography skills in their submitted work​.

The winners of the 2020 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Student Heritage Awards were named Saturday night (February 27) during a virtual presentation. Three student filmmakers were chosen for demonstrating exceptional cinematography skills in their submitted work.

ASC cinematographers Paul Atkins, Tommy Maddox-Upshaw and David Stockton presented the awards alongside ASC President Stephen Lighthill, Student Awards Co-Chairs Craig Kief and Armando Salas, and Sony’s Manager of Digital Cinema Camera Sales and Business Development Daniel Perry. As this year’s student awards sponsor, Sony also bestowed gift packages, including Sony cameras, to the nominees and winners. The recorded event will be made available for on-demand streaming on the ASC website and social channels in the coming weeks. 

Following is the complete list of winners:

Michael Chapman Student Heritage Award – Graduate Category:
Ai Chung for A Young Tough (Chapman University)

Allen Daviau Student Heritage Award – Undergraduate Category:
Elias Ginsberg for Milk Teeth (University of Southern California)

Haskell Wexler, ASC Student Documentary Award:
Melanie Grams for Driven (University of Southern California)

A complete list of 2020 nominees can be found here.

Designed to encourage and support the next generation of cinematographers, the annual ASC Student Heritage Awards also celebrate the memory of an ASC member. 

This year’s Undergraduate Award was named in honor five-time Oscar-nominee Allen Daviau, ASC (Bugsy, Avalon, Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). 

Allen Daviau, ASC on location in China during the production of Empire of the Sun.

The ASC Graduate Award recognizes two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Chapman, ASC (Raging Bull, The Fugitive). 

Michael Chapman, ASC (far right) while filming Raging Bull. with director Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.

The Documentary category is enduringly dedicated to multi-Oscar-winner Haskell Wexler, ASC (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Bound for Glory).

Haskell Wexler, ASC (right) with director Mike Nichols while filming Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

Many of those recognized by the ASC Student Heritage Award program since inaugurated in 1999 have gone on to have successful careers in filmmaking, including the Student Awards Committee Co-chairs Craig Kief and Armando Salas, alongside other ASC members Nelson Cragg, Masanobu Takayanagi, and Lisa Wiegand.

The 35th Annual ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography will be a virtual event held on April 18.


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