The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry

ASC Names 2012 Student Heritage Awards Nominees

June 4, 2012

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has chosen seven student filmmakers from six U.S. film schools as nominees in the 2012 ASC Andrew Laszlo Student Heritage Awards. A ceremony announcing the winners in each category will be held June 16. The awards are designed to showcase the artistic abilities of the next generation of filmmakers, with a focus on their cinematography skills.

The nominees are (listed alphabetically by film title in each category):


Josephine and the Roach by Damian Horan, University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts

Narcocorrido by Benjamin Kitchens, American Film Institute

The Bullet Catcher by John Walstad MacDonald, Chapman University


Aexis by H.R. McDonald, Art Center College of Design

The Drop by Nicholas Wiesnet, Chapman University

Reclamation by Adam Lee, Loyola Marymount University

Language of the Unheard by Travis LaBella, Northwestern University*

(*one nominee chosen; also winner for the category)

Each year, the ASC Heritage Award is rededicated in memory of an individual who advanced the art and craft of cinematography. A Hungarian native, Andrew Laszlo, ASC was a talented cinematographer whose film and television career spanned 50-plus years, amassing such credits as You’re a Big Boy Now, The Night They Raided Minsky’s, The Out of Towners, The Owl and the Pussycat, The Warriors, Southern Comfort, First Blood, Streets of Fire, Innerspace, and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. He earned Emmy nominations for his work on Shogun and The Man Without a Country. Laszlo dedicated many years to teaching future directors of photography at workshops, seminars and schools around the world, and authored several books, including It’s A Wrap, a compilation of his experiences on movie sets around the world.

To reach this stage, professors at film schools recommended one student for each category from their school, who then submitted their film for judging. A Blue Ribbon panel of ASC members judged the 40-plus entries and narrowed it to this field. That same panel will select the winners.

The ASC Heritage Award was inaugurated for the purpose of encouraging filmmakers to pursue careers in cinematography. “It’s a competitive industry but these emerging talents have shown they have the vision and skillset to use lighting and composition to convey moods,” says Isidore Mankofsky, ASC, chairman of the ASC Education Committee. “We hope this recognition encourages them to follow their dreams.”

Past ASC Heritage Award winners have gone on to prolific careers, such as Lisa Marie Wiegand (Necessary Roughness, Dollhouse, Adventures of Power), Lukas Ettlin (The Lincoln Lawyer, Battle Los Angeles), Masanobu Takayanagi (Warrior, The Grey), and Nelson Cragg (Homeland, CSI), among many others.