The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry

Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
from Big Bear Lake International Film Festival

August 31, 2006

Big Bear Lake – The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival will present Academy Award winning Cinematographer, VILMOS ZSIGMOND, ASC with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Cinematography on Friday, September 15, 2006.

Mr. Zsigmond will participate in a Cinematography Showcase of his films followed by a Q&A on Saturday, September 16th.

Zsigmond has earned an Oscar® for his innovative camerawork on Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and nominations for The Deer Hunter (1978, which also won a BAFTA Award) and The River (1984). He took home both Emmy and ASC Awards for his extraordinary camerawork on the HBO telefilm Stalin (1992), and earned another ASC Award nomination for The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) and another Emmy nomination for The Mists of Avalon (2001). He received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1997 Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, and the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. His impressive list of credits include The Hired Hand, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Deliverance, The Long Goodbye, The Sugarland Express, The Rose, Heaven’s Gate, The Witches of Eastwick, The Two Jakes, Bonfire of the Vanities, Sliver, Maverick, Assassins, Life as a House, Jersey Girl, Melinda and Melinda and the upcoming The Black Dahlia.

Zsigmond was born and raised in Hungary and attended the Academy for Theater and Film Art in Budapest to study cinematography. In 1955, Zsigmond worked as an assistant cameraman and operator at the state’s film studio in Budapest. A year later, a popular uprising swept through the streets of the city. Zsigmond and fellow classmate Laszlo Kovacs, ASC, documented the events on a borrowed motion picture camera and film from the school, and then fled the country with 30,000 feet of film.

He came to the United States in 1957, where he got a job at a laboratory in Los Angeles. He worked weekends and nights for producers making education and training films. By the early 1960s, Zsigmond found a niche in the TV commercial industry and eventually began shooting a series of low-budget features.

This year’s festival will be held the weekend of September 15-17. BBLIFF highlights independent feature-length films, student films, short films, documentaries, family films, animation films and a screenwriting competition. Juried awards, audience awards, animation awards, family film award High School student award and screenwriting competition awards will be presented. This year the festival’s sidebar will showcase films directed by women.

For entry forms, submission guidelines, tickets, or information on becoming a volunteer or festival sponsor, visit, e-mail or call (909) 866-3433. The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival is a non-profit organization. The City of Big Bear Lake is a four-season mountain resort 100 miles east of Los Angeles, offering a wealth of activities for visitors -- including fine dining, live music, golf, water sports, fishing, camping, hiking, and skiing.