“Gravity” cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki won his third American Society of Cinematographers Award on Saturday night, picking up the top feature-film prize from the ASC for a film that is also expected to bring the acclaimed cinematographer his first Oscar.
Honoring his high-tech accomplishment in working with director Alfonso Cuaron to create and photograph the film’s near-space environment, Lubezki won against an unprecedented field in the ASC’s top film category.
Because of a three-way tie for fifth place, the ASC had seven nominees in the category, more than ever before, with Oscar nominees “Gravity,” “The Grandmaster,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Nebraska” and “Prisoners” joined by “Captain Phillips” and “12 Years a Slave.”
Films winning the ASC Award have gone on to win the Oscar slightly less than half the time in the awards’ 26-year history, including four times in the last 10 years.
“Gravity” is considered the odds-on favorite at the Oscars; if he wins, it would be Lubezki’s first Academy Award in six nominations. He previously won ASC Awards for “Children of Men” and “The Tree of Life.”
The Spotlight Award, a new ASC honor designed for independent films without major distribution, went to Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski for “Ida.”
In the television categories, Jonathan Freeman won for the “Game of Thrones” episode “Valar Dohaeris” in the one-hour series category, while Blake McClure won for the half-hour series “Drunk Detroit.” Jeremy Benning won the miniseries award for “Killing Lincoln.”
Honorary awards went to Dean Cundey (“Halloween,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” Apollo 13”), who received the ASC’s Lifetime Achievement Award; Eduardo Serra (“The Wings of the Dove,” “Girl With the Pearl Earring”), who received the International Achievement Award; and Richard Rawlings, Jr. (“Charlie’s Angels,” “L.A. Law,” “Paradise”), who received the Career Achievement in Television Award.
Writer-director John Wells (“August: Osage County,” “E.R.,” “The West Wing”), was given the ASC 2014 Board of Governors Award.
The American Society of Cinematographers is not a guild or union, but an invitation-only professional organization of about 350 top cinematographers.
The ceremony took place in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
Theatrical Motion Picture: Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC for “Gravity”
Spotlight Award: Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski for “Ida”
One-hour Episodic Television Series: Jonathan Freeman, ASC for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (“Valar Dohaeris”)
Half-hour Episodic Series: Blake McClure for Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” (“Detroit”)
Television Movie/Miniseries: Jeremy Benning, CSC for National Geographic Channel’s “Killing Lincoln”