The American Society of Cinematographers will award its 31st prestigious President’s Award to a woman for the first time next week.
The ASC has had a practice of awarding its highest achieving and most prolific cinematographers with a bevy of awards during its annual ASC awards, but until now, its highest honor has yet to go to a woman. This may not be surprising, considering the President’s Award has been previously given to the filmmakers of such movies as Star Wars, Gimme Shelter, and Bladerunner, but this award, which will go to Nancy Schreiber on February 4th, means more than just a career honor.
In fact, because the ASC has previously only bestowed one of its many awards unto a woman a single time in its three-decade-long history, Schreiber was shocked to even receive the call.
"“I’ve tried to give back as much as possible to the ASC over the years, and when I got a message from the office, I thought, ‘What do they want me to do now?’ When our president, Kees Van Oostrum, told me I was being honored with the Presidents Award, I was beside myself.”"
Though many women work in the industry, the number of women behind the camera is admittedly low. So while the ASC could certainly do a better job in terms of inclusivity, even Schreiber agrees that it’s the historic lack of high-profile female cinematographers that accounts for the award’s skewed stats.
But that’s changing. In the past decade, Schreiber reports that the ASC has “doubled our female membership,” and with continued strides to allow women to thrive in forefront of the field and support their filmmaking efforts, hopefully, this award could be one of many to come.
"“If this award does anything, it will open some doors to the younger generation of women, to show that they can succeed, that they can work in all areas of the film and television industry.” – Nancy Schreiber, DP and ASC Presidents Award Winner"
Congrats to Nancy Schreiber for this well deserved honor.