Denson Baker ACS NZCS Wins Milli Award for Australian Cinematographer of the Year at 2021 FUJINON FUJIFILM ACS National Awards

At this year’s FUJINON FUJIFILM Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) National Awards held at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, it was Denson Baker ACS NZCS who won the prestigious Australian Cinematographer of the Year Millli Award. Baker also won a Gold Tripod for his work on The Luminaries Ep2 The Place You Return.

On winning the award Baker said, “I am indebted to my fellow Australian cinematographers for this incredible honour. Milli recipients are some of the world’s most influential and inspiring cinematographers. So, it is beyond a privilege to be included alongside these very people who define great cinema — both in Australia, and on the world stage. Thank you to each and every member of the Australia Cinematographer’s Society. Your artistry and leadership is deeply appreciated.”

Host and MC for the evening, Ray Martin AM took care of proceedings in his usual professional and quick-witted fashion and as always, ACS National President Ron Johanson OAM ACS started the evening with some special awards.

Ray Martin AM

Ron presented Hall of Fame Awards to Geoffrey Hall ACS, Terrance Byrne ACS and Michael Edols ACS. Then the Life Membership Award to Kim Batterham ACS and the Ron Windon ACS Contribution Award to Erika Addis. Megan Ogilvie was given the John Leake OAM ACS Emerging Cinematographer Award and the Sony Judges Award went to Bella Merlino.

Guest of Honour at this year’s awards was Ivan Sen who said, “One of the most important roles performed by the ACS is its encouragement and pathway development for newer generations. The support and encouragement I received from the ACS as a young filmmaker with very little experience, was pivotal to my development in the film industry. Since the beginning, my contact with the ACS has always been one of respect and inspiration. These are traits I have tried to maintain and radiate to everyone I have since worked with.”

Ivan Sen

The ACS CineKids award was won by thirteen-year-old Bella Merlino for Hermione and a Gold Award for Student Cinematography was awarded to David Luff for Memoir.

Other Gold Tripod winners included Tony Luu ACS who won the John Bowring ACS Station Breaks & Promos for I’m A Celebrity Promo – Season 6, Michael McDermott ACS took home the Music Videos award for Leaving LATim Minchin x Tee Ken Ng and Paul Walker who won the Syd Wood ACS Local / National News award for CBD Stabber.

The Neil Davis International News award went to Timothy Myers ACS for Beat The Press: Journalism Under Attack, John Varga took the Current Affairs award for Children of Chernobyl, Cesar Salmeron-Hoving and Cameron Morley won in Entertainment & TV Magazine for Chromatopia – Black and Gerald Thompson won the Art, Innovation & Specialised Cinematography award for Rebooted.

The Ron Taylor AM ACS Wildlife & Nature went to Jon Shaw ACS for Australia’s Ocean Odyssey S1Ep1 The Tropics, the Documentaries award went to Allan Hardy ACS for Viva the Underdogs, Dramatised Documentaries was won by Michael McDermott ACS for Wild Butterfly          and Michael McDermott and Kieran Fowler NZCS ACS took out the gong for Short Films with Soulmate.

The Gold Tripod for Feature Films – Budget under $2m went to Sky Davies for Blood Vessel and the Gold Tripod for Feature Films – Budget $2m and over was won by Dion Beebe ACS ASC for I am Woman.

ACS National President Ron Johanson OAM ACS

ACS National President Ron Johanson OAM ACS said, “I would like to congratulate Denson on winning the Milli and also all the other award winners for their truly excellent work. Their commitment to the craft of cinematography is unparalleled and they are an inspiration to us all. I would also like to thank FUJIFILM FUJINON for their unwavering support of our society and indeed all of our sponsors without whom these awards and much of the work the ACS does simply wouldn’t be possible.”

Other Gold Tripod Winners were:

  • Corporate – Corporate Branding & Advertising – Joshua Lamont ACS for Defiance. Rewarded Tourism Tasmania
  • Corporate – Branded Content, Education & Events – Ben Cotgrove for Restaurant Labart
  • Commercials – Local / Regional – Jake Koning for Porsche ‘Accomplishments’
  • Commercials – National / International – James Brown ACS for Glenlivet – Breaking Walls
  • 2nd Unit Cinematography – David Burr ACS for Aquaman

For a complete list of 2021 Australian Cinematographers Society National Awards winners go to: http://www.cinematographer.org.au

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