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The hosting duties were conducted with elegance and style by the talented screen and stage actor Heather Allin, who is also the president of Actra Toronto and a board member of Actra National. Allin told the gala audience of 300 that she has always loved the movies as far back as she could remember. At the age of six, Allin made her grandparents “sit through The Sound of Music twice, back-to-back” because she was so mesmerized by the images and today feels that, “cinematography not only makes the film, it is often the film.”
The only male presenter of the evening was CSC publicity chair Nikos Evdemon csc. Long before his brilliant career as DOP, Evdemon was a news cameraman for the CBC and was wounded by shrapnel from an exploding machine while filming in war-torn Cambodia in the early 1970s.
It was only fitting that Evdemon presented the inaugural CSC Focus Award and the special CSC Combat Camera Award.
The awards committee, to acknowledge the work of an individual or group in producing an exceptional film, conceived the Focus Award. The first-ever presentation of this award went to actor and filmmaker James O’Regan for his exemplary and historically important documentary Shooters, which highlights the work of the courageous men and woman of the Canadian (Army) Film and Photo Unit (CFPU) so long ago. It was their
cameras that captured the heroic and brave contribution of Canadian soldiers during the Second World War.
In an evening full of highlights, the presentation of the special CSC Combat Camera Award, honouring the soldiers of the CFPU past and present, quickly became the most memorable. At 90 years of age, Sgt. Chuck Ross is one of a handful of surviving members from the Second World War unit. With his camera at his side, Ross was a part of D Day, shooting film of the Canadian push through France, the Netherlands and into Germany. As Ross rose from his seat with the help of a leopard print cane, members of today’s military video and photo unit flanked him. As they slowly made their way to the stage, the entire gala audience rose to its feet in thunderous standing ovation. Once the clapping tapered away Ross said, “I accept this award on behalf of those who didn’t come home and for those who are dying. There are just six of us left out of a group of 70. It’s a great honour to carry out this tradition of recording history for today’s generation.”
Besides Ross and each of the surviving members of the CFPU receiving the CSC Combat Camera Award, a second, larger version, will go on display at the Department of National Defence Training Facility in Gatineau, Quebec. WO Carole Morissette and Sgt. Bruno Turcotte, two members of Canadian Forces Combat Camera, accepted that award. Both soldiers have completed tours of duty in Afghanistan.
A record 19 awards were handed out this year in 18 categories. The reason the numbers don’t add up is because for the first time ever, there were double winners in a single category. Mathew R. Phillips csc and John Minh Tran both received the Robert Brooks Award for Documentary Cinematography.
Phillips for his stark and intimate shooting in A Cruel Wind Blows, which highlights the shocking and brutal legacy left villagers in north
eastern Kazakhstan in the wake of hundreds of nuclear tests by the Soviet Union during the Cold War; Tran for his expressive camerawork in Waterlife, a documentary that looks at the threats facing the Great Lakes, the largest body of fresh water in the world. Sadia Zaman, director of production at Vision TV and the executive director of Women in Film and Television – Toronto, presented the Robert Brooks Award for Documentary Cinematography.
A particularly poignant moment in the evening came during the presentation of the Stan Clinton Award for News Essay Cinematography. It went to Kirk Neff from Global TV for A Single Rose, a stirring portrait about a young teen and his unique brand of poetry. On stage with Neff was the subject of his story, 13-year-old Mustafa Ahmed, whose expressive lyrics speak volumes about hope that shines through the harshness of
growing up in Toronto’s infamous Regent Park, one of the roughest neighbourhoods in Canada, “It’s about the words, and I want people to hear my words, to see the beauty that comes out of Regent Park. I’m so glad that Kirk won this award and I congratulate him. I really honour him for everything he’s done for me,” Ahmed said.
Sarorn Sim was presented the Corporate/Educational Cinematography Award for his sensitive camera work on The Jaipur Foot Story about a successful program that makes artificial limbs for the poor of the world. Born stateless, to parents fleeing Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia, Sim reminded everyone in his acceptance speech that desire and hope for a better future can be fulfilled. “I was born in a refugee camp on the Thailand/Cambodia border,” he said. “I remember waking up every morning and watching the cinematographer shooting [the movie] The Killing Fields and I remember standing there, always wanting to be that man behind the lens. And today, I’m a proud Canadian. To stand here today to be recognized by the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, to actually be one [a cinematographer], is a dream come true.” Filmmaker, cinematographer and CSC executive board member Carolyn Wong presented the Stan Clinton Award for News Essay inematography and the Corporate/Educational Cinematography Award.
The most wins of the evening was reserved for Nicolas Bolduc csc, who picked up two awards. The first was the Fritz Spiess Award for Commercial Cinematography for Air Canada “Hong Kong” and the second was the Dramatic Short Cinematography Award for his superb work on the surrealistic short Next Floor. Both awards were presented by DOP and Gemini Award-winner Kim Derko csc.
This year’s Bill Hilson Award for outstanding contributions and service to the motion picture and television industry was presented to Evertz Microsystems for its innovation and manufacture of information systems. Its products are a staple for broadcasters around the world and have helped technologically advanced films such as Star Wars III and Avatar become realities on the movie screen. Presenting the Bill Hilson Award was cinematographer and CSC executive member Sarah Moffat. Accepting for Evertz was their vice president of engineering, Alan Lambshead.
The 2010 Kodak New Century Award was presented by Kodak’s National Operations Manager Patricia Mehrasa to DOP and director Vic Sarin csc, for his outstanding contribution to the art of cinematography. Sarin is known as one of Canada’s most diverse and talented directors who uses his cinematography skills to produce vibrant visual tapestries in his films. His sevenyear-old son Jaden, who assisted his father by holding the Kodak Award, accompanied Sarin on the stage. Sarin praised cinematography, telling the audience that it has been a magnificent boon to his life. “I don’t know any other profession that offers you more experience in life than my profession of cinematographer,” he said. “It opens new doors and each time you see different things, you travel, you meet people, what a wonderful journey, what a great trip and I’m so honored to be part of this group of people who tell stories through cameras.”
David J. Woods’s technical brilliance is only matched by his expansive generosity in sharing it with industry colleagues and especially with the CSC. Woods was this year’s recipient of CSC President’s Award, which recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the Society. Woods built his company, David J. Woods Productions, into one of the leading specialty motion picture equipment rental and service
houses in Canada. Woods has been an ardent supporter and sponsor of the CSC through the years, selflessly contributing countless hours of his time and expertise, plus equipment and facilities to the advancement of the Society through its educational programs and special events.
An ardent collector of vintage television sets, David J.Woods has a few hundred televisions stored in the nooks and crannies of his rental and service facility. There was poetic irony mixed with a helping of collective chagrin from the audience at the end of the Awards Gala when Woods won the raffle for a brand new 32-inch Sony Bravia Engine HD Flat-Panel LCD TV. We all hope he finds room for it.
2010 CSC AWARD WINNERS
The Roy Tash Award for Spot News Cinematography presented by Carolyn Wong, executive member of CSC,
Jim Lenton for Car Fire, CHBC News, Kelowna
The Stan Clinton Award for News Essay Cinematography presented by Carolyn Wong, executive member of CSC,
Kirk Neff for A Single Rose, 16:9 The Bigger Picture, Global
Camera Assistant Award of Merit presented by Carolyn Wong, executive member of CSC,
Corporate/Educational Cinematography presented by Carolyn Wong, executive member of CSC,
Sarorn Sim for The Jaipur Foot Story
Student Cinematography presented by Janis Leger, manger of human resources, Panavision Canada,
Tyson Burger for Our Future Is Bright, York University
Lifestyle/Reality Cinematography presented by Sadia Zaman, executive director of WIFT,
Peter Rowe csc, Angry Planet: “Hurricane Triple Threat”
Docudrama Cinematography sponsored by Sim Video and presented by Sadia Zaman, executive director of WIFT,
Jeremy Benning csc for Manson
The Robert Brooks Award for Documentary Cinematography presented by Sadia Zaman, executive director of WIFT,
Mathhew R. Phillips csc for A Cruel Wind Blows; John Minh Tran for Waterlife
Music/Video/Performance Cinematography presented by Kim Derko csc,