The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has named three winners for the 2015 ASC Gordon Willis Student Heritage Awards, which are designed to showcase the artistic abilities of the next generation of filmmakers. The honors were announced Saturday night during a ceremony at the organization’s clubhouse.

The winning students and their projects are:

Graduate Award Winner
Steven Holloway from American University for THE DEFEAT x3

Undergraduate Award Winner
Nicolas Aguilar Ketchum from Chapman University for RUN

Documentary Award Winner
Rob Scribner of Full Sail University for WARBIRD PILOT: BEHIND THE VISOR

Each year the ASC Heritage Award is renamed in memory of an ASC member who has made an unforgettable impact on the art and craft of cinematography. This year, the award is dedicated to the legendary Gordon Willis, ASC. Best known for his work on the GODFATHER trilogy, he was dubbed “The Prince of Darkness” for his cinematographic use of light and shadows. Seven of the films that Willis shot from 1971 to 1977 accumulated 39 Oscar® nominations with 19 wins. Willis himself was awarded an honorary Oscar® in 2009, and also received Academy Award® nominations for his work on ZELIG and THE GODFATHER: PART III. His superlative career is reflected in his work on films such as KLUTE, THE PAPER CHASE, THE PARALLAX VIEW, THE DROWNING POOL, ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, ANNIE HALL, MANHATTAN, STARDUST MEMORIES, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, BROADWAY DANNY ROSE, PRESUMED INNOCENT and MALICE. He received the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. Willis passed away in May of 2014.

ASC President Richard Crudo commented, “Congratulations to all the student winners. This is a fabulous honor and I should hope each of them embraces the spirit of the legend for whom this award was named.”

In contention in the Undergraduate category were Garrett Nicholson of Ithaca College for NIGHTFIRE; Sten Olson of Chapman University for DARKSTAR; Casey Schendel of Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) for THE DEATH OF COLM CANTER; Oren Soffer of New York University for RESERVATIONS; and West Webb from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for NO TIP. The Graduate nominees included Justin Alpern of Chapman University for STRAW DOLLS; Paul Cannon of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for AWAKEN; John Wakayama Carey of Columbia University School of the Arts for TWO SISTERS; Nico Navia from the American Film Institute (AFI) for AGAINST NIGHT; and Justin Perkinson of UCLA for RANDOM STOP. The ASC hosted a screening of all the films on Friday prior to the awards ceremony.

To be considered for the ASC Heritage Award, participants are recommended by instructors at their respective film schools. A Blue Ribbon panel of ASC members then judges the student’s film submission.

For additional information about the ASC, visit


(photo: (L-R) Steven Holloway, Rob Scribner, Nicolas Aguilar Ketchum. Courtesy of ASC)

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