Altitude Awards winners

Top Honor for Women in Media WIM + ZEISS Altitude Awards Goes to EsZTer Csepeli, HCA

ZEISS hosted the Women in Media WIM + ZEISS Altitude Awards Ceremony on June 9 to celebrate the recipients of the prestigious annual honors. Held at Cine Gear Expo in the Los Angeles Convention Center, the air was thick with anticipation as the auditorium filled with nominees, WIM members, and guests.

The full house was greeted by Tema Staig, founder of Women in Media which is dedicated to promoting gender balance in the film and entertainment industries. Also on hand to help launch their new annual Altitude Awards collaboration was ZEISS’ Tony Wisniewski, Senior Manager of Marketing and Anna Schmidt, Cinema Marketing for the Americas. 

Submissions were open to camera operators, gaffers, and cinematographers. Esteemed judges including ASC members Johnny Simmons, Tami Reiker, Alan Caso, Sandra Valde-Hansen, and David Harp as well as cinematographers, Laura Merians Gonçalves and Ana M. Amortegui, carefully surveyed the applicant’s reels, supplemental materials, and artist statements.

On stage Staig named the Semi Finalists: Michelle Clementine, Jenny Desrosiers, Rachael Hastings, Crystal Kelley, Emilia Mendieta Córdova, Lucia Rinaldi, Elle Schneider, Aymae Sulick, Haley Watson, and Sarah Thomas Moffat. Then the finalists included: Jenn Gittings, Barbie Leung, Caitlin Machak, Sarah Phillips, Ashton Rae, and Jen White. All took home a brimming bag of filmmaking gear contributed by: Quasar Science, Rosco, Filmtools, and ShotDeck.

Next Lawrence Sher ASC (Joker, Hangover, Garden State) took the podium to award the WIM + ZEISS Altitude winners. ZEISS’ First Prize $3,000 cash award, in addition to one week free use of ZEISS prime lenses, went to cinematographer Eszter Csepeli. A founding member of the Hungarian Cinematography Association (HCA), her body of work includes the Palme d’Or nominated short, The Execution, and the upcoming feature, The Flower of the Apple Tree. Second Prize $1,000 was awarded to cinematographer Jendra Jarnagin while Carolina Costa and Veronica Bouza took home $500 in addition to other generous prizes.

The evening concluded with a party for winners and guests sponsored by and ZEISS.


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