Rachel Morrison makes Oscar history for cinematography


Rachel Morrison

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Netflix

Rachel Morrison has made Oscar history by becoming the first female cinematographer ever to be nominated for an award.

The 39-year-old has been nominated for her work on Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees and starring Carey Mulligan and Mary J Blige.

It follows a similar milestone with the American Society of cinematographers, which nominated her earlier this month.

Morrison won the New York Film Critics’ cinematography prize in December.

She will compete against British cinematographer Roger Deakins, who received his 14th nod for his work on Blade Runner 2049. However, he has never won the prize.

Earlier this month, Morrison said she thought the small number of female directors of photography (DPs) in the film industry was “mind-blowing,” but that she thought things were beginning to change.

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Netflix

Image caption

Morrison on location in Louisiana shooting Mudbound

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter she said: “My hope is that it’s changing and changing fast. I think it’s mind-blowing that there are 51% women and [only] 4% DPs and probably 0.05% female gaffers and female key grips.”

She added: “It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Frankly, our world is about dealing in emotion – which is something women are known for doing quite well. It’s really about channelling empathy into visual imagery.

“The big trick is to get to a place where we are just considered DPs – not female DPs. When you think of the word doctor or teacher you don’t think of gender. And it would be nice to get to a place where DP meant either.”

Morrison started out as director of photography on US series The Hills, and has also worked on films Black Panther and Cake.

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Netflix

Image caption

Mary J. Blige plays Florence Jackson in 1940s America in Mudbound

Mudbound has received nominations in three other categories – including best adapted screenplay and two for Mary J. Blige: best supporting actress and best original song.

The 90th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre on 4 March, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

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