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2023 FilmLight Colour Award winners announced

2 minute read

As part of this week’s EnergaCAMERIMAGE film festival in Poland, FilmLight has unveiled the winners of its 2023 grading awards.  

The FilmLight Colour Award winners are open to colorists on any grading platform, supported by pretty much every colorist and cinematography-focused industry association out there, and were independently judged by a panel of renowned cinematographers, directors, and, of course, colorists themselves. 

The awards were announced by jury president Lawrence Sher, ASC, at a dedicated ceremony, and it’s not too much of a surprise to find one of the summer’s blockbuster pairing at the top of the list.

No, not that one. This one. Over to FilmLight…

The award for the grading of a theatrical feature went to Yvan Lucas at Company 3 for Barbie. Yvan worked closely with director Greta Gerwig and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto to create the perfect ‘Barbie look’ for the critically acclaimed movie. Gerwig wanted the skin tones in ‘BarbieLand’ to be more pastel and less saturated, but everything else about the shots to be full of those pinks, turquoises, and other colors that stand out so much. The look was partially defined by a specific LUT that Lucas and Prieto created to enhance the strong feeling of saturation and pushed the colors into the 'BarbieLand' space.  

“It is like the recognition of a lifetime’s work,” comments Lucas. “It brings me immense joy that color grading is recognized as an essential part in crafting the look of a film. The experience of working on this film with Rodrigo and Greta was one of the most artistically gratifying of my career.”

The award for the grading of a TV series / episodic went to freelance colorist Dirk Meier for his work at D-Facto Motion on season one of The Pimp: No F***ing Fairytale (OT: Luden). Meier and cinematographer Tim Kuhn found look inspiration in a music video that used documentary footage from a sequence of the 1962 movie, Mondo Cane, shot in the red-light district around the Reeperbahn street. Meier developed a highly textured look with a dark and moody atmosphere. Especially in the HDR version, he worked with the extended range of contrast and wider color palette to create a period feeling with lifted black levels while ensuring the 1980s neon lights stood out. 

The award for the grading of a commercial went to Tim Masick at Company 3 — that’s two for them this year, and now two for him as well — for his work on Zara Man, ‘SS23’. Masick, who also won the commercial category in 2021, worked with director Fabien Baron and DoP Philippe Le Sourd to create the winning spot. Masick worked to create a fantasy/dream world where the elements are subtly dramatized – recreating the mood and imagery of Red Desert(1964, Antonioni), Paris, Texas (1984, Wenders), and photographer Todd Hido.

The award for the grading of a music video went to freelance colorist Marina Starke for her work on ‘Horra’ by Mayyas – America’s Got Talent’s 2022 dance group winners. Starke was nominated across three categories this year, making her a five-time nominee of the FilmLight Colour Awards.

The Spotlight award, which showcases the craft that contributes to the creative impact of a low-budget feature, went to freelance colorist Cem Ozkilicci for his work at Uhoert on Possession. Inspired by Scandinavian romantic and landscape painters, Ozkilicci completed the grade over ten days, working closely with director Henrik Martin and cinematographer Oskar Dahlsbakken to create a nostalgic look with a unique patina – achieved through a combination of lenses and sharpening techniques in grading.

“Representing our fantastic jury, I'd love to congratulate the winners of this year's FilmLight Colour Awards,” says Sher. “These diversely talented artists – and the inspiring work they helped craft – are a testament to the critical importance of the colorist in the art of filmmaking. It's great to see these artists come from across the globe – proving that good work isn't limited to huge budgets or big shops, but available to everyone with a good eye and refined skills. Kudos to all, and we look forward to seeing the submissions next year."

Tags: Post & VFX