Sheldon Chau and Antoine Combellas have won top honors at the Fifth Annual Volker Bahnemann Awards for Cinematography at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
The grants were established in 2010 to honor Bahnemann’s 48 years at Arri; he served 32 years as CEO and President of Arri Inc. and Arri CSC. The grants are funded through generous donations from Arri, Arri CSC (now Arri Rental), the Stahl family, along with friends and colleagues. The awards and endowment are a perpetual bequest to recognize talented cinematography students each year with a production grant to fund their thesis projects.
Chau and Combellas competed among a group of finalists selected by Tisch faculty at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Graduate finalists included Chau, Felipe Vara De Ray and Joanne Mony Park. The undergraduate nominees were Combellas, Ben Potter and Cale Evens Nichols.
After footage from the nominated artists was screened, Michael Carmine, NYU Associate Arts Professor and Director of Cinematography Studies, presented Combellas with the undergraduate award. Combelles is a French cinematographer based in New York. With a background as a still photographer, the young DP has been working on web content, music videos and shorts. He aims to use his European culture and American experience to bring a unique sensitivity to filmmaking.
Chau was presented with the award by Anthony Jannelli, Head of Cinematography at NYU’s graduate film department. Chau was raised in Los Angeles where he found early filmmaking inspiration from The Criterion Collection. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Film & Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine. As an MFA student at NYU, he received a nomination in 2013 for the Kodak Cinematography Scholarship.