Cinematographer John Seale ACS ASC adds another award to his resume

24 June, 2011 by Sam Dallas

Internationally-renowned cinematographer John Seale ACS ASC can now add another award to his impressive resume.

The veteran filmmaker, who won an Oscar for his work on 1996 romantic drama The English Patient, will later this year accept the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award at Poland’s Plus Camerimage Film Festival.


Starting out his career at ABC TV in 1963, Seale assisted the likes of Bill Grimmond and Bob Feeney ACS. His first feature as a camera operator was on 1971’s Nickel Queen, with cinematographer John Williams. He also worked with legendary director Peter Weir on Picnic at Hanging Rock.

A year later he attempted his first film as cinematographer on Death Cheaters however after the experience, soon went back to being a camera operator. But after agreeing to be DOP on Fatty Finn four years later in 1980, he collected confidence and hasn’t looked back since.

He accepted the ACS Milli Award in 1983 for his work on Goodbye Paradise.

He later joined Weir again – this time in the US on Witness, which started his international career.

Distinguished by his feel for textures and colours of nature, his award-winning skills have also been on display in Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, The Talented Mr Ripley, The Perfect Storm, Rain Man, and most recently, The Tourist.

In 1997 he was inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame and five years later was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the arts. He has now shot more than 40 feature films.

Earlier this year he took out the American Society Of Cinematographers International Award and in late April was guest of honour at the ACS’ 40th national awards in Adelaide.

The Plus Camerimage Film Festival takes place between November 26 and December 3 in Bydgoszcz, Poland and a retrospective of his films will be shown.