Lenser Christian Berger, who filmed "The White Ribbon," won the top prize at the 24th annual American Society of Cinematographers awards on Saturday night. Berger, a first-time ASC contender, prevailed over competition that included nine-time nominee Robert Richardson for "Inglourious Basterds," past ASC champ Dion Beebe ("Memoirs of a Geisha") who picked up his third nod for "Nine" and two other newcomers to this race -- Barry Ackroyd, who shot "The Hurt Locker" and Mauro Fiore, who lensed "Avatar."
The Oscar nominees for best cinematography line up with the American Society of Cinematographers' choices with the exception of Beebe, who was replaced by "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" shooter Bruno Delbonnel. In 2008, ASC nominee Roger Deakins ("Revolutionary Road") was replaced at the Oscars by Tom Stern for "Changeling." Two years ago, the ASC went five for five.
Over the 23-year history of the ASC awards, their choice for the best in the business has presaged the eventual winner at the Academy Awards 12 times, including last year's champ Anthony Dod Mantle ("Slumdog Millionaire"). And the ASC has predicted 92 of the 120 Oscar nominees.
On the TV front, Eagle Egilsson won the series lensing award for the "Dark Blue" episode "Venice Kings," while Alar Kivilo was the recipient of the movie/miniseries race for "Taking Chance."
Photo: American Society of Cinematographers Awards logo. Credit: ASC