WiM + Zeiss Altitude Awards

Altitude Awards 2022

Women In Media and Zeiss are pleased to announce The Altitude Awards. We are excited to celebrate women and gender non-conforming Women In Media members working in the camera and lighting departments. These awards are open to cinematographers, camera operators, and gaffers. We are thrilled to honor the technical and artistic achievements of creatives who are making meaningful, well-crafted stories in the camera arts.


To apply, Women In Media Pro and Student members should submit examples that give the judges a view of their body of work through their WiM CrewList profile and the application below.  Altitude Award Winners will be announced at Cinegear.


* First Prize $3,000.00 cash + one week use of Zeiss prime lenses

* Second Prize $1,000.00 cash

* Runner Up $500.00 cash

* Runner Up $500.00 cash

* All entrants will gain complimentary tickets to the Virtual Women in Media Film Festival and Distribution Convention taking place March 26-27, 2022.  Find out more here.

* Special panel event with the winners at Cinegear on June 11th at the LA Convention Center, highlighting their reels


March 1 –  March 15 Early Bird submission: $10.00

March 16 – April 15 Regular submission: $25.00

April 16 – May 1 Late submission: $40.00

May 2nd – May 15th Extended submission: $65

Winners will be announced during Cinegear which takes place June 9 – 12, 2022

Free Registration for Cinegear until June 3rd: https://www.cinegearexpo.com/la-expo/registration/


* Entrant must be a Women In Media Pro or Student Member.  To join, please apply here: https://wordpress-760114-2661886.cloudwaysapps.com/join/

* Entrants must have a published WiM CrewList Profile.  https://wordpress-760114-2661886.cloudwaysapps.com/crew-list/

* Entrants must sign the Parity In Action Pledge: https://wordpress-760114-2661886.cloudwaysapps.com/parityinaction/

* Entrant must be a cinematographer, gaffer, and/or camera operator with a body of work in one or more of those roles to qualify.

* There is a nominal non-refundable fee to enter and have your work reviewed.  (see below)

* Submission must be of Entrant’s work. It must be clear what the Entrant’s credit is on each project submitted on the form and in their CrewList profile.

* First Prize winner/production must have at least $300,000.00 production insurance at the time of Zeiss lenses use.

* Entrant may live in any region.

* First Prize winner may only use Zeiss lenses within the continental United States.

* First Prize winner agrees to thank Zeiss and Women In Media in the end credits of the film (or project) where the lenses are used.

* First Prize winner agrees to notify Zeiss and Women In Media of film exhibition(s) where the prize is used, such as festivals, public screening, or online distribution.

Apply Here


John Simmons, ASC has been a member of The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) since 2004. He presently serves as one of the ASC vice presidents. He started in documentaries working with film director Carlton Moss. His career has led him to shooting and directing commercials, music videos with Stevie Wonder, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg and so many others.  He is known for iCarly, Family Reunion, Dog With A Blog, Richard Pryor – Here and Now, and Married…. With Children, amongst many others. Colombia-born cinematographer Ana M. Amortegui obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering while working at the same time as a professional dancer. Ana lensed “Gente-fied” the web series that premiered in Sundance in 2017. She has worked on Full Tilt Boogie, Good Girls, The Good Place, Veep, and for networks like Netflix, Hulu, CW, BET Network, TV one and currently is shooting Season 2 of Resident Alien for the SyFy channel. ⁠

Alan Caso, ASC has shot several episodes on The Rookie for ABC; an episode for the upcoming season of “Why Women Kill.” His television work includes Paradise Lost; the pilot and first season of For the People; the pilot episodes of Roswell, New Mexico; Reverie; Heroes Reborn; Hawaii 5-0; and American Gothic.

For Six Feet Under, Caso received two Emmy nominations. Other nominations were an ASC nod for his work on Frankenstein, as well as for his work on Steven Spielberg’s Into the West, which also garnered him another Emmy Nomination. This acclaimed miniseries also distinguishes him in the western genre, which was followed by Comanche Moon, the prequel to Lonesome Dove. Caso’s experience in period pieces landed him an assignment for a Shondaland’s Still Star Crossed, for ABC.


Sandra Valde-Hansen’s television work can be currently seen in the reboot of the groundbreaking seriess The L Word: Generation Q.

Sandra has collaborated with indie darling director Gregg Araki for the last decade lensing festival hits KABOOM and WHITE BIRD IN BLIZZARD, as well as Araki’s STARZ! television series, NOW APOCALYPSE, executive produced by Stephen Soderbergh.

Sandra holds an MFA from the American Film Institute.  She has been recognized as one of Variety’s Artisans Up Next and ICG Generation Next Cinematographers.  Valde-Hansen has over fifteen independent feature credits.

Liz Miller is the EVP of Television Production at Paramount Television Studios, which is a ViacomCBS company.  In this position, Liz and her team are responsible for establishing and curating relations with productions and production companies, reviewing budgets, and supporting/suggesting best production practices.  She works closely with the Creative, Finance, and Post-production departments as well as other internal teams to ensure efficient delivery from script to streaming.
Prior to her role at Paramount Television, Liz served as Director of Production at Netflix.  Prior to Netflix, she served as SVP of Television Production at CBS Television Studios.

Two time Emmy award-winning Mary Lou Belli has been directing television for over 30 years including NCIS New Orleans, Black Lightning, Bull, Legacies, Station 19, Sweet Magnolias, Pitch, Monk, Famous In Love, Devious Maids, The Quad, American Woman, and Hart of Dixie as well as Disney’s The Secret of Sulphur Springs, Ms. Pat, Wizards of Waverly Place, Sister, Sister, Girlfriends, and The Game.

Mary Lou served two terms as the Co-chair of the Women’s Steering Committee at the DGA where she also has served on the Western Director’s Council, presently she is on Leadership Council PAC and as an alternate to the National Board.

Tami Reiker, ASC is known for her cinematography work on the Oscar-nominated film One Night in Miami. She has worked with legendary director Gina Prince-Bythewood on multiple projects such as Cloak and Dagger, Shots Fired, The Old Guard, and Beyond the Lights. She has also lensed for television: Women of the Movement, Charmed, and Carnavale. She photographed the classic indie features Pieces of April, High Art, and The Incredibly True Story of Two Girls In Love. David Harp, ASC started in the film and television business when we actually shot film. He began in NYC as a production assistant and over the last several years  has clawed his way, tooth and nail, to the position of Director of Photography. He has shot over a hundred episodes of television shows and has recently begun directing television shows as well.  He is known for his work on Ally McBeal, Return To Lonesome Dove (tv show), All Rise, The Closer, Nip/Tuck, and many others.

Idit Dvir is an Associate Professor at Howard University (Washington DC), where she has taught filmmaking since 2007.

Idit earned her MFA in Cinematography at the American Film Institute, where she was the recipient of the 2005 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Scholarship. She interned under Kramer Morgenthau, ASC on the blockbuster FRACTURE and shot DISFIGURED for writer/director Glenn Gers.

Idit returned to the AFI to teach the 2nd Year Cinematography Fellows during the 2011-12 academic year.


Srikanth Nandigama As an Assistant Professor at the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Howard University. His areas of teaching include intermediate and advanced film production courses: Introduction to Media Production, Non-Linear Video Editing, and Cinematography I and II.

His cinematography projects include H1-B Jobs, Get Off The Floor, and Dj’s Dance, and Deities.  He was nominated for Best Cinematographer at the World Music & Independent Film Festival in 2019.

Laura M. Goncalves is an electrician turned cinematographer. She has shot numerous music videos for artists such as Bjork, Thom Yorke, and Beyonce. Goncalves’s first feature Pacified (2019), a drama set in a Brazilian favela, won the Golden Seashell for Best Film and Best Cinematography at the San Sebastián International Film Festival resulting in Goncalves being the first woman in the history to win this award. PACIFIED went on to win the Cinematographers’ Debut Competition at the Camerimage Film Festival.
Previously, Merians shot Beyonce’s anticipated film, BLACK IS KING. Merians was also the Director of Photography on HBO’s series Gnera+ion and is currently finishing a limited series for Annapurna called Dead Ringers. 
She is a participant of the pilot mentorship program for the international cinematographers guild and was selected as a Rising Star of the ASC.



Our panel of esteemed judges will evaluate submissions based on the professional information listed in your WiM CrewList Profile.  Your profile allows for multiple reels, IMDB link, awards, and more. You are welcome to submit up to three additional projects via the form below for further evidence of your skill, artistry, and potential. The judges will review your submitted work along with your answers.

Women in Media and Zeiss are excited to elevate the work of emerging and established film craft professionals. We see The Altitude Awards as an opportunity to get your work seen by people in a position to hire and recommend you, as much as it is a chance to potentially win cash and use of lenses.


Please use our easy two-step process.  Fill out the application after you have submitted your entry fee.



Thank you to Zeiss for making this award possible.

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