Cinematographer Judy Irola Wins Nat Tiffen Award 2014 for Excellence in Cinematography Education

The Tiffen Company congratulates Judy Irola, professor and Conrad Hall Chair of Cinematography at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, who is the honored recipient of this year’s Nat Tiffen Award for Excellence in Cinematography Education. The award was presented as a part of the International Cinematographers Guild’s Emerging Cinematographer Awards (ECA).

Irola was one of four special award recipients who were recognized during the ECA opening event at the American Society of Cinematographers Clubhouse in Hollywood on September 26. She will also be honored on October 26 at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York City, where ten short films shot by ECA award winners and honorable mentions will be screened. Tickets for the event may be reserved at

“ICG’s Emerging Cinematographer Awards recognize today’s rising cinematography stars, and past recipients have moved on to incredible success,” says Steven Poster, president of the International Cinematographers Guild. “The Nat Tiffen Award is particularly special – cinematography education opens the door to a new, talented generation. When artists such as Judy Irola use their talents to help others learn, they become the true definition of an industry frontrunner.”

Irola has an extensive list of cinematography credits to her name, and over the past thirty years, she has built up a rapport with the film industry through her works. In 1979, her first cinematography feature, Northern Lights, was awarded the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Irola also impressed industry professionals and enthusiasts at 1993’s Sundance Film Festival, where she won the Cinematography Award in Dramatic Competition for An Ambush of Ghosts. In 1995, she joined the American Society of Cinematographers, only the third woman ever to receive an invitation. Her filmography includes seventeen independent features and over forty documentaries, and her prodigious skill has led her to work for NBC, 20/20, ABC, PBS and Saturday Night Live.

Irola translates her cinematography background into a unique education opportunity for students at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Since 1999, she has been the head of the cinematography department, where she designs curriculum and supervises 24 faculty cinematographers. She is a full-time professor and is the Conrad Hall Chair of Cinematography, endowed by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

“On behalf of the Tiffen family, I extend my most heartfelt congratulations to Judy Irola,” says Steve Tiffen, President and CEO of The Tiffen Company. “Judy’s incredible passion is seen not only in her work, but in her dedication to educating other rising cinematographers, as well. She is a thought leader, a teacher and a creator. She wholly exemplifies the message behind the Nat Tiffen award, and her work will continue to inspire others for years to come.”

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