NYU VB Cinematography Awards

The Annual NYU Volker Bahnemann Cinematography Awards were presented on May 6.


L-R: Cale Evan Nichols, Volker Bahnemann, Antoine Marie Combelles, Benjamin Potter, Professor Michael Carmine.

The undergraduate finalists were Cale Evan Nichols, Antoine Marie Combelles, and Benjamin J. Potter. Their work was terrific. And the winner was Antoine, with accomplished visual effects and cinematography.

Antoine Combelles is a French cinematographer based in New York. After working as a photographer and VFX artist for several years, he decided to go back to school and study film at  NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He has shot an award winning web series, music videos and short films.

Ben Potter is  from Amagansett, New York. Ben is now based in New York City and graduates with a BFA in Film & Television production from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in May 2015. Ben has shot many narrative shorts, music videos, surf films, and documentaries. (I liked his surfing scenes of Amagansett.)

Cale Evens Nichols’ reel also had some great surfing scenes–from LA. He worked as assistant cameraman on the award-winning indie feature Smuggled, which won Best Picture at the 2012 Mexico International Film Festival. Recent cinematography work includes Sugar, an Official Selection of the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival. 


L-R: Felipe Vara De Ray, Joanne Mony Park, Sheldon Chau, Volker Bahnemann, Prof. Tony Jannelli.

Graduate finalists were Felipe Vara De Ray, Joanne Mony Park, and Sheldon Chau. Fourth Year Graduate Student Sheldon Chau was the winner with stunning scenes beautifully edited.

Felipe Vara De Ray was DP on “COOKING UP A TRIBUTE” (Dir. Luis González and Andrea Gómez) which premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival 2015, and has a long list of fine credits.

Joanne Mony Park’s credit include a long and impressive list of fashion videos, music videos, commercials and feature credits.

Sheldon Chau’s work includes features, many shorts, documentaries, commercials and music videos. He’ll be working on his thesis film this coming year.

It’s actually a shame one winner has to be picked. I would have voted for all these  students to be winners. The montage reels presented demonstrated an advanced understanding of  cinematography and editing. Keep an eye on these talented, graduating film students–they will go far.

The Volker Bahnemann Awards for Cinematography are presented each year to an NYU undergraduate and a graduate cinematography student. Volker spent 48 years at ARRI, the company that has built cameras, lights, and motion picture equipment for a century. Volker was CEO and President at  ARRI Inc. and ARRI/CSC for 32 years. He is currently one of three members of ARRI’s board of directors.

The award was funded by ARRI, CSC, friends and colleagues in  recognition of Volker Bahnemann’s half century of service to the filmmaking community.  The award and its endowment is a perpetual bequest.

The original VB NYU Award is covered in this FDTimes article from 2011.


L-R: Benjamin Potter, Professor Michael Carmine, Cale Evan Nichols, Antoine Marie Combelles, Felipe Vara De Ray, Joanne Mony Park, Sheldon Chau, Volker Bahnemann, Prof Tony Jannelli, Prof. Sandi Sissel, ASC.


L-R: Franz Wieser, ARRI VP of International Marketing, NYU’s Joanna Puglisi, Volker Bahnemann



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1 Response:

  1. Tony Jannelli says:

    Great job Jon, and it was very good to see you!

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