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Emerson Alum Eyes Top Honor at 93rd Academy Awards

Erik Messerschmidt head shot
Erik Messerschmidt ’02. Photo/Piper Ferguson

At this year’s Oscars ceremony, one Emersonian will be up for Best Cinematography.

Erik Messerschmidt ’02 was nominated for an Oscar for his camera work on Mank, Netflix’s biopic – shot entirely in black-and-white – of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) and the development of the script for Citizen Kane.

Read: Emmy Nominee Erik Messerschmidt ’02 on TV, Work, Pandemic, Emerson

Mank was Messerschmidt’s first time as director of photography on a feature film. He also received a BAFTA nomination for his work on the film. His previous cinematography primarily has been in television, including several episodes of Mindhunter, one of which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination.  

Mank was nominated for 10 Oscars, the most of any film this year, including Best Picture, Best Directing for David Fincher, Best Actor for Oldman, and Best Supporting Actress for Amanda Seyfried.

The 93rd Academy Awards nominations are notable for two Oscar firsts – two women nominated for Best Director (Zhao, Emerald Fennell), the first woman of color nominated for Best Director (Zhao). The nominations also reflect more diversity in the industry, with nine out of 20 acting nominations going to people of color, as well as the prevalence of films being released on streaming platforms in a year in which pandemic closed the theaters.

The Academy Awards ceremony will be held Sunday, April 25.  

Note: This story has been edited from the original. Two alumni , Michael Sagol ’96 and Dan Sbrega ’96, were reported as having been nominated for Best Picture as producers of Sound of Metal. While Sagol and Sbrega work for Caviar, the production company that made the film, they are not personally nominated.

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