Cinematography in the World

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Cinematography in the World

Cinematography in the World

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In the fast moving world of the global film industry, knowing how to organize and negotiate are becoming essential skills. With the participation of the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600 with more than 9,000 members) and the Greek Society of Cinematographers (GSC), Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) presents a panel discussion with active cinematographers, including Alex Tonisson, the IATSE Local 600 Interim Executive director. This will be an opportunity for cinematographers who are working mostly in Greece to discuss and compare several topics surrounding their work with their American colleagues — how to get into the union, useful organizing and negotiating tips, how the guilds can collaborate and empower one another, about the various classifications (directors of photography, camera assistants, digital imaging technicians, etc.), safety considerations and how working conditions may impact the final outcome of film & TV production. The two parties will also tackle more general themes such as training opportunities, the general public’s perception of cinematography, and the state of equity and diversity.



Alexander Tonisson

Alexander Tonisson, a 20-year veteran of the Labor movement, is the Interim National Executive Director of the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE, Local 600). IATSE Local 600 has over 9,000 members who work in film, television, streaming and commercials as directors of photography, camera operators, digital imaging technicians, visual effects supervisors, still photographers, camera assistants, film loaders, broadcasters and all members of camera crews and publicists. Prior to joining Local 600, Alex served as Director of Field Services to the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE Local 21), where he ran the day-to-day field staff operations in all four of the union’s regional offices. Alex started his career in the Labor movement as Senior Political Community Organizer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Before joining the Labor movement, Alex helped pass the Mental Health Services Act as the Northern California Field Organizer on the statewide Proposition 63 campaign.


Our participants:


Steven Bernstein pic 2Steven Bernstein ASC, DGA, WGA is a screenwriter and director. He wrote and directed the award-winning films Last Call (starring John Malkovich and Rhys Ifans) and Decoding Annie Parker (starring Helen Hunt), and he is currently in post-production for his film GRQ, starring Mena Suvari. He also has a book coming out later this year called The Filmmaking Creative Process. Before becoming a writer and director, Bernstein worked as a cinematographer. He shot the Academy Award-winning film Monster, along with 53 other films and television shows. He was an American Society of Cinematographers nominee for his work on Magic City, in addition to other awards. Having worked in film and TV for over 40 years, Bernstein was also instrumental in the creation of the new Greek tax incentive.
Nina HamNina Ham is a Canadian and Mexican cinematographer specializing in documentaries and dramatic interviews. Her first documentary series MURDER OF GOD’S BANKER premiered on Paramount+ this last February, and her second series is set to premiere in 2024. She also loves the process of developing the visual language and rules for narrative collaborations. She shoots internationally, including Italy, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and the Netherlands.
Ted HayashTed Hayash grew up in the forest, surrounded by the beautiful light of New England and was long fascinated by art, music and photography while thinking like a scientist. After attending Clarkson University, and seeing Robert Altman speak, he realized that filmmaking was the perfect way to merge his love of the scientific and the artistic. Graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts having won several awards for cinematography, his path was set, and he has since traveled the world over, filming in such diverse places as Western Europe, India, China, and Albania and at least 16 of the United States. Training under many award winning cinematographers has helped him refine his eye, and this has led to all kinds of work, from feature films, to long form television, title sequences and television commercials. His latest work includes directing and photographing television commercials and documentary films for non-profit and educational institutions.
Christos Karamanis PhotoChristos Karamanis GSC (DOP) has been working in the industry since 2000. Being a Giorgos Panousopoulos focus puller for 6 years, he learned about the contribution of photography to scripted dramaturgy. Collaborating mostly with Greek directors such as Argiris Papadimitropoulos (Suntan, Monday) Athina Tsangari (Chevalier) and also abroad with Josie Rourke (The Nan Movie), Emin Alper (Burning Days) he is really happy to feel that every new feature film he is about to work on is like the first day on the job!
Giorgos Karvelas PhotoGiorgos Karvelas was born and raised in Athens. He studied cinematography at Lykourgos Stavrakos Film School. He is currently working as a cinematographer and light designer in films and theatre. His films have been in various festivals, like Cannes, Berlinale, Locarno, Venice, and Sarajevo. For his work in Digger, a film by Georgis Grigorakis, he won the Best Cinematography Award from the Greek Film Academy and the GSC 2021 award from the Greek Society of Cinematographers.
Svedije Kastrati PhotoSvedije Kastrati is the first female cinematographer from her home country, Kosovo. Growing up in a patriarchal society, the only role models were women doctors, teachers. Sevdije dreamed of becoming a gynecologist, and enrolled in medical high school. But the war broke out in Kosovo in 1999. Sevdije was 15 years old and experienced the loss of her mother, Ajshe, and her sister, Luljeta. Shortly after that tragedy, she was introduced to filmmaking and found the camera to be a vital tool for telling important stories. Since then, Sevdije has chosen to work on numerous projects in which human rights are integral. Giving a voice to those who might otherwise not have one is the leading force of her choice of work. Sevdije’s work includes narrative feature films, documentaries, shorts and TV series. Her films have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Venice, AFI Fest, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, and others. Sevdije is a member of European Film Academy and IATSE Local 600.
Ki Jin Kim Photo 3Ki Jin Kim is a Korean filmmaker based in Los Angeles. As a filmmaker of color, and a proud Asian immigrant, Kim’s community-based projects center around marginalized ethnic communities in the United States and Europe, and their diasporic experiences. Kim is one of the founding members of the independent production company Nonetheless Productions and has served as producer and cinematographer on award-winning feature films, including Holy Emy, Driveways, Columbus, and Spa Night.
Anastas Michos PhotoAnastas Michos ASC GSC  (Director of Photography) has collaborated with directors as varied in style as Milos Forman (Man in the Moon), Edward Norton (Keeping the Faith), Danny DeVito (Death to Smoochy), Mike Newell (Mona Lisa Smile) James DeMonaco (The First Purge) and Kasi Lemmons (Black Nativity). From dramas to comedies to horror to thrillers and musicals, he effortlessly moves from one genre to the next. Before moving up to Director of Photography, Anastas worked for more than a decade as one of the industry’s most respected and sought-after camera and Steadicam operators. Anastas Michos is an active member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the Greek Society of Cinematographers and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He  was recently honored with a nomination for the prestigious ASC Award. He also frequently lectures at various universities and workshops and film festivals worldwide.
Phedon Papamichael PhotoTwo-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer and independent film director Phedon Papamichael was born in Athens, Greece. Papamichael has been the Director of Photography for over fifty feature films, including Walk the Line, The Pursuit of Happiness, The Ides of March, Sideways, Ford vs. Ferrari, and Nebraska, for which Papamichael received an Academy Award nomination. Ford vs. Ferrari was honored with 4 Academy Award nominations and garnered a BAFTA and ASC nom for Papamichael. His most recent feature, The Trial of The Chicago 7, was honored with 6 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Cinematography. Papamichael’s directorial debut was The Sketch Artist, starring Drew Barrymore, and won the Silver Award for Feature Film at the Houston International Film Festival. He followed up with Dark Side of Genius and the award-winning psychological horror From Within, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. His latest directorial endeavor is the social-political thriller/drama Light Falls, which was shot in Greece.
Carina Tautu headshot moderatorCarina Rosanna Tautu currently serves as the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Coordinator for the International Cinematographer Guild IATSE Local 600. She is an award-winning film director born behind the Iron Curtain in Romania, and in the past 20 years, she has made films from the Amazonian Jungle to Burkina Faso ( Carina is also a professional mediator and conflict resolution specialist, founder of EQ For High IQ ( A decade-long collaborator with LAGFF, Carina has served as a volunteer, reader for the Lab, and Jury & Industry Coordinator, and she is proud of her maternal Greek roots.
She holds an MDR from Pepperdine Law/Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, an MFA in Film from Columbia University in New York, and an MSc in Neurobiology from the University of Bucharest.


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06-15-2023 @ 10:00 AM (PDT)

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