VCA alum, Ari Wegner makes Oscars history with her nomination for Best Cinematography

Cinematographer Ari Wegner working on set of Jane Campion's film The Power of the Dog
VCA alum, Ari Wegner and director Jane Campion on the set of The Power of the Dog. Image Credit: Netflix

VCA graduate, Ari Wegner (Bachelor of Film & TV 2004), made history as the second woman ever nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars.

Wegner was nominated for her evocative and moving work on director Jane Campion’s film, The Power of the Dog. The film went into the 94th Academy Awards Ceremony as a clear front-runner, clocking up a total of 12 nominations across several categories.

In addition to her history making Oscar nomination, Wegner has also become the first woman to receive a BAFTA nod for cinematography and is the second woman to earn a feature film category nomination from the American Society of Cinematographers.

Ari told the Hollywood Reporter: “For any Director of Photography, it’s really a dream come true, especially for those of us forging an unconventional path,” Wegner said, citing Rachel Morrison, the first woman to be Oscar-nominated in cinematography, in 2018, for Dee Rees' Mudbound.

“Rachel came before me, but I still feel like it’s a historic moment and hopefully a step toward breaking that ceiling more permanently, really smashing it.”

She added that for cinematographers who haven’t always seen themselves represented, she hopes this morning’s announcement says, “crazy dreams are possible.”

38-year-old Wegner boasts a swag of critically acclaimed credits including Zola (2020), Lady Macbeth (2016) and the Australian television series, The Kettering Incident (2016).

Andrew O’Keefe, Head of Film and Television at the VCA said: “All of us at the Victorian College of the Arts are absolutely thrilled and delighted that Ari Wegner’s talent as an outstanding cinematographer has been recognised, internationally today, with an Academy Award nomination.”

He added that “at the VCA we select students based on their potential to produce creative and impactful film and television storytelling and with Ari we clearly chose well."

The 94th Academy Awards ceremony was held on Monday 28 March. The Academy Award for Best Cinematography went to fellow Melbourne DOP Greig Fraser for his work on the film, Dune.