Emmanuel Lubezki, (Children Of Men), Dick Pope, (The Illusionist), Robert Richardson, (The Good Shepherd), Dean Semler, (Apocalypto), and Vilmos Zsigmond, (The Black Dahlia) are vying for top honors in the feature film category at the 21st Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards competition.

"There is no textbook formula for artful cinematography," says Russ Alsobrook, ASC who chairs the organization's Awards Committee. "It takes talent and skill to master a complex craft, as well as a collaborative spirit. These five, amazingly talented individuals were selected by their peers who believe they have set the standard for artful visual story-telling in a sharply competitive field from 2006."

This is the eighth ASC nomination for Richardson, the third for Zsigmond, the second for Lubezki and Semler, and the first for Pope. They were nominated for movies that occur in different places and eras, with themes varying from pure fantasy to stark reality.

Okada also points out that all five nominees trace their origins to different countries. Semler was born and launched his career in Australia, Zsigmond in Hungary, Lubezki in Mexico, Richardson in the United States, and Pope in England where he still resides.

The ASC was founded in 1919. There are some 290 members from many nations today, and approximately 140 associate members from allied sectors of the industry. The winner will be announced during the awards gala on February 18 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.