She is the first women DP to be recognised by the Academy.
The forthcoming 90th Academy Awards is already making waves in feminism this year by nominating their first ever female cinematographer. Rachel Morrison is named in the corresponding category for her work on the Netflix period drama 'Mudbound', which has been directed and written by Dee Rees.
Rachel Morrison at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards
The 39-year-old photography director is up against Roger Deakins ('Blade Runner 2049'), Bruno Delbonnel ('Darkest Hour'), Hoyte van Hoytema ('Dunkirk') and Dan Laustsen ('The Shape of Water') for the coveted prize of Best Cinematography having worked in the business for almost twenty years.
Not only is she the first female to be up for the gong, she is also the first female of the LGBT community to be nominated in that category, and the fifth LGBT cinematographer overall.
'My hope is that [things are] changing and changing fast', she told The Hollywood Reporter. 'It's mind-blowing that there are 51% women and [only] 4% DPs and probably 0.05% female gaffers and female key grips.'
'It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me', she continued. 'Frankly, our world is about dealing in emotion - which is something women are known for doing quite well. It's really about channelling empathy into visual imagery.'
Rachel has already won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for her work on 'Mudbound', while also being nominated for the Critics' Choice Movie Award and the American Society of Cinematographers Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases which is currently pending.
In 2013, she was honoured with the Kodak Vision prize at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards, and she has also previously been nominated for two Emmys; the first for 2012's 'Rikers High' and the second for 2016's 'What Happened, Miss Simone?'.
Among Rachel's other films include reality show 'The Hills', the Rick Famuyiwa films 'Dope' and 'Confirmation', 'Cake' starring Jennifer Aniston and Ryan Coogler's 'Fruitvale Station'. She also re-teams with Coogler on the upcoming Marvel flick 'Black Panther'.
She first learned her trade at New York University, where she did a double major in film and photography before moving on to the AFI Conservatory's graduate cinematography program where she graduated (again) with a Master of Fine Arts degree.
Meanwhile, 'Mudbound' is also up for Best Original Song for 'Mighty River' by Mary J. Blige, with the singer also nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Virgil Williams and Dee Rees are also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The 90th Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theatre on March 4th 2018.
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