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The road to success took an unconventional turn for Antiguan Cinematographer Shabier Kirchner who has been excelling at his craft for the past 12 years.
Kirchner is an accomplished Cinematographer wo has worked on several acclaimed projects. His recent work, PASt Lives, is Celine Song’s debut feature for A24, starring John Marago, Greta Lee and Teo Yoo. He was also named one of Variety’s 10 Artisans to watch in 2023 due to his work on the film.
On Monday, he was awarded for his work having received the Governor Generals Faith and Meritorious Service- Cross for Meritorious Performance in Fine Arts.
Kirchner accepted the accolade from Governor General Sir Rodney Williams thanking his parents for the unwavering support they have extended to him throughout the years up to this point.
“I was never an academic student; I never had the grades or the aptitude to make it in academia but I was lucky enough to have the support of my parents to recognize my passion for the arts and really supported me through that.
“I owe Antigua a lot because not only is my identity Antigua but having moved away to New York and having accomplished what I have accomplished. Me being Antigua was the biggest asset to all of that. It is part of my personality and it has given me my upper hand in the industry,” Kirchner said.
Sir Rodney Williams also noted that Kirchner’s work in the industry is pioneering and is seen as an inspiration to others who may be interested in the craft.
“Your achievement underscores the boundless possibilities that emerge when talent meets determination and I am delighted as Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda to recognize your Meritorious service in the Fine Arts. On the behalf of the people of Antigua and Barbuda Lady Williams and I extend our heartfelt congratulations to you,” Williams said.
He adds that Kirchner’s journey is a beacon of inspiration for the youth.
In 2020, the Antiguan native collaborate with Academy-Award Winner Steve McQueen, lensing his anthology series, SMALL AXE, for which he was Nominated for an Emmy award for Cinematography and won the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Award) for outstanding photography in a limited Series. In that same year, he went to Nigeria to shoot Akinola Davies’ short LIZZARD which was nominated for a BAFTA and won Best Short at Sundance.
Prior to that, he shot BULL, a feature directed by Annie Silverstein for which Shabier was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography. BULL was also selected for several festivals including Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.
Other credits include ONLY YOU, Harry Wootliff’s award winning film starring Josh O’Connor and Laia Costa; and SOLLIERS POINT with Matthew Poterfield.
In 2018, Shabier worked on Benh Zeitlins feature film WENDY which he served as 2nd unit and B Camera cinematographer. In the same year he went on to shoot the feature film SKATE KITCHEN for Pulse Films with director Crystal Moselle which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and with whom he also shot the short film THAT ONE DAY.