Erika Addis becomes ACS National President

Erika Addis is the new Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) National President after Ron Johanson OAM ACS stepped down from the role he has held for 15 years.

Addis is the first female national president since the society was founded in 1958.

“I very much want to build on Ron Johanson’s achievements, particularly that of putting the ACS onto the world stage by successfully joining ACS into IMAGO, the international association of cinematography societies,” said Addis.

“I also want to grow the ACS’ online presence with increasing depth and variety of content on the website and in social media, grow the diversity and inclusivity of the ACS and ensure good governance is in place.”

Over the last decade Addis has been closely involved with the evolution of the ACS from being a white, male dominated organisation, to one which is working towards being a more inclusive and diverse society.

“One of the figures that shows that change is the number of accredited women in the ACS – accreditation being the highest recognition the ACS bestows. Between 1958 – 2012, six women out of hundreds attained accreditation,” Addis added.

Between 2012 – 2021, twelve more women have achieved that recognition. Visibility of women in the ACS has increased greatly in this decade, and that creates a richer and more inclusive environment, particularly for young emerging cinematographers.

Johanson guided and oversaw the ACS play a more active role with First Australians and as a group, impacted internationally via IMAGO.

“I desperately wanted to have the old boys’ club tag vanquished and I think we have achieved that. I’m very proud to have been and to continue to be a part of a society that recognises individuals and forges amazing relationships and friendships with our members and our fantastic sponsors,” Johanson said.

Reflecting on his reasons for finally stepping down after 15 years Johanson said, “It has been a great honour and I’ve really enjoyed my time as national president. I’m also very proud of what the ACS has achieved during my tenure, but the simple fact is it’s now time for a fresh face at the helm. I’m delighted that in Erika we have our first female national president and I will be supporting her and the ACS in every way possible moving forward as I continue in the role of sponsors’ and sponsorship manager.”

On nominating for and having been elected ACS national president Addis said, “The time feels right, both for me in my career trajectory and for the ACS in its history. I am proud and humbled to be charged with the responsibility of leading the ACS. The purpose of the ACS is to nurture the knowledge and understanding of cinematography and all those who practice it. I look forward to working closely with all the ACS team and especially Ron Johanson OAM ACS, to further this work. I acknowledge Ron’s considerable legacy and support, that has enabled me to take on this role. 2022 is the tenth anniversary of the formation of the ACS Women’s Advisory Panel, and throughout those ten years Ron steadily worked to ensure the integration of the WAP into the fabric of the ACS. The Society can all rightly be proud that the WAP recently evolved into the Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation working panel in 2021.”

Erika Addis started her cinematography journey working as a lighting assistant on The Fourth Wish and clapper loader on Stormboy for the South Australian Film Corporation. Three intense years followed studying cinematography under Bill Constable at the Australian Film and Television School in Sydney.

Documentaries were her passion and they dominated much of Addis’ career. The body of work is impressive: Serious Undertakings, My Own Flesh and Blood, For All the World to See, Emily’s Eyes, Father’s Footsteps, Brazen Hussies, For Love Not Money, The Tightrope Dancer and more. 

About the Australian Cinematographers Society

The Australian Cinematographers Society was established to: 

  • Further the advancement of cinematography in all fields and give due recognition to the outstanding work performed by Australian cinematographers.  

  • Keep members abreast of technology, new equipment and ideas through meetings, seminars and demonstrations.  

  • Provide a forum for cinematographers to meet with other members of the industry to discuss and exchange ideas, promote friendship and better understanding of each other’s industry role.

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