Clay Paky's Knight of Illumination Awards

Friday, 25 September 2009
Clay Paky's Knight of Illumination AwardsL-R: Enrico Caironi (Clay Paky), Durham Marenghi (Rock category chairman), Pasquale Quadri (President of Clay Paky), Rick Fisher (Theatre category chairman), Stuart Gain (TV category chairman), John Watt (Lifetime Recognition Award chairman).
UK - The second edition of the Knight of Illumination Awards, staged to coincide with the PLASA Show in London, was a great success, attended by leading figures from the world of entertainment lighting. Organised by Italian manufacturer Clay Paky, in collaboration with the trade associations ALD and STLD, the Knights of Illumination are the only international awards designed to provide public recognition to the deserving work of lighting designers in the theatre, touring and television sectors.

The presentation ceremony took place at the Hotel Ibis, Earls Court, London on 13 September 2009. Clay Paky - with support from equipment suppliers Hawthorn Theatrical and Richard Martin Lighting - set up a professional lighting rig in the Suite, mainly using the new Clay Paky Alpha 700 Spot HPE, Wash and Beam lights.

Almost 350 industry professionals attended the event, including lighting designers, manufacturers, rental companies, dealers, trade associations and the specialist media. Enrico Caironi, Clay Paky corporate marketing advisor and one of the main men behind the event, said: "We worked hard to achieve this goal. We knew we had a great chance, but also a great responsibility. I would like to thank publicly everyone who contributed to the success of the event, especially the associations ALD and STLD, without whose precious help this event wouldn't have been the same."

Among the exceptional guests that added lustre to the evening were the Italian Consul General for London Uberto Vanni D'Archirafi, the CEO of Plasa Matthew Griffiths, the CEO of ABTT Mark White, the executive director of the Theatres Trust Miss Mhora Samuel and Hans-Joachim Schwabe, deputy Chairman and CEO of OSRAM, the official sponsor of the evening.

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the 12 award-winners: four in the TV category, four for theatre and three for rock, plus a special lifetime recognition award, which was introduced and presented by the hugely entertaining John Watt. The winners were chosen from among the 30 nominees by a panel of specialist judges, coordinated by the two trade associations. The chairmen for the three award categories were Stuart Gain (television), Durham Marenghi (rock), Rick Fisher (theatre).

Each winner received a prestigious trophy - a real sword made in Toledo, Spain. According to Clay Paky: "The sword, a copy of those used by medieval knights, symbolizes the arms LDs use to defend their professional values in the world they work in. So, rather than an award, it was a true investiture!"

After the awards were presented, there was a short ceremony during which a donation was made to Light Relief, the charitable fund which was set up to look after members of the professional show lighting business who suffer through illness or injury affecting themselves or their families. Pasquale Quadri, president of Clay Paky, put the cheque into the hands of Light Relief trustees, Matthew Griffiths, John Simpson, Rick Fisher and Lesley Harmer, who expressed their appreciation for Clay Paky's gesture of awareness towards the needy in our sector.

This year's winners are listed below, accompanied by comments from respective judging panels:

John O'Brien for The Bill

This long running soap has seen many changes over the years, so it was good to see a well balanced entry for this awards. Scenes ranging from the realistic interview room, the atmosphere of the incident room and the exterior night scenes showed off all the lighting techniques used to good effect.

Chris Kempton for Friday Night with Jonathan Ross

This regular show has become a firm audience favourite. The clean lighting of the interview area combined well with the set and the band Lighting was felt to be coherent, thoughtful and exciting.

Will Charles for The Album chart Show

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