ALD announces Awards for Excellence winners
Tuesday, 14 January 2020
aldLucia Sanchez Roldan, joint winner of the Michael Northen Award for Lighting Design, receives her award from ALD chair, Johanna Town
UK - The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) has announced the 2019 recipients of its Awards for Excellence.
The awards celebrate imaginative and creative lighting and video production and offer young designers a chance to showcase their talents and bringing their work to the attention of experienced lighting and video designers and the wider industry.
The event was rebranded for its 2019 edition, with changes to the prizes and the introduction of a new award category, The Fred Foster Award for Production Electrics, created to “balance the recognition of talent demonstrated across the membership profile”.
The Michael Northen Award for Lighting Design was awarded jointly to Lucia Sanchez Roldan from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Rose Bruford’s Ryan Joseph Stafford.
Roldan’s work was described as “beautiful (…) with strong design, clear choices, and great angles” by the judges, whilst Stafford was commended for his ambition to create different looks for each piece, keeping only side light as the constant.
Johanna Town, ALD chair, presented Lucia with her prize, which comprised a copy of Northen’s book Northen Lights, a £500 cash prize and a 512 ETCnomad Package, a one-year Vectorworks licence, and a six-month mentoring scheme with a team of industry professionals. Stafford received the same prize but was unable to make the event due to pre-existing work commitments.
Meanwhile, LIPA’s Tracy Gibbs won the Blue-I Media Award for Video Design, presented by ALD president Richard Pilbrow. The judges were impressed with her “beautifully presented portfolio that really conveyed how she liked to work as well as the end results”. The prize was a £500 cash prize plus a £1,250 hire credit from the sponsors towards her first commercial venture, as well as the six-month mentoring scheme with a team of industry professionals.
The first winner of the Fred Foster Award for Production Electrics, sponsored by ETC, was Rohan McDermott of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The award was presented by ETC’s regional sales manager for Ireland, & UK rigging, Mark White, a friend and colleague of ETC’s legendary CEO, Fred Foster, who passed away last February.
Rohan’s award comprised of a £500 cash prize, a 512 ETCnomad package, a one-year Moving Light Assistant software licence, a one-year subscription to the Association’s PLI insurance alongside the six-month mentoring scheme with a team of industry professionals. The judges remarked that Rohan’s documentation was “outstanding”.
Town comments: “With the annual lighting lunch growing in such proportions, with this year being the largest gathering to date, it is an honour to award and introduce the best up-and-coming talent before the wider realm of lighting industry professionals.
“The ALD Awards for Excellence not only provide an important launchpad for young would-be professionals but also provide a valuable opportunity for feedback on and improvement of a working portfolio which remains a mainstay for the acquisition of quality work in theatre.”
Steve Huttly, ALD Awards committee member and head of this year’s judging panel, adds: “Judged by a panel of eight leading practitioners, it was really hard to pick just one winner in the awards because the quality of the entries was so high. In the end, the panel believed the only fair outcome was to award a joint first prize for the Michael Northern Award for Lighting Design.”
(Jim Evans)

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