16 Oscars Awarded for Best Cinematography in the 21st Century

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The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an award given annually to a cinematographer for his work in a motion picture. In the award’s early years, it became the subject of controversy. The award wasn’t tied to any specific film and only to cinematographers and their works at that time. The problem became apparent when cinematographers were nominated together for a film while others who did shots for other films were nominated individually. In 1930, a change was made wherein films were nominated and not cinematographers. Today, it follows the modern system wherein individuals were nominated for the films they worked on.
 
The first film in digital video to win the award is Slumdog Millionaire in 2009. It was followed by Avatar, who was the first nominee and winner for being entirely shot on digital video. The most awards were given to Leon Sharmroy (1942) and Joseph Rutenberg (1958), who both received four awards out of 18 and 10 nominations, respectively. The 89th Academy Award recipient of the trophy was Linus Sandgren for his work on La La Land in 2016.