VANJA ČERNJUL, ASC - director of photography
Born in Croatia, Vanja Černjul earned his first cinematography degree from the Academy of Dramatic Arts at the University of Zagreb in 1991. Graduation ceremonies coincided with the first political and military actions that triggered the Croatian War of Independence. Days after graduation, he pledged his skills to reporting the upheaval to the rest of the world and joined the ranks of international journalists providing combat footage for international news outlets like BBC, CNN and NBC. Employed directly by Worldwide Televison News (Associated Press TV) and Vis News (Reuters TV), his syndicated coverage of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia took him into hazardous and personally demanding situations that shaped his attitudes towards life, work and aesthetics. In 1995, facing a domestic film industry in collapse and driven by the ambition to become a narrative Director of Photography, Vanja moved to New York and enrolled in the MFA program of the Tisch Graduate School of the Arts at NYU.
He has since photographed 18 feature films, numerous hit television programs and countless other projects with a wide range of collaborators. His feature work has been honored with the Stockholm International Film Festival Best Cinematography Award for Rain (Katherine Lindberg, director), the Pula Film Festival Golden Arena for Best Cinematography for Ćaća (Dalibor Matanić, director), and the Avignon/New York Film Festival Kodak Vision Award for The Photographer (Jeremy Stein, director). Vanja has earned two Primetime Emmy Nominations for "Outstanding Cinematography" for his work on NBCs comedy series 30 Rock and the Showtime/Lions Gate TV series Nurse Jackie. His work on the HBO TV series Bored to Death has been nominated for the ASC Award for cinematography.
In 2013, Vanja's induction into the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), recognized his track record of creative and professional excellence. He is also an active member of the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600), Imago (European Federation of Cinematographers), HFS (Croatian Society of Cinematographers) and The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences .
Vanja Černjul’s recent work includes feature films City Island (Raymond De Felitta, director), Violet and Daisy (Geoffrey Fletcher, director) and The English Teacher (Craig Zisk, director) and the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black (Jenji Cohan, creator). Vanja is based in New York City.