Canon adds filmmakers to Explorers of Light Program

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Canon U.S.A., Inc.,  announced six filmmakers will join its celebrated Explorers of Light program, welcoming a new class of storytellers focused on the craft of cinematography. Canon’s newest Explorers of Light include cinematographers Christine NgClaudia RaschkeDavid Klein, ASC, and Shana Hagan, ASC, as well as directors Matthew Heineman and Rudy Valdez.

“For 30 years, the Explorers of Light program has been a platform for education and inspiration,” said Brian Mahar, senior vice president and general manager, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Today, we are proud to widen the aperture on the craft of visual storytelling by welcoming a group of filmmakers known for their boundary-breaking cinematography and commitment to mentorship. Each of our newest members will add incredible value to the program and to the filmmaking community at large.”

The new class of award-winning Explorers of Light will join the 35 current members of the program to share their unique perspectives and decades of industry experience with aspiring creatives.

Christine Ng, Cinematographer (Poker Face, ZIWE, Between the World and Me)

Christine Ng is a Hong Kong-born, New York-raised cinematographer and a graduate from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her cinematography work spans commercials, music videos, documentaries and narrative. The first commercial she shot was filmed on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon lenses and aired during Super Bowl XLVI. The first feature-length documentary Christine shot was the Emmy®-nominated and Critic’s Choice Award-winning Everything is Copy for HBO.

Named a Rising Star of Cinematography by American Cinematographer in 2022, Christine’s work has screened at festivals worldwide including SXSW®, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Outfest, LA Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, New York Film Festival, IFFBoston and many more. In addition, she shot the film adaptation for Ta-Nehisi Coates’s critically acclaimed Between The World and Me. She shot three episodes of Issa Rae’s latest show, Rap Sh!t and two seasons of Ziwe, a variety show produced by A24 for Showtime. Most recently, she shot four episodes of Rian Johnson’s TV series, Poker Face starring Natasha Lyonne for Peacock.

Claudia Raschke, Cinematographer (Julia, My Name is Pauli Murray, RBG)

Claudia Raschke is a world-renowned cinematographer, best known for her ability to bring rich tones of the motion picture to a diverse spectrum in films, from purely commercial ventures, through feature-length documentaries, to lower-budget works of art. Among her notable award-winning films are: Academy Award® -nominated and Emmy -winning RBGGod is the Bigger Elvis; Academy Award -short-listed Mad Hot BallroomJuliaBoys State; Peabody Award-winning Black Magic and My Name is Pauli Murray; Critics Choice Award-nominated Fauci and The House of Hammer, as well as documentary series’ for National Geographic®, Discovery, Showtime®, and CNN. Currently, Claudia is in production of an eight-part documentary series for the History Channel to be released in 2025.

She is also a founding member of the NYC Kamera Kollektiv, a boutique agency for documentary and feature film cinematographers in New York City and a member of AMPAS.

David Klein, ASC, Cinematographer (The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Homeland)

Cinematographer David Klein, ASC has spent over three decades perfecting his craft and captivating audiences with his visual storytelling.

His remarkable career includes lensing iconic indie film classics such as ClerksClerks IIMallratsCop OutRed State and Chasing Amy, with director Kevin Smith. In 2014 and 2016, Klein received Emmy® nominations for Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series for his work as the Director of Photography on Showtime®’s Emmy® winning series Homeland. He also served as the Director of Photography for HBO dramas’ True Blood and Deadwood: The Movie where he earned a third Emmy® nomination in 2019.

Most recently, David has been on the forefront of virtual production shooting cutting-edge episodes of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett for Disney+.

Matthew Heineman, Director/Cinematographer (American Symphony, Retrograde, Cartel Land)

Matthew Heineman is an Academy Award®️-nominated, nine-time Emmy®️-winning, and two-time DGA Award winning-filmmaker. In 2019, he received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First Time Feature Film Director from the Directors Guild of America for his narrative debut, A Private War — making Heineman and Martin Scorsese one of only two filmmakers ever nominated for both narrative and documentary DGA Awards. Heineman most recently directed American Symphony, which earned Academy Award®️ and BAFTA nominations and won a PGA and two Critics’ Choice Awards.

Heineman previously directed and produced Retrograde which was shortlisted for an Academy Award®️, won three Emmy awards, and was nominated for DGA and PGA Award. It also received a Producing Award from DOC NYC and was honored with the Edward R. Murrow Award for Feature Documentary. His previous film, The First Wave was also shortlisted for an Academy Award®️ and won three Emmy®️ awards, including Best Documentary. Heineman previously directed Cartel Land, which was nominated for an Academy Award®️ and won three Emmy awards and a DGA Award; City of Ghosts, for which he won a DGA Award; and two seasons of the Emmy®️-winning docuseries The Trade. He also directed HBO’s Emmy-winning Tiger and The Boy From Medellin.

Rudy Valdez, Director/Cinematographer (Choir, Carlos, The Sentence)

About Rudy: Rudy Valdez, a two-time Emmy-winning filmmaker, is known for his commitment to telling engaging stories that explore a variety of cultural, social, and political themes. Through his distinct cinematic approach, Valdez captures the essence of human emotions and experiences, earning him critical praise and recognition as an influential figure in the film industry. Notable works include the Emmy-nominated The Sentence, which follows his sister’s journey through the criminal justice system, and Translators, a touching exploration of Latino families through the perspectives of their young translators. Valdez’s recent projects include directing the docuseries Choir for Disney+ and the acclaimed Carlos, a documentary tracing the life of music legend Carlos Santana.

As the founder of Bluff Road Films, Valdez is dedicated to amplifying meaningful stories while promoting diversity both in front of and behind the camera.

Shana Hagan, ASC, Cinematographer (Somebody Somewhere, Welcome to Flatch, The Kingmaker)

About Shana: Shana Hagan has shot Academy Award® and Emmy®-winning documentaries including the Academy Award®-winning Breathing Lessons, Academy Award®-nominated Walk Run Cha-ChaReturn to Space with Chai Vasarhelyi and Explorer of Light Jimmy Chin, The Kingmaker for director and Explorer of Light Lauren Greenfield, 63Up and Married in America with Michael Apted, The Conductor with Bernadette Wegenstein and twenty-one Sundance Film Festival selections, including Generation Wealth, Queen of Versailles, Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, and Shakespeare Behind Bars.

Shana’s scripted work includes projects with Paul Feig, Jenny Bicks, and the Duplass Brothers, and the critically-acclaimed series Somebody Somewhere for HBO and Fox’s half-hour docu-comedy Welcome to Flatch. She is a member of The American Society of Cinematographers, the DGA, AMPAS, ATAS, the ICG, the IDA and BAFTA.

Shana was the first woman to shoot on the hit reality series Survivor and was nominated for an Emmy® for her work on Survivor: China. She shot four seasons on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, was the Second Unit DP on Netflix’s Arrested Development, and has shot commercial spots for Disney, Electronic Arts, Kohl’s, the US Army, Kodak, Verizon, and others.

Shana is also a U.S. State Department American Film Showcase Ambassador and has traveled globally to teach Master Class Workshops to young Ethiopian filmmakers. She enjoys mentoring students and has guest lectured at many film schools.