Interview with Josh Farmelo

Mucking around with a camera
 Miguel Gonzalez
Josh Farmelo

Josh Farmelo is the winner of the 2015 NFSA-ACS John Leake OAM ACS Award for an Emerging Cinematographer.

The announcement was made during the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) National Awards, which were held on Saturday 2 May in Hobart.

We asked Josh about his inspiration, and how he felt when he shot film for the first time.


How did you develop a passion for cinematography?

I knew early on I wanted to be a filmmaker – that came from mucking around with a camera with friends, making crummy Star Wars movies, etc. The thing that most attracted me to filmmaking was the visuals, making impressive and pretty pictures, which developed into a real passion for using visuals and imagery to help tell a story.

How do you feel about being recognised by the Australian Cinematographers Society and the NFSA?

It’s huge. The recognition really means a lot – it is very encouraging and validating for a young cinematographer to be acknowledged with such an award, and it reaffirms I’m on the right track. It is really an honour to be chosen by the ACS and NFSA to receive the award and I look forward to the opportunities it will present.

What are the main challenges for an emerging cinematographer in 2015?

I think gaining that initial foothold can be difficult. There are a lot of very talented cinematographers working today, who have been working for many years, and distinguishing yourself can be challenging.

Your submission included two shorts shot digitally (with the ARRI Alexa) and one shot on 35mm. As a young cinematographer, are you mostly used to working digitally and if so, how did you find it working with film?

I’m definitely more used to working digitally, but I’d like to think that the format for most of the short films I’ve shot has been chosen based on what the director and myself thought would best benefit the story. Film and digital are different aesthetics that evoke different reactions and ideas, and I hope to continue to be able to choose between both in the future.

Josh Farmelo Cinematography Showreel 2015


What inspires you as a cinematographer?

Largely the work of other cinematographers – people like Emmanuel Lubezki, Hoyte Van Hoytema, Sean Bobbitt, Bradford Young, Greig Fraser. I also take inspiration from a lot of other visual art – from photographers like Nan Goldin, Tim Barber, Ryan McGinley, to painters like Vermeer and Caravaggio.