Originally from Louisville, KY Bradford Young is a cinematographer who studied under the tutelage of filmmaker Haile Gerima. As a cinematographer Bradford is most concerned with finding the sublime in the ordinary. His works ambition is to explore and celebrate small local things, photographically.
Bradford Young has emerged as one of the most sought after artists working today. He was the first African-American cinematographer to be nominated for an Academy Award for the film Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve, in 2017. His latest film was Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard, and he just wrapped the Netflix series, Central Park 5, for director Ava Duvernay. Additional film contributions include: Ava DuVernay’s SELMA, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture and won for best Original Song. JC Chandor’s A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, for which Bradford was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography in a Motion Picture.
Ed Zwick’s PAWN SACRIFICE. David Lowrey’s AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS and Andrew Dosunmu’s MOTHER OF GEORGE for which he was awarded the 2013 Sundance US Dramatic Competition Excellence in Cinematography Award for both films. Dee Rees’ PARIAH, for which he won the 2011 Sundance US Dramatic Competition Excellence in Cinematography Award. Ava DuVernay’s MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Tina Mabry’s, MISSISSIPPI DAMNED, Paola Mendoza’s ENTRE NOS and Andrew Dosunmu’s, RESTLESS CITY. When Bradford isn’t working as a cinematographer on feature films and commercials, he is in practice as a film installation artist. His installation Bynum Cutler, which explores the mythos behind Black American homesteader culture, through sculpture and film, opened as part of Creative Time’s Funk, Jazz, God, Medicine series at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, New York. Bynum Culter was filmed on location in Brooklyn, New York. Other installation works include Untitled (Structures) and (Levels) in collaboration with sculpture artist and photographer, Leslie Hewitt. Both installations address the perceivable limits of still photography and the photojournalistic forms associative of the ‘civil rights’ era.
Bradford was named “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine in 2009 and Variety Magazine’s “Up Next 25 Masters of Their Craft” that same year. Bradford was also profiled in Variety Magazine’s prestigious “10 Cinematographers to Watch 2015”.
Bradford is a 2014 inductee into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as a 2015 inductee into the American Society of Cinematographers.