I guess we won't be seeing the first female President of the United States in 2009, but we could at least see the first female cinematographer nominated for an Academy Award (in the cinematography category, that is). In the 80 years of the Oscars there hasn't been one female nominee for Best Cinematography. Shocking, isn't it? But fortunately there's a chance for next year's ceremony: Mandy Walker, who shot Baz Luhrman's war epic Australia, could be a shoo-in for one of the five nomination slots if the film is Oscar-worthy in general.

The Oscar blog In Contention points out the possibility in a recent post celebrating Walker's reception Tuesday evening of the Kodak Vision Award at the Women in Film's Crystal + Lucy Awards (other honorees included Salma Hayek, Sherry Lansing, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Diane English and the ensemble of The Women). Clearly we only need to look at the trailer to see that Walker's work on the film is gorgeous and might have a shot. In Contention also notes Walker's previous achievements, such as her Independent Spirit Award nomination for Shattered Glass. Other female DPs are recognized in the post, as well: Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind); Lisa Rinzler (Pollock); and Maryse Alberti (Velvet Goldmine). Interestingly enough, all three of these women do a lot of great work on documentary films, which tend not to be recognized in the cinematography Oscar category. But if somehow Australia is a failure and is therefore completely ignored by the Academy (yes, it's possible it could be nominated for that award while not being recognized elsewhere), it's good knowing that there are indeed other talented females that could also be contenders one day.

Other Oscar categories that desperately need female nominees include Best Sound, which In Contention notes has also never had a woman in the running, and Best Director, which has only recognized three female nominees (Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion and Lina Wertmüller).

[via The Envelope]