Barry Ackroyd is an Oscar® nominated, BAFTA and European Film Award winning Director of Photography who has built a reputation for shooting some of the most provocative and dynamic films with high profile directors, including Paul Greengrass, Kathryn Bigelow, and Baltasar Kormákur. He is also known for his long collaborative filmmaking relationship with British auteur director Ken Loach.
Ackroyd‘s background in documentary films is evident in his fictional work, which is enhanced by the sensibilities he gleaned from years of documentary shooting, including on Nick Broomfield’s searing South African exposé The Leader, His Driver, and the Driver’s Wife, and the Academy Award winning Anne Frank Remembered. With director Dominic Savage, Ackroyd lensed Out of Control, and Love + Hate, as well as Gideon’s Daughter, Friends & Crocodiles, and The Lost Prince for Stephen Poliakoff. Ackroyd shot no fewer than twelve films for Ken Loach, culminating in the Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm-winning The Wind that Shakes the Barley.
He began working with director Paul Greengrass on United 93, and followed that with Green Zone, starring Matt Damon, as well as the Tom Hanks starrer, Captain Phillips, which earned him ASC and BAFTA award nominations. Other credits include Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, for which he received an Academy Award nomination and a BAFTA win. The film earned 6 Academy Awards and 6 BAFTAs as well as other numerous accolades. Ackroyd lensed the Ralph Fiennes directed Shakespearean adaptation, Coriolanus as well as Parkland, directed by Peter Landesman, and Dark Places, the Gillian Flynn novel adaptation starring Charlize Theron and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner. He recently worked with actor-director Sean Penn on The Last Face, and shot this year’s Academy Award winning The Big Short for director Adam McKay. Ackroyd is again working with Greengrass, completing work on the latest Bourne film, Jason Bourne.
Ackroyd attended Art College in the North of England, originally studying to be a sculptor; he switched to cinematography via his love of French New Wave Cinema. His career began in documentaries, but he successfully made the transition to feature films, whilst maintaining the loose, free-form discipline he honed in his early days.
As BAFTA’s Quentin Falk remarked in 2010, “Consider many of the past decade’s most influential and provocative British films, television dramas and documentaries – in occasion an eye catching mix of all three – and it’s difficult to sidestep the name of versatile cinematographer, Barry Ackroyd, BSC.”