Proud to Suit Up Award winning Cinematographer Matt Bendo

Matt Bendo wins Prestigious National Cinematography Award

Windsor native, Matt Bendo, has won Best Cinematographer for Branded Content at the 60th Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards.

Bendo, who is 24 years old, is a former graduate of the University of Windsor where he was awarded the Board of Governor’s Medal. Bendo was nominated alongside Vancouver’s Cole Graham and five-time nominee and past winner D. Gregor Hagey of Toronto. Bendo is the youngest person to win this prestigious national cinematography award in Branded Content. The award Bendo received recognizes the winning cinematographer as a true Director of Photography. A lapel pin given to each winner is proudly worn in the film community as a symbol of national recognition.

Bendo describes how, “A cinematographer is a visual storyteller that subconsciously manipulates an audience’s emotions while guiding them from one scene to the next. Through the use of precise camera movements,compelling compositions, and strokes of light, a cinematographer evokes feelings in the audience that transcend simply displaying images on a screen.”

Bendo’s commercial entitled “Storm” advertises custom exhausts created by YST & Armytrix for Lamborghini. In his acceptance speech Bendo thanked the CSC for continuing to “foster a community for cinematographers where we can all learn and grow together.“ Bendo gave tribute to co-director, Cameron Bryson (Toronto), fellow Windsor native and musician, Cal Cuffaro, who created the sound design of the commercial, University of Windsor grad Sam Pollock, who did the camera rigging for the driving shots, and Tony Lau, Bendo’s former professor at the University of Windsor and owner of Film Loft Productions of Toronto. Bendo ended his speech by thanking his mother saying “Most of all I love you mom. Thank you for supporting me endlessly in my pursuit to be an artist.” He dedicated his award to his mother, Tina and late father, Chris.

Bendo commented that, “It was such an honour just to be in the same room with such an abundance of talented Canadian cinematographers, let alone being nominated. Winning Best Cinematographer in this category is something I couldn’t even imagine happening at such a young age. I plan to continue to develop my cinematic style and in the process gain a better understanding of myself as a visual storyteller. “The Canadian Society of Cinematographers has promoted the art and craft of cinematography since 1957.

Projected NHL first-round draft pick Aaron Ekblad gets dressed for the occasion in Amherstburg

Published in the Rivertown Times  | Written By Ron Giofu

Aaron Ekblad (left) of the Barrie Colts chats with 67 Richmond St. owner Peter Leardi Friday afternoon after Ekblad was fitted for a suit at the Amherstburg clothing store. Ekblad, a Belle River native, will be wearing that Jack Victor suit on stage this Friday night at the NHL Draft in Philadelphia.

Aaron Ekblad (left) of the Barrie Colts chats with 67 Richmond St. owner Peter Leardi Friday afternoon after Ekblad was fitted for a suit at the Amherstburg clothing store. Ekblad, a Belle River native, will be wearing that Jack Victor suit on stage this Friday night at the NHL Draft in Philadelphia.

When Aaron Ekblad takes the stage at this Friday night’s NHL Draft in Philadelphia, his clothing will have an Amherstburg connection.

The Jack Victor suit Ekblad will be wearing has come from 67 Richmond St. with Ekblad being in the Amherstburg clothing store last Friday afternoon for his final fitting. Ekblad, a Belle River native, could go as high as number one in this Friday’s draft.

“Mr. Pete Leardi has been helping me out with it,” Ekblad said, referring to 67 Richmond St.’s owner. “He’s such a good man and he’s really helped me over the years inventing my style. I like to be a little bit flashy here and there but it’s good to be simple and elegant as well.”

The draft will be “pretty special” for the 6’4”, 215 lbs. 18-year-old defenseman.

“It’s an anxious time for me and my family. We’ve been working for this my entire life,” he said.

Ekblad said he has visited with representatives with the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers but, as of last Friday, had not heard from anyone from the Florida Panthers or Buffalo Sabres, owners of the top two picks. He said regardless of who selects him, he will be aiming to make the NHL next season.

“I’m going to be happy to go anywhere,” he said. “I just want to play in the NHL.”

Aaron Ekblad (left) gets fitted for the suit he will be wearing at the NHL Draft by 67 Richmond St. owner Peter Leardi. The fitting took place June 20 with the first round of the draft occurring June 27.

Aaron Ekblad (left) gets fitted for the suit he will be wearing at the NHL Draft by 67 Richmond St. owner Peter Leardi. The fitting took place June 20 with the first round of the draft occurring June 27.

While the draft is important, Ekblad added it doesn’t overshadow what he has done on the ice. He has played the last three seasons with the OHL’s Barrie Colts and was also part of the Canadian team at the World Junior Hockey Championships last season.

“(The draft) is a cool thing to be a part of but I think on-ice accomplishments are more rewarding, for sure,” said Ekblad.

Leardi stated that having Ekblad in the store was important for him, as well.

“This is special, for sure,” said Leardi.

Fellow draft hopeful Hunter Smith has been in the store, Leardi said, as has Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice. New Jersey Devils forward Adam Henrique has been a customer at 67 Richmond St.’s Tecumseh location, Leardi added.