MAYA BANKOVIC, csc
Maya Bankovic csc is a Director of Photography working in fiction, documentary and commercial cinematography. Her roots in experimental cinema extend to these formats and find their way into the types of projects she takes on, many of which strive to play with story structure and visual technique in innovative ways. Maya's most recent credits include the feature films AKILLA'S ESCAPE by director Charles Officer (TIFF '20) for which she received the 2021 Canadian Screen Award for Achievement in Cinematography, I WAS LORENA BOBBITT, available for streaming in the US and South America on Amazon Prime (Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award Nominee, 2021) and EASY LAND (TIFF '19, Amazon Prime, HBO Europe), as well as the first three seasons of Catherine Reitman's two-time International Emmy-nominated CBC/Netflix Original series WORKIN' MOMS, for which she was three times nominated by the Canadian Academy for Best Cinematography.
In the documentary sphere titles include Brett Story's THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES (Criterion Channel, Hot Docs award winner, NYT Critic's Pick),
Astra Taylor's WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? (TIFF, Sheffield), and the Netflix music series THIS IS POP. She was awarded the 2020 Canadian Screen Award for Best Photography in a Documentary Series for her work on IN THE MAKING, which celebrates contemporary artists doing political, boundary-pushing work.
Maya's love of intentional and concise visual storytelling has also allowed her to rise steadfastly as one of Toronto's busiest commercial cinematographers, and her lifelong passion for art has translated to frequent collaborations on music videos and video art installation work.
Cinematography has taken Maya all over the world and her work has screened at hundreds of film festivals including New Directors/New Films, Sundance, Ji.hlava, True/False, Beijing International, TIFF, VIFF, and BFI Flare. Her images have been called “carefully composed and often dreamily stylized” by Variety, and it is within this intersection of the technical and the impressionistic that her photographic voice has found its place.
Maya is a Director of Photography with the International Cinematographers Guild IATSE Local 667 , the ICFC, and is a full member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.
"The film boasts a unifying visual schematic captured by Maya Bankovic’s poetic cinematography."
- Michael Rechtshaffen reviews AKILLA'S ESCAPE, LOS ANGELES TIMES
"Maya Bankovic’s sharply stylized cinematography is a consistent asset, painting in reds across the spectrum from neon to dried blood, and often confining characters in tight cells of shadow."
- Guy Lodge, VARIETY
"The genre film also boasts Officer’s magic realist touches, hypnotic cinematography from Maya Bankovic and supporting performances from rapper Vic Mensa and Bob Marley’s granddaughter Donisha Rita Claire Prendergast.
- Radheyan Simonpillai reviews AKILLA'S ESCAPE, NOW MAGAZINE
"Maya Bankovic csc on AKILLA'S ESCAPE"
- cover story by Fanen Chiahamen, December 2020, CANADIAN CINEMATOGRAPHER MAGAZINE, Interview
"A slick and mesmerizing tale of crime, responsibility and what happens when the sins of one generation get passed down to another, director Charles Officer’s new thriller is an outstanding work...told from an unfamiliar perspective, and with intense beauty."
- Barry Hertz , THE GLOBE & MAIL
"A moody nighttime aesthetic by cinematographer Maya Bankovic offers the backdrop for these yearning, emotionally naked performances in a tale that grows more melancholy by the minute."
- Katie Walsh reviews WEXFORD PLAZA, LOS ANGELES TIMES
"Neither lecture nor argument, 'Prison', artfully photographed by Maya Bankovic, attempts to make the invisible visible."
- Jeannette Catsoulis reviews THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES, NEW YORK TIMES
"THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES has a consistent formal beauty that sets it apart… Story and her d.p., Maya Bankovic, make concise statements through carefully composed and often dreamily stylized images."
- Scott Tobias, VARIETY
"…it’s an artfully made work, lyrically filmed by Maya Bankovic and scored (Olivier Alary), with Simon Gervais’ ambient sound design as crucial an element as Avril Jacobson’s elegant editing."
- Sheri Linden, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"In patient, observant vignettes, the scenes serene in their composition and stately in their pacing, director Brett Story and cinematographer Maya Bankovic glance against the edges of one of America's great shames: mass incarceration."
- Alan Scherstuhl, THE VILLAGE VOICE
"In her documentary, [Story] and director of photography Maya Bankovic fuse lush, lyrical imagery and a meditative pace to create a haunting examination of the prison system’s imprint on free society that is slow-moving but never idle."
- Lydia Ogwang, CLÉO JOURNAL
"There’s a cumulative power, a headlong rush, in watching one vignette segue into another..."
- Tim Grierson, The 30 Best Documentaries of the 2010s, PASTE MAGAZINE
"Shot with elegance and precision by cinematographer Maya Bankovic, GOD STRAIGHTENS LEGS is a film of profound intimacy, generosity, and reverence for small moments of grace."
- Dan Schindel, VERTICAL FEATURES
"The Next Generation of Canadian Cinematographers"
- Chandler Levack, TIFF
"‘12 Essential Women Cinematographers’ Gathers Some of Film’s Most Brilliant Minds "
- Kate Erbland, INDIEWIRE
"The Cinematography of BELOW HER MOUTH"
- Interview by Kirill Grouchnikov, PUSHING PIXELS
"WOMEN ON SCREEN Episode 2: 'Roll On'"
- Podcast essay and interview, WOMEN ON SCREEN
- Podcast interview CINEMATOGRAPHER LIFESTYLE
"WOMEN BEHIND CANADIAN TV: MAYA BANKOVIC"
- Interview by Bridget Liszewski, TV JUNKIES
"5×5 With The Hook: Maya Bankovic."
- Interview, THE HOOK
"Maya Bankovic chases gold in THE RAINBOW KID"
- featured interview by Fanen Chiahemen, February 2016 CANADIAN CINEMATOGRAPHER MAGAZINE, Interview
"How the Women Behind BELOW HER MOUTH Made Intimacy Tangible"
- April Mullen, MOVIEMAKER
"Maya Bankovic revisits MY PRAIRIE HOME"
- featured interview by Fanen Chiahemen, April 2014 CANADIAN CINEMATOGRAPHER MAGAZINE, Interview
"Beautifully shot, this documentary-meets-musical-meets-road-movie is a sad, hopeful, gorgeous work of poetry"
- Marsha Lederman reviews MY PRAIRIE HOME, THE GLOBE & MAIL
"... A perfect visual counterpart to Spoon's music - filled with placid, contemplative stretches interrupted by sudden, striking explosions of color and drama"
- Andrew Barker, VARIETY
"Captivates the eye and ear"
- Stephen Farber, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"Like its subject matter, Sundance Film Festival favorite MY PRAIRIE HOME defies lables. It is beautiful and deeply personal cinematic poetry."
- Charles Purdy, LOS ANGELES TIMES
"...a fantastically original blend of musical sequences, on-the-road footage, first-person interview and stunning cinematography"
- Carla Gillis, NOW MAGAZINE cover story September 2013