Gabriel Beristain

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Gabriel Beristain
Luis Gabriel Beristáin

(1945-05-09) 9 May 1945 (age 77)
Alma materInstituto Politécnico Nacional
National Film and Television School
Years active1983–present

Luis Gabriel Beristáin, ASC, BSC, AMC is a Mexican cinematographer, producer, and television director[1][2] known for his work on numerous well-known films including The Distinguished Gentleman, The Spanish Prisoner, Blade II, and Street Kings, and several entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe including the Agent Carter television series.[3]

He has collaborated with filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro, Derek Jarman, David Mamet, and David Ayer. He is an active member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.[4]

Life and career[edit]

Beristain was born in Mexico City, the son of actor Luis Beristáin.[5] His interest in filmmaking began with his involvement in Mexico's independent film scene in the seventies.[6] He studied Engineering at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional, and later joined a new film studies program at the school, while also producing audiovisual training materials for the health department.

After filming a number of documentaries, he founded a small commercial production company, before moving to Italy in 1977. At the recommendation of director Sergio Leone, he relocated to the United Kingdom, where he enrolled in the prestigious National Film and Television School, which accepted only 25 students a year.[7] He was one of only five foreigners to be accepted into the school, and studied cinematography under Oswald Morris and Billy Williams.[8]

His first feature film as cinematographer was the 1983 Colombian horror film Bloody Flesh (Spanish: Carne de tu carne, "Flesh of Your Flesh"), for which he won the Best Cinematography Award at the Bogotá Film Festival. His work on Derek Jarman's 1986 film Caravaggio earned him a Special Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.[9] Beristain was one of several cinematographers on the 1987 anthology film Aria, which was nominated for a Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.[10] Allen Daviau suggested he move to Hollywood, where he could apply his talents and unique insight into both Mexican and Anglo cultures.[11] Beristain has been a member of the British Society of Cinematographers since 1990, and the American Society of Cinematographers since 2002.

While working in 2005's S.W.A.T., Beristain became friends with executive producer Louis D'Esposito, who after helping form Marvel Studios invited Beristain to do additional photography for Iron Man. He wound up in the same function in six other Marvel Cinematic Universe films, and also served as cinematographer for the D'Esposito-directed Marvel One-Shot short films Item 47 (2012) and Agent Carter (2013), as well as the television series Agent Carter. Beristein would eventually have his first feature for the studio as cinematographer in 2021's Black Widow.[12]


Gregg Toland, Freddie Young, Emmanuel Lubezki, Roger Deakins[13]



Year Title Director Notes
1983 Bloody Flesh Carlos Mayolo Bogotá Festival Award for Best Cinematography
1984 On a Clear Day You Can See Damascus Eran Riklis
1985 Christmas Present Tony Bicât
1986 Caravaggio Derek Jarman Special Silver Bear Award
1987 Aria Ken Russell
Nicolas Roeg
Bill Bryden
Segments: "Turnadot", "I pagliacci" & Wraparound
1988 Joyriders Aisling Walsh
The Courier Frank Deasy
Joe Lee
1989 Venus Peter Ian Sellar
1990 Waiting for the Light Christopher Monger
1991 The Orchid House Horace Ové
K2 Franc Roddam
1992 The Distinguished Gentleman Jonathan Lynn
1993 Blood In Blood Out Taylor Hackford
Fatal Instinct Carl Reiner
1994 Greedy Jonathan Lynn
1995 Dolores Claiborne Taylor Hackford
1997 Trial and Error Jonathan Lynn
The Spanish Prisoner David Mamet
1998 Tale of the Mummy Russell Mulcahy
1999 The Comet José Buil
Marisa Sistach
Nominated- Silver Ariel Award for Best Cinematography
Molly John Duigan
2002 Blade II Guillermo del Toro
2003 S.W.A.T. Clark Johnson
2004 Blade: Trinity David S. Goyer
2005 The Ring Two Hideo Nakata
2006 The Shaggy Dog Brian Robbins
The Sentinel Clark Johnson
2007 The Invisible David S. Goyer
2008 Street Kings David Ayer
2009 Princess Kaiulani Marc Forby
2010 And Soon the Darkness Marcos Efron
2011 There Be Dragons Roland Joffé
2012 Item 47 Louis D'Esposito Marvel One-Shot short film
2013 Agent Carter
2014 The Book of Life Jorge R. Gutierrez
2021 Black Widow Cate Shortland
2023 Harold and the Purple Crayon Carlos Saldanha Post-production

Additional photography credit[edit]

Year Title Director DoP. Notes
1993 Wide Sargasso Sea John Duigan Geoff Burton Director of Photography: Northern England
1996 The Ghost and the Darkness Stephen Hopkins Vilmos Zsigmond 2nd unit photography
1999 The Green Mile Frank Darabont David Tattersall Director of Photography: Contemporary sequences
2006 The Last Time Michael Caleo Tim Suhrstedt Additional photography
2008 Iron Man Jon Favreau Matthew Libatique
2010 Iron Man 2
2012 The Avengers Joss Whedon Seamus McGarvey
2013 Iron Man 3 Shane Black John Toll Director of Photography: China
Thor: The Dark World Alan Taylor Kramer Morgenthau Additional photography
2014 Sabotage David Ayer Bruce McCleery Director of Photography: Los Angeles
Fury Roman Vasyanov
Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn Ben Davis Additional photography[14]
2016 Suicide Squad David Ayer Roman Vasyanov
2017 Thor: Ragnarok Taika Waititi Javier Aguirresarobe


Year Title Notes
1987 Lost Belongings Miniseries; 6 episodes
1988 Troubles Miniseries; 2 episodes
1991 The Orchid House Miniseries; 4 episodes
1998 I'm Telling You for the Last Time Live special
2002 The Legacy Failed pilot
2010 Hawaii Five-0 Episode: "Pilot"
2012–13 Magic City 11 episodes
2014 The Strain 4 episodes
2015 Agent Carter 8 episodes
Exit Strategy Failed pilot
2016–18 MacGyver 22 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "GABRIEL BERISTÁIN". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  2. ^ "Close up: Gabriel Beristain, Cinematography". OConnor. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  3. ^ "Gabriel Beristain | Shooters Films USA". Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  4. ^ "About". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  5. ^ "About". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  6. ^ "GABRIEL BERISTÁIN". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  7. ^ "GABRIEL BERISTÁIN". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  8. ^ "GABRIEL BERISTÁIN". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  9. ^ "About". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  10. ^ "ARIA - Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  11. ^ "GABRIEL BERISTÁIN". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  12. ^ "'Black Widow' Cinematographer Gabriel Beristain Featured in THR's 'Behind the Screen'". The Hollywood Reporter. July 8, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "The ASC -- American Cinematographer: ASC Close-Up:". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  14. ^ "GABRIEL BERISTÁIN". Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  15. ^ "CIFF Announces Programming Highlights For 2021 Film Festival". Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News. Retrieved 2021-11-14.

External links[edit]