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Chris Challis BSC 18.3.1919 – 31.5.2012


We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Chris Challis BSC, who died last Thursday 31st May aged 93, after a brief stay in Bristol hospital.    A charming gentleman with a wonderful sense of humour, Chris will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.     A respected Cinematographer with a movie making career spanning more than 47 years during which he photographed over 60 productions including The Riddle of the Sands, Force 10 from Navarone, The Deep, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Arabesque, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, The Victors, The Battle of the River Plate and Genevieve.   He won a BAFTA in 1967 for his cinematography on Arabesque (1966) along with 3 BAFTA nominations for The Victors (B/W) (1964), Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965) and The Deep (1977).   In honour of his career BAFTA held a tribute lunch for lunch on 21st November 2011.   Chris served during the war in the RAF Film and Photographic Unit.   More to follow.


  1. DAVID A ELLIS says:

    I was saddened to hear of Chris Challis’ death. I interviewed him for my book Conversations with Cinematographers and found him to a very friendly and helpful person. He leaves behind some wonderful films.
    David A Ellis

  2. James Howard says:

    Christopher Challis was not only a superb cinematographer but, like his great friend Jack Cardiff, a true gentleman – when I was writing a book on Michael Powell in the 1990s, Christopher was living in Scotland and, though unable to write due to a hand injury, patiently recorded his thorough replies to my endless questions onto a cassette and posted it on to me. I had hoped to contact him again for the revised edition now nearing completion….


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