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Art Directors Guild's Cinematic Imagery Award to Lucas

Revolutionary director/producer, George Lucas has been selected to receive the Art Directors Guild's (ADG's) coveted honorary Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award, it was announced today by Thomas A. Walsh, ADG President, and Awards co-producers John Sabato and John Janavs. Known for pushing the limits of design and cinematography, Lucas has been the creator, storywriter and executive producer of a series of visually groundbreaking feature films, most notably the Star Wars Saga, which garnered ten Academy Awards. The films broke all box-office records and set new standards for sophistication in film visuals and sound. Lucas has also worked in various roles with luminary filmmakers and storytellers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Akira Kurosawa and more.

George Lucas
The Cinematic Imagery Award is given to an individual whose body of work in the film industry has richly enhanced the visual aspects of the movie-going experience. Previous recipients of this honor are Clint Eastwood, Blake Edwards, Terry Gilliam, Ray Harryhausen, Norman Jewison, John Lasseter, Frank Oz, Steven Spielberg, Robert S. Wise and Zhang Yimou. The award will be presented to Lucas as one of the highlights of the 13th annual Art Directors Guild Awards on February 14, 2009 during black tie ceremonies at the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Eight ADG awards in production design categories for television, theatrical motion pictures and commercials will also be presented, along with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Production Designer Paul Sylbert. In addition, there will also be a presentation of the five newest Production Designers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame: Ted Haworth, Mac Johnson, Romain Johnston, John Meehan and Harold Michelson.

Lucas' career began in 1971, when he transformed an award-winning student film into his first feature, THX-1138. Lucas' second feature film, the low-budget American Graffiti (1973), became the most successful film of its time. Pushing the boundaries of storytelling, American Graffiti was the first film of its kind to tell multiple stories through interweaving narratives backed by a soundtrack of contemporary music.

In 1981, he created the classic adventurer Indiana Jones, and co-wrote and executive-produced the successful series consisting of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), a trilogy that won eight Academy Awards. Later, a television series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, won 12 Emmy Awards. Nearly 20 years after Indy rode off into the sunset in Last Crusade, Lucas brought the man in the hat back to the big screen in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, for which he wrote the story and served as executive producer. The film became the #1 film worldwide for 2008.

Lucas has also served as executive producer on such widely varied films as Willow, which was based on his original story and directed by Ron Howard; and Tucker: The Man And His Dream, directed by Francis Coppola. As executive producer, Lucas's films also include Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha (1980), Mishima (1985), Latino (1985), Howard the Duck (1986), Labyrinth (1986), as well as 1994's Radioland Murders.

Lucas returned to directing in 1999 with Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, the year's biggest box-office hit, which was also the first major live-action film to be projected digitally. Three years later, Episode II Attack of the Clones broke new ground as the first major movie shot using entirely digital media. In 2005, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, the final movie in the epic saga, was the top-grossing film worldwide. In addition, Lucas is executive producing Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the first project from Lucasfilm Animation. Set between Episodes II and III of the live-action saga, The Clone Wars brings Star Wars to TV in weekly installments.

As Lucas has continued making movies, his Lucasfilm Ltd. has grown into one of the world's leading fully integrated entertainment companies. Lucas has also taken a leadership role in applying his technical and storytelling expertise to the classroom, engaging students through interactive multimedia environments. He is chairman of the board of the George Lucas Educational Foundation and also serves on the board of the Film Foundation and is a member of the USC School of Cinematic Arts Advisory Board.

Over the years, Lucas has received some of the entertainment industry's highest honors, including the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Visual Effects Society. He has also received the nation's highest award for technological achievement, the National Medal of Technology, presented by the President of the United States for 30 years of innovation at Industrial Light & Magic.

TV and commercial submission forms for the ADG's Excellence in Production Design Awards are now available, with submissions due on November 21. Forms can be accessed from the ADG's website at Theatrical films are automatically entered if they have been in theatrical distribution in the Los Angeles area for seven successive days prior to December 31, 2008. Nomination ballots are due January 8, 2009 and nominations will be announced on January 9. Final ballots are due February 12 and winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on February 14.

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