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SFIFF53 to Honor Robert Duvall with Owens Acting Award

The San Francisco Film Society announced today that Robert Duvall will be the recipient of the Peter J. Owens Award to be presented at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival (April 22 - May 6). The Owens Award, named for the longtime San Francisco benefactor of arts and charitable organizations and Film Society board member, honors an actor whose work exemplifies brilliance, independence and integrity. The award will be presented to Duvall at Film Society Awards Night on Thursday, April 29 at the Westin St. Francis.

The Film Society's much-lauded Youth Education program will be the beneficiary of the black-tie fundraiser honoring Duvall. Also honored at the gala event will be James Schamus, recipient of the Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting, and Walter Salles, who will receive the Founder's Directing Award for his masterful filmmaking career. Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein are chairs of this year's Film Society Awards Night, and Penelope Wong and Timothy Kochis are the honorary chairs.
 
The onstage tribute to Duvall, 7:30 pm, Friday, April 30 at the Castro Theatre, will feature a clip reel of career highlights, an onstage interview and a screening of his most recent film Get Low. Three legendary Hollywood iconoclasts (Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek) anchor this Southern-flavored tale directed by Aaron Schneider and penned by Mad Men's Chris Provenzano about a Tennessee backwoods outcast (Duvall) who decides to throw his own funeral-while still alive.
 
"Robert Duvall is inarguably one of the world's greatest actors," said Graham Leggat, executive director of the San Francisco Film Society. "We're absolutely thrilled to honor a man who has delivered so many unforgettable performances in his extraordinary career, creating characters as wide ranging as Boo Radley, consigliere Tom Hagen, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore and now Felix Bush, in Get Low, to name only a few of his more than 130 indelible roles."

Hailed by The New York Times as "the American Laurence Olivier," Duvall's nearly 50 years on the screen have made him one of cinema's most respected and beloved actors. From his screen debut as the mysterious and misunderstood Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird to his indelible Academy Award-nominated performances in The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Great Santini, Tender Mercies (best actor winner), The Apostle and A Civil Action, Duvall has demonstrated an astonishing range and a capaciousness of spirit that has kept him in demand throughout his remarkable career.
 
Last year, Duvall acted in the post-apocalyptic feature The Road with Viggo Mortensen and produced and acted in the critically acclaimed Crazy Heart starring Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal and featuring a soundtrack composed by Oscar-winner T Bone Burnett.
 
Duvall's impressive roster of additional feature film credits includes The Chase, The Detective, Bullitt, The Rain People, True Grit, M*A*S*H, THX 1138, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Network, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, The Natural, Days of Thunder, Colors, Rambling Rose, The Scarlet Letter, The Sixth Day, John Q, Deep Impact, Gone in 60 Seconds, Gods and Generals, Open Range, Kicking and Screaming and We Own the Night.  In 2008, he appeared in the holiday blockbuster Four Christmases.
 
In 1995 Duvall formed Butchers Run Films to become more actively involved in all aspects of film and television development and production. In addition to Crazy Heart and Get Low (produced by Rob Carliner, Joey Rappa, Dean Zanuck and David Gundlach) the company's filmography includes the miniseries Broken Trail, which garnered multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and a Directors Guild Award; A Family Thing which earned a Humanitas Award; and Assassination Tango, directed, written, produced by and starring Duvall.
 
Previous recipients of the Film Society's Peter J. Owens Award are Robert Redford, Maria Bello, Robin Williams, Ed Harris, Joan Allen, Chris Cooper, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, Stockard Channing, Winona Ryder, Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage, Annette Bening and Harvey Keitel. The Peter J. Owens Award is made possible through a grant from the Peter J. Owens Trust at the San Francisco Foundation.
 
For tickets and information for Film Society Awards Night only call 415-561-5005.
For tickets ($20 Film Society members/$25 general) and information on the tribute to Duvall at the Castro Theatre visit sffs.org or call 925-866-9559.

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