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Los Angeles Festivals Reports for
from Lisa Murray...

Los Angeles Film Festival- June 21 through July 1, 2007-


Clint Eastwood will receive this year’s Spirit of Independence Award at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Clint Eastwood will receive this year’s Spirit of Independence Award at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival. 

The Spirit of Independence Award will be given to Eastwood at a special event on Thursday, June 28 sponsored by Target.  Tony Bennett, who is the focus of a new documentary for which Clint Eastwood serves as executive producer, will present Eastwood with this honor.

The Spirit of Independence Award event is an opportunity for emerging filmmakers to hear Eastwood speak about his work, his creative process, and his influences. The 13th Los Angeles Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, June 21, running through Sunday, July 1, 2007.Clint Eastwood has been called an icon, a maverick, a legend and every superlative in between, yet it’s utterly impossible to encapsulate the talents and accomplishments of his independent spirit and his singular vision for honest storytelling,” said Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of Film Independent.  

“We are thrilled to celebrate this remarkable artist for his independent voice and daring career choices that have been an inspiration for filmmakers and film lovers alike."  “We’re so proud to be announcing this year’s Target Filmmaker awards alongside Clint Eastwood, whose very work embodies the creativity that Target supports,” said Laura Sandall, Director, Target Events Marketing and Publicity.

The Spirit of Independence Award was created to recognize and honor an individual who has remained true to their work and vision; someone who has consistently made and continues to make artistic choices regardless of difficulty; someone who has dared to think differently; and someone who stays true to their independent spirit through their work in the independent and studio worlds.  Eastwood’s unusual and varied choices reinforce his commitment to groundbreaking and innovative independent films.  He exemplifies a true independent spirit.As part of this evening honoring Clint Eastwood, a work in progress highlight of “Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends” will be presented.  The documentary about Bennett is a continuation of a body of documentary films developed and made under Eastwood’s direction and guidance that includes “Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser,”   “Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall,” “Clint Eastwood’s Piano Blues,” and    “Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That.”  These documentaries are similar in nature to the Tony Bennett documentary in that Eastwood appeared on camera with the likes of  Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, and Quentin Tarantino.  The Bennett documentary will include an intimate conversational interview with Eastwood and Bennett, as well as archival footage and never before seen performance footage.  Set for release later this year, “Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends” will be the definitive portrait of the Tony Bennett legacy – his life and career.  The film is being produced and distributed by Netflix, with Clint Eastwood serving as Executive Producer.  The film is directed and produced by Bruce Ricker, and edited by Joel Cox.           

The winners of the Target Filmmaker Awards will also be announced at the Spirit of Independence Award event.  Committed to supporting new talent in the film industry, the Festival and Target through their partnership are able to award two promising directors with the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature and the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Documentary Feature, which each carry an unrestricted $50,000 cash prize funded by Target. 

Target established these two grants because they believe in supporting the arts and art education, including the art of independent filmmaking.Steve Collins received the 2006 Target Filmmaker Award for his dramatic feature film, Gretchen. Amy Berg received the 2006 Target Filmmaker Award for her documentary, Deliver Us From Evil.  Deliver Us From Evil recently received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary.In 2007, Clint Eastwood received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Director for “Letters from Iwo Jima.”  In 2005, he received the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director for “Million Dollar Baby.”  The film also earned Oscars for Hilary Swank (Best Actress) and Morgan Freeman (Best Supporting Actor) and nominations for three more (Best Actor for Eastwood, Best Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay). 

In 2003, Eastwood’s critically acclaimed drama, “Mystic River,” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, earning him a Golden Palm nomination and the Golden Coach Award.  “Mystic River” went on to win six Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Screenplay) and two Oscars (Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor). 

In 1993, Eastwood’s foreboding, revisionist western, “Unforgiven,” won nine Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editor and Best Sound) and four Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Editor).  Eastwood also received the Academy’s Irving Thalberg Memorial Award in 1995.  Eastwood was first honored by the Golden Globes in 1971 with the Henrietta Award for World Film Favorite; in 1988, he was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.  The following year, he was honored with the Golden Globe for Best Director for “Bird” and in 1993, he was awarded Best Director for “Unforgiven.” 

Nominated in 2004 for his direction of “Mystic River,” Eastwood took home his third Best Director Golden Globe in 2005 for “Million Dollar Baby.”  He was also nominated in 2005 for his score to that film.In addition to the Thalberg Award and DeMille Award, Eastwood’s many other lifetime career achievement awards include honors from the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild, the American Film Institute and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the French Film Society, the National Board of Review, the Henry Mancini Institute (Hank Award for distinguished service to American music), and the Hamburg Film Festival (Douglas Sirk Award). 

He is also the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor, awards from the American Cinema Editors and the Publicists’ Guild, an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Wesleyan University, and, as a five-time winner of Favorite Motion Picture Actor from the People’s Choice Awards, a 1999 nominee for Favorite All-Time Movie Star.  In 1991, Eastwood was Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatrical Society’s Man of the Year, and in 1992, he received the California Governor’s Award for the Arts.

No stranger to the Cannes Film Festival, Eastwood served as president of the jury in 1994 and has been given Best Picture Golden Palm nominations for “White Hunter, Black Heart” in 1990, “Bird” in 1988 (which won for Best Actor and Best Sound), and “Pale Rider” in 1985. The inaugural Spirit of Independence Award was presented to George Clooney in 2005, with Charlize Theron receiving last year’s honor.  The Festival is proud to add Clint Eastwood to this list of immensely talented and deserving artists.

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Murray Lisa
(SkyGirl Productions)

Blogging from Los Angeles:
Lisa Murray and more correspondants keep you up to date of Los Angeles film events.
Watch out for our coverage of the Los Angeles Film Festival
- June 21 through July 1, 2007-


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