Motion Picture Academy salutes filmmaker for "illuminating lives" over 40+ years
Director Fred Wiseman is about to collect one of the biggest honors of his celebrated career.
The Motion Picture Academy announced Thursday he is one of four filmmaking veterans who will receive honorary Oscars at the annual Governors Awards in November. Actor Jackie Chan, editor Anne V. Coates and casting director Lynn Stalmaster are the other three honorees.
He created a sensation with his first documentary feature, “Titicut Follies,” which went behind the scenes at Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane.
Announcing the award, the Academy said in a statement, "From his home base in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Wiseman has made one film almost every year since 1967, illuminating lives in the context of social, cultural and government institutions."
The Academy's Board of Governors voted Tuesday night to present the awards. According to the Academy's statement, "The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given 'to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.'"
Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs added, “The Honorary Award was created for artists like Jackie Chan, Anne Coates, Lynn Stalmaster and Frederick Wiseman – true pioneers and legends in their crafts. The Board is proud to honor their extraordinary achievements, and we look forward to celebrating with them at the Governors Awards in November.”
The ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
It was just a week ago that Wiseman gave a master class in Los Angeles sponsored by the Cinefamily. The organization, which operates the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, is showcasing the early works of Wiseman this month. As part of that, a restored 35mm print of Wiseman's 1968 film High School will screen Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
For the top six words of wisdom from Wiseman from his master class,click here.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.