2013 San Francisco Film Society Awards
Tuesday night saw an elite group of cinema saints receive awards from the minds and hands behind the 56th annual SFIFF, the San Francisco Film Society. The red carpet was graced by the man who gave us Dolby Digital, the screenwriter of Forrest Gump, a gravelly-voiced British badass, a geek-tastic Star Wars reunion, and much more. Way Too Indie was there to capture all the red carpet magic, just for you.
Here’s a list of the recipients of this year’s awards
Peter J Owens Award for Acting—Harrison Ford
One of the most charismatic and iconic leading men of the past 40 years of cinema, Harrison Ford is a treasure. His rugged charm, commitment to his craft, and iconic performances captured the imaginations of millions. Spielberg, Lucas and Scott created wondrous worlds for us to explore, and Ford was our guide. It’s one thing to believe an actor, and another completely to believe in an actor. Ford’s work is immortal, and his characters—Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Rick Deckard—will be a part of film history forever.
Founder’s Directing Award—Phillip Kaufman
Aside from helping pen the sweeping adventures of the aforementioned Indiana Jones, Phillip Kaufman has had an extraordinarily colorful directorial career. The styles and genres of his catalog are wonderfully varied, from the San-Francisco-set indie horror of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, to the space shuttle drama of The Right Stuff, to his Marquis de Sade biopic, Quills. His constant drive to challenge and reinvent himself makes him one of the most adventurous auteurs of our time.
Kanbar Screenwriting Award—Eric Roth
Penner of great films like Forrest Gump, The Insider, and Munich, screenwriting powerhouse Eric Roth has proved that Hollywood blockbusters don’t have to be schlocky cash-grabs—his screenplays are imaginative, artistic, and deeply human, always moving and always polished. Despite their complexity and sophistication, his stories have connected with people around the globe for decades. Munich is one of Steven Spielberg’s most underrated films, and most of its strength comes from Roth’s brilliant writing. He’s a screenwriter beginners should study and a master of his craft.
Persistence of Vision Award—Jem Cohen
A cinematic experimentalist and perceptive silent watcher, Jem Cohen is a director more people should know, especially if you have an affinity for the arthouse. His quiet, observant films—typically a hybrid of documentary and fiction—are fascinating meditations on urban landscapes ravaged by modernity. We enjoyed his latest film, Museum Hours, which played at SFIFF, and recommend that you seek out his work. Cohen is one of the most unique voices in cinema today.
George Gund III Award—Ray Dolby
Yes—that Dolby. This is the guy. All of that beautiful sound spilling out of your speakers? Ray Dolby had a huge hand in making those booms, crashes, and whirrs sound so crisp and clear. An innovator in stereo sound, Dolby’s contributions are invaluable, and we all owe him a roaring round of applause (in stereo, of course.) Today, Dolby Digital is on the cutting edge of sound technology, just as the Dolby Sound System was back in 1965. If you want to talk impact, Dolby and his Dolby Laboratories have been immeasurably integral to the evolution of the movie-going experience.
Mel Novikoff Award—Peter von Bagh
Finnish director Peter von Bagh is one of the most knowledgeable film historians in the world. He’s written around 40 books on film, directed over 50 films, produced a long-running film radio series, and seen more movies than you and me combined. He’s a cinephile’s cinephile, and his love for world cinema has influenced film lovers far beyond his native Finland.