Writer-director Charles Burnett, cinematographer Owen Roizman, actor Donald Sutherland and director Agnès Varda will all be recipients of honorary Oscars. The recipients will be presented at the Academy’s 9th Annual Governors Awards on November 11.
Academy president John Bailey said, “This year’s Governors Awards reflect the breadth of international, independent and mainstream filmmaking, and are tributes to four great artists whose work embodies the diversity of our shared humanity.”
Burnett wrote, directed, produced, photographed and edited his first feature film, Killer of Sheep. His other features include My Brother’s Wedding, To Sleep with Anger, The Glass Shield, and Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation. Burnett also has made several documentaries including America Becoming and Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, and such short films as The Horse, and When It Rains.
Five-time Oscar nominee Roizman earned recognition for his work on The French Connection, The Exorcist, Network, Tootsie, and Wyatt Earp. Roizman represented the Cinematographers Branch on the Academy’s Board of Governors from 2002 to 2011.
With more than 140 film credits spanning six decades, Canadian-born Sutherland began his career with small roles in British and Italian films before his breakthrough in The Dirty Dozen. Since then he has starred in such varied films as M*A*S*H, Don’t Look Now, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Ordinary People.
Belgian-born Varda has been called the mother of the French New Wave. Her first feature, La Pointe Courte– which she wrote and directed with no formal training – is considered to be the film that inspired the movement. Varda has experimented with all forms of filmmaking from shorts to documentaries to narrative feature films during her more than 60-year career, including such works as the New Wave classic Cleo from 5 to 7, and Le Bonheur.
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.”