HOLLYWOOD, CA (January 2013) – The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation announced veteran Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy as the 2013 Pioneer of the Year honoree. The award dinner will take place in April at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.
Eight-time Academy Award® nominated Kathleen Kennedy is one of the most successful and respected producers and executives in the film industry today. She joined Lucasfilm in 2012, personally selected by George Lucas to lead the company. As a testament to her standing in the film community, she is currently Vice President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), as well as sitting on the Academy’s Board of Governors.
Kennedy has produced or executive produced over 60 films, which have received 132 Academy Award nominations and 25 Oscars. Among her credits are four of the highest grossing films in history: Jurassic Park, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Sixth Sense, as well as such blockbuster entertainment as the Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Gremlins, The Goonies, Poltergeist, War of the Worlds, Twister and A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Her diverse filmography also includes the acclaimed dramas Lincoln, War Horse, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Munich, Seabiscuit, Schindler’s List and The Color Purple, and the animated motion pictures The Adventures of Tintin, Persepolis, An American Tail and The Land Before Time.
Kennedy has produced films from the celebrated directors Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis, M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Oz, Peter Bogdanovich and Richard Donner.
Prior to joining Lucasfilm, Kennedy headed The Kennedy/Marshall Company, which she founded in 1992 with director/producer Frank Marshall, and in 1982 Kennedy co-founded the phenomenally successful production company Amblin Entertainment with Marshall and Steven Spielberg.
“We are extremely grateful that Kathleen will accept this well-deserved honor and help raise funds for the Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund,” said Chris Aronson, president of WRMPPF and president of Domestic Theatrical Distribution of 20th Century Fox. “She is the embodiment of what makes this industry so special – a passion and dedication to the creative process and the desire to assist those who need a helping hand. We look forward to celebrating this evening at CinemaCon 2013.”
The Pioneer of the Year dinner, an industry tradition for 70 years, honors leaders of the motion picture industry and within the philanthropic community. Past honorees include Cecil B. DeMille, Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck, Frank G. Mancuso, Jack Valenti, Terry Semel, Sumner Redstone, Sherry Lansing, Alan Horn, Jeff Blake, Mike Campbell, Dick Cook and last year”s honoree Jeffrey Katzenberg. Proceeds from the event go to the Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund (MPPAF), an industry charity that helps movie industry veterans who are encountering an illness, injury or life-changing event.
“We are thrilled to host the Pioneer of the Year Dinner and help pay tribute to one of the icons of our industry,” said David Passman, Chairman of the National Association of Theater Owners. “The Pioneer of the Year Dinner has become one of our highlight events at CinemaCon and knowing NATO and its members are there to lend a helping hand to this great organization is so meaningful to us all. We are already looking forward to the 2013 ‘Pioneer Dinner’ in honor of a true motion picture pioneer and philanthropist, Ms. Kathleen Kennedy.”
The Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund is operated by the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. For more information about the Pioneer of the Year Dinner or the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, please call (888) 994-3863 or visit www.wrpioneers.org.
Named after one of the greatest humanitarians, philanthropists and entertainers – Will Rogers – the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation perpetuates his legacy through the works of two programs, the Will Rogers Institute and the Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund.
A hospital created for Vaudevillians stricken with tuberculosis, the National Vaudeville Association Hospital was renamed the Will Rogers Memorial Hospital in 1936, as a tribute to Will Rogers. The hospital became a national training facility for doctors treating patients with tuberculosis, becoming known as the Will Rogers Institute. In 2002, the Will Rogers charity merged with the Foundation of Motion Picture Pioneers (FMPP) and became the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. Today, WRMPPF operates two distinct programs, under the names Will Rogers Institute and the Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund.
The Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund continues the mission of FMPP by helping individuals from the motion picture community who are encountering an illness, injury or life-changing event. Social workers provide confidential consultations and financial assistance on a short-term or long-term basis, in order to help a person get back to a normal life or continue living with dignity.
Contact: Todd Vradenburg Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation (818) 755-2324 or firstname.lastname@example.org