The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a list of people who are set to receive Honorary Awards from the Board of Governors. On late Wednesday, September 5, the organization named stunt performer Hal Needham, documentarian D.A. Pennebaker and arts advocate George Stevens Jr. as the recipients for the prestigious prizes.
Additionally, the Academy confirmed that philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg would be honored with the Jean Hesholt Humanitarian Award, the same prize which was given to Oprah Winfrey last year. All the four awards would be handed out to the honorees at the Academy's 4th Annual Governors Awards dinner on Saturday, December 1 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.
Stuntman Needham has worked in more than 300 movies, including "The Spirit of St. Louis", "How the West Was Won", "Blazing Saddles", "Little Big Man" and "Chinatown". A co-founder of Stunts Unlimited, Needham was presented with a Scientific and Engineering Award in 1986 for the design and development of the Shotmaker Elite camera car and crane.
Pennebaker, on the other hand, was a pioneer of modern nonfiction movies and has helmed more than 20 feature-length documentaries such as "Don't Look Back", "Monterey Pop", "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" and "Moon over Broadway". His work on "The War Room" earned an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary in 1994.
Stevens Jr. was nominated for Oscar thanks to his producing work in the documentary short subject "The Five Cities of June". He was also the founding director of the American Film Institute. As for Katzenberg, he served as chairman of the board for the Motion Picture and Television Fund and was acknowledged for his works in raising money for education, art and health-related causes, particularly those benefiting the motion picture industry.
The Honorary Award was given to those who have "extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy." Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, meanwhile, is presented to an individual whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the film industry.