Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas to receive 2022 Milestone Award from Producers Guild of America

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Kathleen Kennedy [Courtesy photo]

LOS ANGELES – Film producers Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas will be honored with the 2022 Milestone Award from the Producers Guild of America (PGA) for their unparalleled contributions to the film industry both individually and collaboratively through Lucasfilm.

They will accept the honor at the 33rd Annual Producers Guild Awards on March 19 at the Fairmont Century Plaza.

The Milestone Award is the PGA’s most prestigious honor, recognizing an individual or team who has made historic contributions to the entertainment industry, according to a news release.

Early recipients of this award include Louis B. Mayer, Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock, with modern-era honorees including Steven Spielberg, Bob Iger, Sherry Lansing, Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, James Cameron, Donna Langley, and more.

“Together, George and Kathleen have carved out a fantastic empire of entertainment that inspires and entertains billions, all with the highest levels of both creative and technical achievement. What George has built through his movies and through Lucasfilm has enriched every facet of filmmaking, and his colossal creativity and technical genius amazed the world. Kathleen has ascended to the highest levels of our industry, facing ever-changing challenges each time she succeeded in producing one of the brilliant and boundary breaking films she is known for. And since joining Lucasfilm as president, she has expertly exalted its IP to be even more influential and treasured around the world,” said Producers Guild of America Presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher in a joint statement.

“We’re very proud to honor George and Kathleen as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm.”

An eight-time Academy Award-nominee, Kennedy is one of the most successful and respected producers in the film industry today. As president of Lucasfilm, she oversees the company’s three divisions: Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.

Kennedy has produced or executive produced more than 70 feature films, which have collectively garnered 120 Academy Award nominations and 25 wins. Among her credits are “Jurassic Park,” “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “The Sixth Sense,” the “Back to the Future” trilogy, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Gremlins,” “The Goonies,” “Poltergeist,” “Empire of the Sun,” “Lincoln,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “Schindler’s List” and “The Color Purple.”

Kennedy has produced the films of such directors as Spielberg, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis, JJ Abrams, Julian Schnabel, Marjane Satrapi, M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Oz, Peter Bogdanovich and Richard Donner.

Plus, she is an executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning series “The Mandalorian,” which debuted on Disney Plus in 2019 and continues to be one of the most-watched series on the platform.

Kennedy also serves as a producer on all of Lucasfilm’s live-action titles in production, including Indiana Jones, “Willow,” “Andor, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and more.

Prior to joining Lucasfilm in 2012, Kennedy headed The Kennedy/Marshall Company, which she founded in 1992 with director/producer Frank Marshall. (Kennedy and Marshall have been married since 1987 and have two children.)

In 1981, she co-founded the phenomenally successful Amblin Entertainment with Marshall and Spielberg.

“I am very honored to share this award with George Lucas who has inspired a generation of filmmakers who were coming of age, not only through his storytelling but through technological innovation that unlocked our imagination,” Kennedy said in a statement.

George Lucas [Courtesy photo]

Lucas’ devotion to timeless storytelling and cutting-edge innovation has resulted in some of the most successful and beloved films of all time. His 1977 masterpiece “Star Wars” changed everything, breaking all box office records and setting new standards for sophistication in film visuals and sound. The film garnered eight Academy Awards and inspired a generation of young people to follow their imagination and dreams.

Prior to “Star Wars,” Lucas’ second film, 1973’s low-budget “American Graffiti,” became the most successful film of its time. Pushing the boundaries of storytelling, “American Graffiti” was the first film of its kind to tell multiple stories through interweaving narratives backed by a soundtrack of contemporary music.

Lucas has been the storywriter and executive producer of a series of box-office hits beginning with the continuation of the “Star Wars Saga: The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980 and “Return of the Jedi” in 1983. In 1981, he created the classic adventurer Indiana Jones, and co-wrote and executive produced the successful series consisting of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984), “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008), a franchise that has won eight Academy Awards.

Lucas has also served as executive producer on such widely varied films as “Willow,” which was based on his original story and directed by Ron Howard, and “Tucker: The Man And His Dream,” directed by Francis Ford Coppola. As executive producer, Lucas’s films also include Akira Kurosawa’s “Kagemusha” (1980) and Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth” (1986), among others.

As Lucas continued making movies, he also furthered the development of Lucasfilm Ltd. into one of the world’s leading entertainment companies for motion picture and television production, which included Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, LucasArts, Lucas Licensing, Lucas Online and Lucasfilm Animation.

In 2012, Lucas retired from corporate life. Lucasfilm Ltd. was acquired by the Walt Disney Company, with Lucas’ longtime collaborator, Kennedy, named as his successor.

“Receiving the Milestone Award from the PGA is a celebration of all that goes into bringing stories to life across a lifetime … protecting creativity while balancing business, moving technology forward to make real what you can see in your mind’s eye and doing it all from scratch most of the time,” Lucas said in a statement.

“Being recognized alongside my longtime friend and fellow producer Kathleen Kennedy makes this honoring of our shared and individual works even more meaningful.”

-BAM

 

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