Clint Eastwood to be honored at 2007 L.A. Film Festival (June 21 - July 1)

Academy Award®-winning actor and filmmaker Clint Eastwood will receive this year’s Spirit of Independence Award on June 28 at a special event sponsored by Target as part of the upcoming 2007 L.A. Film Festival, which is slated from June 21 to July 1 in Westwood.

Tony Bennett, who is the focus of a new documentary for which Clint Eastwood serves as executive producer, will present Eastwood with this honor.

In 2007, Clint Eastwood received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Director for “Letters from Iwo Jima.” In 2005, he received the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director for “Million Dollar Baby.” The film also earned Oscars for Hilary Swank (Best Actress) and Morgan Freeman (Best Supporting Actor) and nominations for three more (Best Actor for Eastwood, Best Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay). In 2003, Eastwood’s critically acclaimed drama, “Mystic River,” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, earning him a Golden Palm nomination and the Golden Coach Award. “Mystic River” went on to win six Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Screenplay) and two Oscars (Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor).

In 1993, Eastwood’s foreboding, revisionist western, “Unforgiven,” won nine Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editor and Best Sound) and four Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Editor). Eastwood also received the Academy’s Irving Thalberg Memorial Award in 1995.

Eastwood was first honored by the Golden Globes in 1971 with the Henrietta Award for World Film Favorite; in 1988, he was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. The following year, he was honored with the Golden Globe for Best Director for “Bird” and in 1993, he was awarded Best Director for “Unforgiven.” Nominated in 2004 for his direction of “Mystic River,” Eastwood took home his third Best Director Golden Globe in 2005 for “Million Dollar Baby.” He was also nominated in 2005 for his score to that film.

In addition to the Thalberg Award and DeMille Award, Eastwood’s many other lifetime career achievement awards include honors from the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild, the American Film Institute and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the French Film Society, the National Board of Review, the Henry Mancini Institute (Hank Award for distinguished service to American music), and the Hamburg Film Festival (Douglas Sirk Award). He is also the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor, awards from the American Cinema Editors and the Publicists’ Guild, an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Wesleyan University, and, as a five-time winner of Favorite Motion Picture Actor from the People’s Choice Awards, a 1999 nominee for Favorite All-Time Movie Star. In 1991, Eastwood was Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatrical Society’s Man of the Year, and in 1992, he received the California Governor’s Award for the Arts.
No stranger to the Cannes Film Festival, Eastwood served as president of the jury in 1994 and has been given Best Picture Golden Palm nominations for “White Hunter, Black Heart” in 1990, “Bird” in 1988 (which won for Best Actor and Best Sound), and “Pale Rider” in 1985.

Kasi Lemmons’ Talk to Me (Focus Features) will kick off the 2007 Los Angeles Film
Festival as the opening night film on Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 pm at the Mann Village Theatre. Starring Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Mike Epps, Vondie Curtis Hall, and Martin Sheen, the film tells the funny, dramatic, and inspiring real-life story of Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene (Cheadle), an outspoken ex-con who talked his way into becoming an iconic radio personality in the 1960s in Washington DC. Sparked by both the era's vibrant soul music and exploding social consciousness, Petey openly courted controversy at a white-owned station. Relying on his producer Dewey Hughes (Ejiofor) to run interference, Petey's unprecedented “tell it like it is” on-air style gave voice and spirit to the black community during an exciting and turbulent period in American history.

Danny Boyle’s Sunshine (Fox Searchlight Pictures) will serve as the closing night film
on July 1 at 7 pm at the Wadsworth Theatre. Starring Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, Troy Garity, Cillian Murphy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Mark Strong, Benedict Wong, and Michelle Yeoh, Sunshine begins 50 years from the present. The sun is dying and a solar winter has enveloped the earth. Our last hope: a spaceship and a crew of eight men and women. They carry a device which will breathe new life into the star. But deep into their voyage, out of radio contact with Earth, their mission is starting to unravel. Soon the crew is fighting not only for their sanity, but their lives.

Festival-goers will experience the best of American and international cinema, enjoying more than 230 feature films, shorts, and music videos, as well as Coffee Talks, Poolside Chats, and other special star-studded events. Westwood Village will showcase films and events among various venues, all within walking distance of each other, with ample, convenient parking and easy access to shopping and dining, setting the stage for the biggest Festival yet. Over the course of 10 days and 11 nights, the public is invited to take advantage of world premieres including both independent films and major studio releases, as well as tribute screenings, outdoor movies, celebrity-filled red carpets, and more.

Screenings and special events will be held in Westwood at the following locations: Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum; the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse; Mann Festival Theatre; Mann Village Theatre; Mann Bruin Theatre; Landmark’s Regent Theatre; Italian Cultural Institute; the Majestic Crest Theatre; W Los Angeles-Westwood; the Wadsworth Theatre; and the Festival Promenade on Broxton Avenue. Additional offsite event screenings will take place at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, Grand Performances at California Plaza, and the Landmark at its new location at the Westside Pavilion.

The Los Angeles Times Ticket and Pass Pavilion—where all festival-goers can purchase tickets and passes to Festival screenings starting June 16—will be located at 1031 Broxton Avenue (at Weyburn). The Target Red Room—filmmaker and press lounge – will be located at 1028 Westwood Boulevard.

For event information and tickets, call 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit Passes are available beginning May 17. Individual tickets go on sale June 8.