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ASC award for Irwin Winkler

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Irwin Winkler Will Receive
ASC Board Of Governors Award

LOS ANGELES, November 4, 2003—Irwin Winkler will receive the 2004 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Board of Governors Award which is presented annually to an individual who has made significant and memorable contributions to advancing the art of filmmaking. Winkler will be feted at the 18th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards on February 8, 2004, at the Century Plaza Hotel.

“Irwin Winkler has earned the admiration and respect of our members for his extraordinary work as a producer and director of artful and meaningful films that linger in your memory long after you have seen them,” says Owen Roizman, ASC, who chairs the organization’s awards committee. Roizman shot True Confessions and The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, which were produced by Winkler. “He is a true artist who has frequently blazed new trails that many other filmmakers have followed.”

Winkler has compiled numerous credits since launching his career with Double Trouble in 1967. His films have earned 12 Oscars® in major categories in addition to another 33 nominations. Winkler took Best Picture honors for Rocky, which he produced with Robert Chartoff in 1976, with other nominations in the category for Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, Goodfellas and They Shoot Horses Don’t They? His other memorable credits include such classics as Music Box, Betrayed, Round Midnight and New York, New York. Winkler is currently directing and co-producing De-Lovely, a musical drama based on the life of composer-songwriter Cole Porter.

This is the only award that ASC reserves for filmmakers who aren’t cinematographers. Winkler joins an impressive list of former recipients, including Gregory Peck, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Warren Beatty, Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Wise, Norman Jewison, Sally Field, Jodie Foster, Fay Kanin, Stanley Donen, Sheldon Leonard, and film critic Charles Champlin.

“Irwin Winkler is a consummate visual storyteller who has a unique understanding of and appreciation for the collaborative role that cinematographers play as authors of the images,” says ASC President Richard Crudo. “It is no coincidence that so many of his films are distinguished by innovative cinematography.”

Michael Chapman, ASC (Raging Bull), Caleb Deschanel, ASC (The Right Stuff) and Michael Ballhaus, ASC (Goodfellas) earned Oscar nominations for films produced by Winkler. Crudo observes that artful cinematography is a common denominator woven into the fabrics of stories that Winkler produces and directs.

Winkler is a native New Yorker. He began his career as a messenger at the William Morris Agency after graduating from New York University. Winkler and Robert Chartoff formed what proved to be a long relationship as co-producers in 1967. Their first film, Double Trouble, featuring Elvis Presley, was released by MGM. The following year, they co-produced Point Blank, a cult classic, which launched John Boorman’s career as a director. The cinematographer was Phil Lathrop, ASC.

Winkler is a devotee of American literature, who credits the works of novelists Steinbeck, Dreiser and Dos Passos with inspiring his interest in producing and directing dark, introspective and often controversial films. Crudo notes that Winkler is a risk-taker, who will do what it takes to get the films he believes in made. In 1975, when no studio was willing to invest in Rocky, he and Chartoff mortgaged their homes to fund the film.

Winkler added a new dimension to his role as filmmaker when he directed Guilty by Suspicion in 1991. His other notable directing credits include Night and the City (1992), which he also produced, The Net (1995) and Life As a House (2001).

The ASC was chartered in January 1919 for the purpose of advancing the art and craft of filmmaking. There are some 215 active members today in many parts of the world, and another 135 associate members from allied disciplines that support the art and craft of cinematography.

For information about ASC and the 18th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards, visit the ASC website (www.theasc.com) or call 323-969-4333.

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(note: a headshot of Irwin Winkler is available upon request.)

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