Oscar-winning and Emmy-nominated production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein will receive the Art Directors Guild‘s lifetime achievement award at the 20th Annual Excellence in Production Design awards on Jan. 31, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
“Patrizia von Brandenstein’s work as a production designer is vast and extraordinary, and we are proud to rank her among the best in the history of our profession,” said, ADG council chair Marcia Hinds. “She has forged the path for many future women, finding success in a predominately male profession.”
Von Brandenstein began her film career in 1972 as a set decorator on the drama The Candidate and subsequently worked as a costume designer on both Between the Lines and Saturday Night Fever.
Teaming with husband and fellow production designer Stuart Wurtzel on Hester Street, von Brandenstein moved into art direction. She was an art director for films as varied as the teen comedy drama Breaking Away and Milos Forman’s lavish period recreation Ragtime, for which she shared an Oscar nomination as art director.
By the early 1980s she was a full-fledged production designer. Among her notable projects was Heartland and her work with director Mike Nichols on Silkwood, Working Girl and Postcards from the Edge.
In 1985, von Brandenstein won the Academy Award for her vivid rendering for Amadeus. In 1987, she received her third Oscar nomination for Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables. She also worked on the teen musical Beat Street, the high-society comedy drama Six Degrees of Separation and The Quick and the Dead, among others.