The Visual Effects Society has named Lucasfilm EVP/GM Lynwen Brennan as the forthcoming recipient of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her valuable contributions to visual arts and filmed entertainment.
The award will be presented at the 20th Annual VES Awards on March 8 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. As previously announced, acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro will receive the VES Award for Creative Excellence.
The VES Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed by the VES Board of Directors, recognizes an individual with an outstanding body of work who has significantly contributed to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry. The VES will honor Brennan for her dedication to the industry and advancement of unforgettable storytelling through visual effects.
Brennan is a driving force for creativity, collaboration and synergy, and cutting-edge endeavors at the forefront of the visual effects industry. At the helm of a vast operational portfolio, Brennan has been instrumental in Lucasfilm’s creation of groundbreaking entertainment, pioneering visual effects, sound design, and computer animation for TV and film.
“Lynwen has elevated visual effects as an integral element of the art and production of moviemaking,” said VES Board Chair Lisa Cooke. “She is a powerhouse talent with incredible business savvy, sharp creative and technical instincts, and a vision that has delivered some of the most popular movie franchises of all time. Lynwen’s keen sense of culture and community, coupled with her leadership in the global industry, is paving the way for future generations of artists, innovators and executives. We are very proud to honor such an exemplary role model with the VES Lifetime Achievement Award.”
As General Manager and Executive Vice President of Lucasfilm — home to the legendary Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises — Brennan oversees all businesses, including Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound. She is responsible for the development and execution of Lucasfilm’s business strategy, and works across each division to implement the company’s vision. Brennan was integral in the creation of ILMxLAB, which combines the talents of Lucasfilm, ILM, and Skywalker Sound to break new ground in creating interactive storytelling and immersive entertainment experiences.
Brennan joined the Lucasfilm family in 1999 as the Technical Area Leader at Lucasfilm’s storied visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic. She rose through the ranks to become President of ILM in 2009, and guided the studio through one of its most successful periods. Under her leadership, ILM added three new studios to its global footprint and expanded their studios in San Francisco and Singapore. In February 2015 she was promoted to General Manager and EVP of Lucasfilm.
In 2016, Brennan was awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for her contributions in support of the UK’s visual effects industry. This was followed in 2019 with a Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television from the British Academy of Film and Television Art in Wales, BAFTA Cymru.
Brennan serves as a studio representative for Lucasfilm’s company-wide women’s initiative and sponsors Women in Animation in addition to lending her passionate support to the education and development of female artists and engineers.
Previous winners of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award have included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemeckis, Sir Ridley Scott, Sir Peter Jackson, Jon Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall, Ray Harryhausen, Stan Lee, John Dykstra, Chris Meledandri, and VES members Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, and Ken Ralston.