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News: Producers Guild Awards

John Lasseter to Be Honored with 2010 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures

Thursday, October 22, 2009  
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The Producers Guild of America (PGA), a national non-profit trade group committed to protecting the rights and credits of producers in film, television and new media, announced today that John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering will receive the 2010 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. The award will be presented to Lasseter at the 21st Annual PGA Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at the Hollywood Palladium. Lasseter is the first producer of animated films to be awarded the Selznick Award by the PGA and was the co-recipient of the PGA’s first-ever Vanguard Award in 2002.

The PGA’s Selznick Award is given in recognition of an outstanding body of work in motion pictures. The honor has a rich and distinguished history, with past recipients including such legendary producers as
Stanley Kramer, Saul Zaentz, Clint Eastwood, Billy Wilder, Robert Evans, Brian Grazer, Jerry Bruckheimer, Roger Corman, Laura Ziskin and last year, the team of Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.

"John Lasseter is a uniquely talented producer with the rare combination of technical ingenuity and creative vision. He’s a wonderful storyteller, consistently displaying extraordinary skill, humanity and
grace,” said David Friendly and Laurence Mark, co-chairs of the PGA Awards. "John”s work with both Pixar and Disney has raised the bar for producers in live-action films as well as in animation, and we’re
excited to be honoring him with the Selznick Award this year.”

Lasseter added, "David O. Selznick was one of Hollywood’s legendary producers and master showmen, and it’s a privilege to be in the company of so many other fantastic filmmakers who have received this award. Animation is a collaborative process, and I am grateful to the
incredible artists, storytellers, and technical and production wizards who have made the success of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios possible. I am thankful to the Producers Guild for this wonderful honor.”

Lasseter is a two-time Academy Award(r)-winning director and oversees all films and associated projects from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. He directed the groundbreaking and award-winning films Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2 and Cars.  Additionally, his executive producing credits include Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL.E, Bolt, and this year’s critically acclaimed Up, which enjoyed the distinct honor of opening the 2009 Cannes Film
Festival. Next up for Lasseter is Disney’s highly anticipated return to hand drawn animation with The Princess and the Frog, a musical comedy set in the great city of New Orleans.

Lasseter also has written, directed and animated a number of highly renowned short films and television commercials for Pixar, including Luxo Jr. (1986 Academy Award(r) nominee); Red’s Dream (1987); Tin Toy (1988 Academy Award(r) winner); and Knick Knack (1989), which was produced as a 3D stereoscopic film. Pixar’s Tin Toy became the first computer animated film to win an Oscar(r) when it received the 1988 Academy Award(r) for Best Animated Short Film.

In 2004, Lasseter was honored by the Art Directors Guild with its prestigious "Outstanding Contribution To Cinematic Imagery” award, and received an honorary degree from the American Film Institute. Lasseter received the 2008 Winsor McCay Award from ASIFA-Hollywood for career achievement and contribution to the art of animation. Most recently, Lasseter and his fellow directors at Pixar were honored at the 66th Venice International Film Festival with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement award.

Prior to the formation of Pixar in 1986, Lasseter was a member of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm Ltd., where he designed and animated the computer-generated Stained Glass Knight character in the 1985 Steven Spielberg-produced film Young Sherlock Holmes.

Lasseter attended the inaugural year of the Character Animation program at California Institute of the Arts and received his B.F.A. in film there in 1979.  While attending California Institute of the Arts,
Lasseter produced two animated films, both winners of the Student Academy Award(r) for Animation; Lady and the Lamp in 1979 and Nitemare in 1980. His very first award came at the age of five when he won $15.00 from the Model Grocery Market in Whittier, California, for a crayon drawing of the Headless Horseman.