Friday, March 26, 2010


Award to Be Presented to Tom Luddy by Rick Nicita at “Hollywood Salutes Matt Damon:An American Cinematheque Tribute”

Rick Nicita, American Cinematheque Chairman, will Present the Telluride Film Festival's Tom Luddy with the Sydney Pollack Award at the Cinematheque's Annual Fundraising Gala on March 27 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Hollywood - Tom Luddy, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Telluride Film Festival, will be presented with the second annual Sydney Pollack Award on March 27, 2010. The Award will be presented by Rick Nicita, Chairman, Cinematheque Board of Directors. The Sydney Pollack Award is presented at the top of the evening at the American Cinematheque's benefit "Hollywood Salutes Matt Damon: An American Cinematheque Tribute" at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. This portion of the evening will not be broadcast.

About the Sydney Pollack Award
The Sydney Pollack Award is presented by the American Cinematheque in honor of Sydney Pollack (1934 - 2008).long-standing support and early leadership on the Cinematheque Board of Directors was instrumental in ensuring the Cinematheque's future. He was a member of the Board of Directors for 24 years (1984 to 2008) and served as Chairman of the Board from 1985 to 1993. Sydney Pollack's involvement with the American Cinematheque grew out of his belief in the importance of the proper exhibition of all kinds of films - old and new, American, foreign, independent, etc. in an atmosphere that encouraged a dialogue between filmmakers and the audience. He was also very aware of the importance of film preservation and independent filmmaking, and was a founding Board member of The Sundance Institute and the Film Foundation. The Sydney Pollack Award honors someone who has been of critical importance and continuing influence in non-profit film exhibition, film preservation and/or independent film distribution - people whose work Sydney supported and found to be so valuable, who are not often recognized for their efforts. The first Sydney Pollack Award was presented to Geoffrey Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer, Tribeca Enterprises on December 1, 2008. At the time, Gilmore was Director of the Sundance Film Festival.

Tom Luddy's influence in the international film scene has been felt, often quietly, since the early 1960s when his creative programming for the F.W. Murnau Film Society, Slate and the ASUC Society at the University of California, Berkeley set the stage for his work with filmmakers, offering introductions that helped launch careers and a desire to make certain their films were screened to appreciative audiences. During this period he was hired to write program notes and consult on programming for the Berkeley Cinema-Studio Guild cinemas.
Upon graduating from UC in 1966, he embarked on numerous projects, often simultaneously. Brandon Films hired Luddy as director of National Distribution where he worked with countless film societies, museums and other venues to encourage adventurous programming. In 1967 Luddy became Assistant to the San Francisco Film Festival's Artistic Director, Albert Johnson, a position he held until 1973. As Program Director and Manager of the Telegraph Repertory Cinema from 1968-1972 and a partner with veteran exhibitor Mel Novikoff at the Surf Interplayers in San Francisco, Luddy was able to offer a variety of screens to emerging directors and provide audiences a chance to discover the history of the moving image. In 1968 he curated a complete retrospective of Jean-Luc Godard on the UC campus in Berkeley with the director in attendance. Dan Talbot asked him to write the notes for the first New Yorker Films catalog. The Pacific Film Archive at Berkeley's University Art Museum opened a full-time Cinematheque in 1971 and Tom became Program Director in 1972 and was Director from 1975 to 1979. In a short period of time the bold programs at PFA became known both locally and globally, establishing the venue as one of the most important places to experience retrospectives and encounter new talent. Many filmmakers brought new works to the PFA so they could present them and obtain valuable feedback. Luddy was able to obtain many rare prints for the Archive collection, encourage restorations and gladly provide advice for others inspired by his work.

In 1974 Bill Pence, James Card and Stella Pence asked Tom to join them as Co-Founders and Co-Directors of the Telluride Film Festival, where he continues as Co-Director today. The Telluride Film Festival is presented each year over the Labor Day weekend in a remote Colorado mountain town 9,000 feet up. The programming emphasizes discovery for audiences with two dozen new features, three Tributes, numerous programs of shorts and documentaries, a selection of classic restorations (including silent films with live music) and a selection of rare movies curated by guest directors that have included Donald Richie, Salman Rushdie, Don DeLillo, Laurie Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, Stephen Sondheim, Errol Morris, Bertrand Tavernier and Alexander Payne. The program is kept a secret until that weekend.

Film festivals look to Luddy for his guidance and he has served as Associate Director of the San Francisco International Film Festival (1980-83), where he was later a Board President and currently is a member of the Advisory Board; Jury Member at Cannes, Moscow, Berlin, Cartegena, Mexico City, Morelia, Tehran and San Paolo Film Festivals; member of the New York Film Festival Selection Committee (1979-82) and West Coast Programming Consultant (1978, 1983-84); and Program Curator for the Documentary Film Institute at San Francisco State University (2005-present).
Tom Luddy has been associated with American Zoetrope since 1979. As Zoetrope's Director of Special Projects, he developed and supervised the 1981-82 worldwide revival of Abel Gance's 1927 masterpiece NAPOLEON, as well as the presentation across America of Hans-Jurgen Syberberg's seven-hour OUR HITLER - A FILM FROM GERMANY in 1980. Luddy coordinated Zoetrope's sponsorship of Godfrey Reggio's KOYAANISQATSI (1983). As an executive or film producer, he worked with Jean-Luc Godard, Gregory Nava, Akira Kurosawa, Paul Schrader, Fielder Cook, Norman Mailer, Barbet Schroeder, Godfrey Reggio, Dusan Makavejev, Carroll Ballard, Sherwood Hu and Agnieszka Holland.

The American Cinematheque Award presentation gala (now in its 24th year) funds the year-round community film programs of the American Cinematheque, the non-profit, view-supported arts organization that preserves the historic 1922 Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard and the 1940 Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.
The American Cinematheque's public programming celebrates the art of the moving picture in all of its forms -- from the classics to American independents, the latest international productions, documentaries, shorts, animation and experimental projects. Series are highlighted by screenings of rare works, special prints and audience discussions with filmmakers. The Cinematheque is dedicated to preserving the movie-going experience -- presenting films on the big screen as they were meant to be seen and heard. For more information about what you can see onscreen this week:

Read about this event and others on our website,

About American Cinematheque

Established in 1981, the American Cinematheque is a 501 C 3 non-profit viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms. At the Egyptian Theatre, the Cinematheque presents daily film and video programming which ranges from the classics of American and international cinema to new independent films and digital work. Exhibition of rare works, special and rare prints, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. The American Cinematheque renovated and reopened (on Dec. 4, 1998) the historic 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. This includes a state-of-the-art 616-seat theatre housed within Sid Grauman's first grand movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard. The exotic courtyard is fully restored to its 1922 grandeur. The Egyptian was the home of the very first Hollywood movie premiere in 1922. In January 2005 the American Cinematheque expanded its programming to the 1940 Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.