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Academy Governors Pick November Award Winners: Katzenberg, Needham, Pennebaker and Stevens, Jr.

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 6, 2012 at 2:17AM

Wednesday night the Academy board of governors convened to pick this year's winners of the Academy's Governors Awards. DreamWorks animation czar Jeffrey Katzenberg will take home the coveted Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award on December 1.
Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg

Wednesday night the Academy board of governors convened to pick this year's winners of the Academy's Governors Awards.

For the fourth year, the annual event will be held at what was the Kodak Theater (now the Dolby) at Hollywood and Highland, on December 1. It's not televised; it's a night when the film industry gets to together over dinner and celebrates achievement--incuding the coveted Jean Hersholt humanitarian award, the Irving Thalberg award and honorary Oscars-- without having to worry about fitting into ABC's global kudocast.

It's great that the Academy is stepping outside the box to award innovative stuntman Hal Needham ("Little Big Man," "Chinatown"), documentarian D. A. Pennebaker ("Don't Look Back") and preservationist George Stevens, Jr. with honorary Oscars. And thanks to his longstanding work with the Motion Picture Film and Television Fund, the Hersholt Humanitarian Award goes to DreamWorks Animation honcho and philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The Academy Honorary Award is given for "extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy." The Thalberg Award is given to "a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production."

The Governors Awards will be produced by PR branch board member Cheryl Boone Isaacs, with support from producer Don Mischer. Oprah Winfrey, John Calley, Lauren Bacall, James Earl Jones, Francis Ford Coppola, Gordon Willis and Dick Smith are among recent Governors Award winners.

Full bios are below.

This article is related to: Awards, Awards, Oscars

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.