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Kenneth Branagh to Receive San Francisco Fest's Founder's Directing Award

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood March 19, 2012 at 1:20PM

Kenneth Branagh, who was recently nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier in "My Week with Marilyn" and directed Marvel's "Thor," will be honored with the San Francisco International Film Festival's Founder's Directing Award...
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My Week with Marilyn, Branagh

Kenneth Branagh, who was recently nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier in "My Week with Marilyn" and directed Marvel's "Thor," will be honored with the San Francisco International Film Festival's Founder's Directing Award (in honor of Irving M. Levin).  He will be presented with the award on April 26 at The Film Society Awards night (benefitting their Youth Education program) and honored at an Evening with Kenneth Branagh on April 27, during which he will participate in an onstage interview and screen his 1991 sophomore film, thriller "Dead Again." For tickets go here.

SFIFF's interim exec director Melanie Blum singled out for praise Branagh's Shakespeare films as "the most innovative stagings of Shakespeare's work ever put to the screen," as well as "his exceptional skill as an actors' director." His 15 films as a director range from "Henry V" and "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" to a film of Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" and "Sleuth," written by Harold Pinter and starring Jude Law and Michael Caine.

The SFIFF's directing award has gone to such filmmakers as Oliver Stone, USA; Walter Salles, Brazil; Francis Ford Coppola, USA; Mike Leigh, England; Spike Lee, USA; Werner Herzog, Germany; Taylor Hackford, USA; Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia/USA; Robert Altman, USA; Warren Beatty, USA; Clint Eastwood, USA; Abbas Kiarostami, Iran; Arturo Ripstein, Mexico; Im Kwon-Taek, Korea; Francesco Rosi, Italy; Arthur Penn, USA; Stanley Donen, USA; Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal; Ousmane Sembène, Senegal; Satyajit Ray, India; Marcel Carné, France; Jirí Menzel, Czechoslovakia; Joseph L. Mankiewicz, USA; Robert Bresson, France; Michael Powell, England; and Akira Kurosawa, Japan.

This article is related to: Awards, News, News, San Francisco International Film Festival, Directors, Kenneth Branagh


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Thompson on Hollywood

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.