Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Frederick Wiseman< Back
08 | 29 | 2014
Two American filmmakers, film editor Thelma Schoonmaker and film director Frederick Wiseman, are the recipients of the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement of the 71st Venice International Film Festival (27 August – 6 September 2014).
The decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta, on the recommendation of the Director of the Venice Film Festival Alberto Barbera.
Frederick Wiseman is an independent documentary filmmaker. He has made 39 documentaries and 2 fiction films: dramatic narrative films that seek to portray ordinary human experience within a wide variety of contemporary social institutions. His documentaries include Titicut Follies (1967), Welfare (1975), Public Housing (1997), Near Death (1989), La Comédie Française ou L’amour joué (1996), La danse – Le ballet de l’Opéra de Paris (2009) and At Berkeley (2013, presented at the Venice Film Festival as were six of his previous films). Wiseman has won many awards including four Emmys, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He also works in theatre, where he directed The Last Letter, based on the novel Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman, and Happy Days by Samuel Beckett at the Comédie Française. His most recent work is National Gallery (2014), presented at the latest Cannes Film Festival.
The Awards Ceremony of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Frederick Wiseman will take place on Friday 29 August at 5:00 pm in the Palazzo del Cinema - Sala Grande.
Frederick Wiseman is an independent documentary filmmaker. Since 1967 he has directed 41 films, 39 of them documentaries—dramatic, narrative films that seek to portray ordinary human experience in a wide variety of contemporary social institutions. His subjects have included a state hospital for the criminally insane, a high school, a welfare center, juvenile court, a boxing gym, ballet companies in New York and Paris, Central Park, a racetrack, and a Parisian cabaret theater. New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis writes: “Taken together, this is work that presents a sweeping, continuing portrait of modern America, its institutions, social relations, administrative and bureaucratic controls and of course—right at the center of this filmmaker’s unyielding frame—its people.” Mr. Wiseman has directed two fiction features, Seraphita’s Diary (1982) and The Last Letter (2002). He also works in the theater. In Paris he directed The Belle of Amherst, the play by William Luce about the life of Emily Dickinson, and two plays at La Comédie Française—Samuel Beckett’s Oh Les Beaux Jours, and La Dernière Lettre, based on a chapter of Vasily Grossman’s novel, Life and Fate. He also directed The Last Letter (the English version of La Dernière Lettre) at the Theater for a New Audience in New York. The French publisher, Gallimard, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, jointly published the book, Frederick Wiseman, which offers a comprehensive overview of his work through a series of original essays by distinguished critics and artists.
Mr. Wiseman received his BA from Williams College in 1951 and his LLB from Yale Law School in 1954. He has received honorary doctorates from Bowdoin College, Princeton University, and Williams College, among others. He is a MacArthur Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has won numerous awards, including four Emmys. He is also the recipient of the Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Society (2013); the George Polk Career Award (2006); and the American Society of Cinematographers Distinguished Achievement Award (2006), among many others. In addition, Frederick Wiseman is a member of multiple artistic associations, including: Theater for a New Audience; The Artistic Council and Board of Directors, Festival Committee, Human Rights Watch International Film Festival; Honorary Member, Les Amis du Cinéma du Réel Association; and a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.