The first Oscar winners of the season are already here. Groundbreaking filmmaker David Lynch, Cherokee-American actor Wes Studi, director Lina Wertmüller and actress Geena Davis will all be receiving honorary Oscar statuettes at the Governors Awards in October, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday.
Davis will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her work advocating for gender equality in media as the founder of a non-profit organization, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and the female-focused Bentonville Film Festival. The 63-year-old actually has won an Oscar before, for her supporting performance in The Accidental Tourist, and was also nominated for Thelma & Louise.
The three other honorary Oscars are intended to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry, but have not yet taken home Oscar gold.
Lynch, 73, is a four-time Oscar nominee for The Elephant Man, in which he was nominated for what is now known as adapted screenplay and best director. His other nominations are for best director for Blue Velvet and Mulholland Dr.
Studi, 71, has never received an Oscar nomination, but has been part of a number of Oscar-nominated and winning films like Dances with Wolves, The Last of the Mohicans, The New World, and Geronimo: An American Legend.
At 90, Wertmüller is perhaps unfairly the least famous of the recipients, but broke enormous ground for women in the industry when she became the first woman to get a best director nomination for the film Seven Beauties in 1976. Wertmüller lost out to John G. Avildsen, who won for Rocky. Only four other women have followed in getting that best director nomination: Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow and Greta Gerwig, and Bigelow is the only woman who has won.
The film academy’s board of governors voted on this year’s recipients Saturday, months earlier than usual to accommodate the shortened awards calendar this year.
“These Governors Awards given by the Academy each year recognize individuals who have devoted themselves to a lifetime of artistic accomplishment and brought outstanding contributions to our industry, and beyond,” said film academy President John Bailey in a statement.
The 11th annual ceremony will be held on Oct. 27, a month earlier than usual, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood just steps away from where the Oscars will take place on February 9, 2020.
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