LOS ANGELES — The Visual Effects Society (VES) has named Chris Meledandri as the forthcoming recipient of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his valuable contributions to filmed entertainment. Meledandri is an Oscar-nominated producer and the founder and CEO of Illumination, the studio known for its work on Despicable Me and
Minions. The award will be presented at the 17th Annual VES Awards on February 5th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The VES Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed by the VES board of directors, recognizes an outstanding body of work that has significantly contributed to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry. VES will honor Meledandri for his unique ability to bring animation into the lives of audiences worldwide and create unforgettable characters that have become part of pop culture. Meledandri’s leadership and creative approach to storytelling have built one of the most pre-eminent brands in family entertainment, by developing humor-based comedic films that strike the balance between subversive and emotionally engaging, and appeal to all ages and on a global scale.
“Chris Meledandri has greatly contributed to the advancement and ever-increasing success of mainstream animated entertainment over the last 20 years,” says Mike Chambers, VES board chair. “He is an amazing creative force and powerhouse producer, whose unique vision has delivered some of the most popular movie franchises of all time. His leadership in the industry is paving the way for future generations of artists and producers and he has helped redefine the profile of animation and visual effects on a global scale. We are very proud to honor Chris with the VES Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Since founding Illumination in 2008, Meledandri has become one of the most successful creators of original film franchises. In just a decade, Illumination produced two of the five highest-grossing animated films of all time, as well as the highest-grossing animated franchise in history: Despicable Me. Collectively, the company’s portfolio spans eight films, including the December 2018 release Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, The Secret Life of Pets, Sing, Minions and Despicable 3.
Prior to Illumination, Meledandri, an Academy Award nominated producer, was the founding president of 20th Century Fox Animation, where he created the hugely successful Ice Age franchise. Illumination’s upcoming films include The Secret Life of Pets 2, Minions 2 and Sing 2.
Previous winners of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award include James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, John Dykstra, Frank Marshall & Kathleen Kennedy, Sir Ridley Scott and Ken Ralston.