LOS ANGELES — The Advanced Imaging Society (https://theadvancedimagingsociety.com) announced that Academy Award-winning director and producer Damien Chazelle will be honored with the annual Gene Kelly Visionary Award. The honor will be presented at the 2023 AIS Lumiere Awards, set to take place Friday, February 10th, at The Beverly Hills Hotel.
Chazelle will join previously-announced honorees James Cameron and Jon Landau (Voices For the Earth Award) at the 13th annual awards luncheon event. The inaugural Gene Kelly Visionary Award went to Academy Award-nominated writer/director Guillermo Del Toro in 2022.
“Damien Chazelle, like Gene Kelly, is an American original whose films burst with unbounded wit, intelligence and style, which he aptly demonstrates as he retells Hollywood’s earliest days as it moved from silent films to talkies in his latest work, Babylon,” says Jim Chabin, president of AIS. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to honor him this year.”
Presenting the award to Chazelle will be Kelly’s widow and biographer Patricia Ward Kelly.
“Damien’s passion about movies and music certainly links him with Gene [Kelly],” says Kelly. “But so do his brightness, his pursuit of excellence, his fine vision and his determination to forge new ground. Soon after I met Damien, it was clear to me that he did, indeed, wish to learn as much as he could, and would be a stellar candidate for this award. Frankly, I look forward to seeing anything Damien does! I am extremely proud to present him with the Gene Kelly Visionary Award at the 2023 Lumiere Awards.”
Chazelle’s most recent film is Babylon, which offers both a stunning vision of Los Angeles as an iconic American city on the make, and a decadent foray into the ravishing celebrations and dark complexities that defined early Hollywood. Chazelle’s credits include First Man, the riveting story of NASA's mission to land a man on the moon, which garnered four Oscar nominations, and won Best Achievement in Visual Effects. He previously wrote and directed the modern musical La La Land, which earned 14 Oscar nominations, winning six awards, including Best Director. The film also won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes and was also honored with five BAFTA wins and 11 nominations. His 2014 film Whiplash received five Academy Award nominations and three wins, including Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons.
The Lumiere Awards have been presented over the last decade to the industry’s most respected creative and technical leaders. In addition to awards for motion pictures, episodic and new media content, the society will bestow awards for best musical motion picture, best musical scene or performance, best immersive audio and more.