In July, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival presented British film historian Kevin Brownlow with their 2010 Silent Film Festival Award. And now, word has gotten out that the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted last night to present an Honorary Award to the renowned historian and film preservationist.
The award to Brownlow, along with Honorary Awards to director Jean-Luc Godard and actor Eli Wallach, as well as the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producer-director Francis Ford Coppola, will be presented at the Academy’s 2nd Annual Governors Awards dinner on November 13 in Hollywood.
“Each of these honorees has touched movie audiences worldwide and influenced the motion picture industry through their work,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “It will be an honor to celebrate their extraordinary achievements and contributions at the Governors Awards.”
The Academy announcement read, in part, "Brownlow is widely regarded as the preeminent historian of the silent film era as well as a preservationist. Among his many silent film restoration projects are Abel Gance’s 1927 epic Napoleon, Rex Ingram’s The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and The Thief of Bagdad (1924), starring Douglas Fairbanks. Brownlow has authored, among others, The Parade’s Gone By; The War, the West, and the Wilderness; Hollywood: The Pioneers; Behind the Mask of Innocence; David Lean; and Mary Pickford Rediscovered. His documentaries include Hollywood, Unknown Chaplin, Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow, Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius and D.W. Griffith: Father of Film, all with David Gill; Brownlow also directed Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic and Garbo, the latter with Christopher Bird."
Above is a snapshot of Brownlow (seated center, looking at a book) surrounded by some of the other film historians present at the at the 2010 Festival.