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Gibson awarded producer of the year at Hollywood fest

Academy Award-winning producer/director MEL GIBSON will receive the "Hollywood Producer of the Year Award"

The Hollywood Film Festival's Board of Advisors, co-chaired by Paula Wagner, is proud to announce that this year's festival will honor Oscar(r) winning producer/director MEL GIBSON with its "Hollywood Producer of the Year Award."

The award will be bestowed upon Mr. Gibson as part of the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony on Monday evening, October 18, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Other industry professionals who will be honored for their achievements at the Gala Awards Ceremony are John Travolta for lifetime achievement, Michael Mann for directing, Bob Berney for leadership, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Dean Robert Rosen for film preservation, John Logan for screenwriting, Caleb Deschanel for cinematography, Sally Menke for editing, Thomas Newman for film composing, John Dykstra for visual effects, Albert Wolsky for costume design, Stuart Craig for production design, Ve Neill for make-up, Debra Zane for casting, and DreamWorks' "Shrek 2" for animation. In addition, Jamie Foxx and Keira Knightley will be honored with the festival's Breakthrough Acting awards, and Zach Braff with the "Hollywood Breakthrough Director of the Year Award."

"Mel Gibson's career exemplifies extraordinary ability, craftsmanship, and determination. He is an excellent example of a highly talented filmmaker whose work and creative vision are to be honored," festival founder Carlos de Abreu said.

MEL GIBSON has earned numerous honors for his work as a producer, director and actor, including winning Best Picture and Best Director Academy Awards and a Best Director Golden Globe Award for "Braveheart" (1995), among many other awards and nominations. Most recently, Mr. Gibson independently produced and directed "The Passion of the Christ," with exquisite cinematography by Caleb Deschanel and distribution by Newmarket Films, which quickly became a worldwide phenomenon and giant box office success, grossing more than $370 million in the U.S. and an estimated total of $604 million worldwide. Mr. Gibson is also a producer of this year's "Paparazzi," from 20th Century Fox, directed by Paul Abascal. He was also a producer of "The Singing Detective" (2003), directed by Keith Gordon, which had a Gala Premiere screening at last year's festival.

Mel Gibson was born in upstate New York and moved to Sydney, Australia, with his family when he was twelve. He studied acting and appeared on stage, which led to being cast in the title role of "Mad Max" in 1979. That same year he played the gentle mentally handicapped man in "Tim." His international stardom was further cemented by Peter Weir's "Galipoli" and by "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior."

Mr. Gibson teamed with Peter Weir again for "The Year of Living Dangerously," then made his American debut in "The River," played the mutineer Fletcher Christian in Roger Donaldson's "The Bounty," performed as the young convict in Gillian Armstrong's "Mrs. Soffel," and starred in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." Next came the beginning of the immensely successful action-adventure franchise, "Lethal Weapon" in 1987, which he followed with
"Tequila Sunrise," "Lethal Weapon 2," "Air America," and "Bird on a Wire."

Mel Gibson formed Icon Productions with partner Bruce Davey to produce "Hamlet" (1990), directed by Franco Zeffirelli. He has since starred in several Icon projects, including "Forever Young," "Maverick," "Payback," and "What Women Want," while continuing to work in films produced by other
companies, such as Ron Howard's "Ransom" and Richard Donner's "Conspiracy Theory." Mel Gibson also made his directorial debut in 1993 with Icon's "The Man Without a Face."

In 2000, Mr. Gibson became the first actor to star in three films in the same year that have each grossed $100 million domestically: in Roland Emmerich's "The Patriot," as the voice of Rocky in DreamWorks' "Chicken Run," and in the Paramount/Icon Productions smash hit "What Women Want." In 2002, he starred as real-life Vietnam War hero Gen. Harold Moore in Randall Wallace's "We Were Soldiers" and as the Rev. Graham Hess, confronting an Alien invasion in M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs."

The 2004 Annual Hollywood Film Festival, which will take place from October 12 to 18, incorporates in its activities the HOLLYWOOD FILM CONFERENCE, HOLLYWOOD FILM SCREENINGS, and HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS.
The screenings and conference will take place at the Arclight Theatres in Hollywood. The Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Monday, October 18.

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