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Milos Forman honored at SFIFF this April

Director, Producer, Writer in San Francisco April 22

Milos Forman will receive the Film Society Award for Lifetime Achievement in Directing at the 47th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 15–29). The Award will be presented to Forman by Danny DeVito on Thursday, April 22, 2004 at Film Society Awards Night at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. The San Francisco Film Society will be the beneficiary of the gala black-tie fundraiser honoring Forman and actor Chris Cooper, recipient of the Peter J. Owens Award. Pat and Susie McBaine are the chairs of the Film Society Awards Night committee. Honorary chairs are Edward G. and Laleh Zelinsky. A public presentation, including a compilation of clips from Forman’s illustrious career, an onstage interview and a screening of HAIR (USA, 1979) is scheduled for Friday, April 23. Additionally, his films TAKING OFF (USA, 1971) and THE FIREMEN’S BALL (Czechoslovakia, 1967, SFIFF 1968), will be shown on Sunday, April 18, at the Castro Theatre. The Film Society Award for Lifetime Achievement in Directing is sponsored by Bulgari.

Roxanne Messina Captor, executive director of the San Francisco Film Society, announced Forman’s upcoming appearance at Film Society Awards Night with enthusiasm, remarking that, “The films of Milos Forman evince an eclectic and questing nature and portray the vagaries of human beings with great humor and pathos.”

Born in Czechoslovakia, this genre-busting filmmaker first received worldwide acclaim with the touching romance LOVES OF A BLONDE (Czechoslovakia, 1966) and the comedic satire THE FIREMEN’S BALL. After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, he resettled in the United States, making his English-language debut with TAKING OFF, a charming look at America’s burgeoning counterculture. He then directed a segment of the award-winning documentary about the Olympics, VISIONS OF EIGHT (1973). Soon thereafter, Forman unforgettably depicted life in a mental institution with ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975), produced by Bay Area based Saul Zaentz, and swept that year’s Academy Awards. Since then, he has chosen his projects carefully, from stage and literary adaptations (HAIR, RAGTIME (1981), AMADEUS (1984) and VALMONT (1989)) to portraits of larger-than-life real people (THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT (1996) and MAN ON THE MOON (1999)). Over the course of his 40-year career, Forman has been rewarded for his meticulous, risk-taking work with two Oscars, three Golden Globes and two Director’s Guild Awards, and his films have received honors from the Berlin Film Festival and Cannes. The San Francisco International Film Festival was among the first in this country to recognize Forman’s work. THE FIREMEN’S BALL was shown here in 1968, and in 1969 Forman received a tribute as part of the Craft of Cinema series.

Each year, the San Francisco International Film Festival honors a master of world cinema with an award for lifetime achievement in film directing. Previous recipients of the Film Society’s directing award include Robert Altman, USA; Warren Beatty, USA; Clint Eastwood, USA; Abbas Kiarostami, Iran; Arturo Ripstein, Mexico; Im Kwon-Taek, Korea; Francesco Rosi, Italy; Arthur Penn, USA; Stanley Donen, USA; Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal; Ousmane Sembène, Senegal; Satayajit Ray, India; Marcel Carné, France; Jiri Menzel, Czechoslovakia; Joseph L. Mankiewicz, USA; Robert Bresson, France; Michael Powell, England and Akira Kurosawa, Japan.
For Film Society Awards Night tickets and information only, call 415.551.5190.

The 47th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 15–29, 2004 at the AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres “The Home of the Festival,” the Castro Theatre, the Pacific Film Archive Theater in Berkeley and the Century Cinema 16 Mountain View. Tickets for San Francisco Film Society members will be available on March 23 and for the general public on March 30. To purchase tickets and for ticket information log on to, call 925.275.9490, or visit the Main Box Office, located in the atrium of the AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres at 1881 Post Street or the Satellite Box Office at Crocker Galleria, 50 Post Street, second floor, opening on March 30. For up-to-date Festival information log on to or call 415.931.FILM.

The 47th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 15–29, 2004) is presented by the San Francisco Film Society, a nonprofit arts and educational organization dedicated to celebrating international film and the moving image.


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