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WGA President Howard A. Rodman Makes Passionate Plea for Governors Award Recognition of Jonas Mekas

Previous winners include Gena Rowlands, Jean-Luc Godard and James Earl Jones.

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Howard A. Rodman — President of the Writers Guild of America, West, professor at USC and artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs — recently made what he described as a Quixotic and potentially impossible plea to the Academy. In advance of AMPAS’ annual Governors Awards, he proposed “a truly unlikely, wildly deserving candidate”: Jonas Mekas, a luminary of avant-garde film and co-founder of Anthology Film Archives.

READ MORE: Jonas Mekas Stars In ‘I Had Nowhere to Go,’ a Jarring, Original Biopic — Locarno Review

The Governors Awards began in 2009, and in their short history have honored the likes of Lauren Bacall, Jean-Luc Godard, James Earl Jones, Gena Rowlands and Roger Corman. “As a filmmaker — as the foremost living champion of personal filmmaking, of camera-as-diary — his influence is everywhere. As an archivist, his accomplishment is unparalleled,” writes Rodman. Now 93, Mekas emigrated to New York from Lithuania in 1949 and, as Rodman puts it, went on to become “a rags-to-riches story of a very different kind. Rather than enrich himself, he’s made the lives of so many others richer.”

READ MORE: Academy Governors Meet to Pick Oscar Show Producers and Governors Awards Winners

“At a time when the Academy is accused of being self-congratulatory,” he continues, “this would be a way of saying to the world that we can see beyond Hollywood and its studios.” Read his full post here.

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