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by Peter Knegt
March 30, 2009 5:30 AM
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SFIFF To Honor Francis Ford Coppola

The San Francisco Film Society announced that Francis Ford Coppola will receive the Founder's Directing Award at the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival, which runs April 23 - May 7. The Founder's Award will be presented to Coppola at Film Society Awards Night, the organization's black-tie fundraiser, Thursday, April 30 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

Genius, visionary, iconoclast, Francis Ford Coppola is one of the towering figures in American and world cinema," said Graham Leggat, executive director of the San Francisco Film Society, in a statement. "As we and our audiences eagerly await the release of Francis's newest film in June, we could not be more thrilled and honored to be able to present him with our Founder's Directing Award."

The festival will present "An Evening with Francis Ford Coppola & Friends," at 7:30 pm, Friday, May 1 at the Castro Theatre. The evening will honor the career of one of the "seminal figures in American film" including a conversation among Coppola and a number of his friends and collaborators who, in a moderated discussion, will cover all manner of subjects, cinematic and otherwise. Film clips, including the trailer from Coppola's new film "Tetro," and an extended audience Q&A will round out this evening.

The Founder's Directing Award is presented each year to one of the masters of world cinema and is given in memory of Irving M. Levin, who founded the Festival in 1957. Previous recipients include Mike Leigh, Spike Lee, Werner Herzog, Warren Beatty, Robert Altman, Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Clint Eastwood and Robert Bresson.

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