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Academy Announces Honorary Oscars, Reflecting Diversity: Agnes Varda, Charles Burnett, and More

The Academy board of governors chose a diverse group including Belgian, a Canadian and an African-American to win Honorary Oscars.

Agnes VardaVisages, Villages Photocall - 70th Cannes Film Festival, France - 19 May 2017French director Agnes Varda poses during the photocall for 'Visages, Villages' (Faces Places)' at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 19 May 2017. The movie is presented in the section Special Screenings of the festival which runs from 17 to 28 May.

Agnes Varda


The annual honorary Governors Awards are when Oscar lobbyists see the first results of the season, and this batch is notable for its global diversity: a Belgian woman filmmaker, a Canadian movie star, and an African-American director. The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted September 5, and they go to actor Donald Sutherland, writer-director Agnes Varda, and American independent filmmaker Charles Burnett and cinematographer Owen Roizman.

The statues will be presented November 11 at the 9th annual Governors Awards ceremony at Hollywood & Highland.

“This year’s Governors Awards reflect the breadth of international, independent and mainstream filmmaking, and are tributes to four great artists whose work embodies the diversity of our shared humanity,” said Academy president John Bailey.

Donald Sutherland'Trust' on set filming, Littlebury, Essex, UK - 26 Jun 2017 The first pictures of the star-studded cast in Danny Boyle's new blockbuster TV series Trust have been unveiled - showing Donald Sutherland as billionaire Jean Paul Getty. Canadian Actor Sutherland, 81, who plays Getty - once the world's richest man - was spotted filming outside the church in the village of Littlebury Essex. He was joined by a glittering line-up of English and American Actors and Actresses, including The Mummy star Brendan Fraser, Fortitude Actress Veronica Echegui and A Beautiful Mind Actor Michael Esper. The 10-episode kidnapping drama series, Trust, which will be shown on cable and satellite TV channel, FX, next year, tells the story of Getty's grandson, John Paul Getty III, heir to the family's oil fortune. It is set in 1973 when 16-year-old Getty is kidnapped in Rome and his mafia captors demanded $17 million for his safe return. The series charts the teenager's ordeal at the hands of his kidnappers who cannot understand why nobody wants him back.

Donald Sutherland


Never nominated for an Oscar, Canadian-born Sutherland began his career — boasting more than 140 film credits over six decades — with small roles in British and Italian films before his breakthrough in “The Dirty Dozen” (1967). Since then, he starred in iconic films such as “M*A*S*H,” “Klute,” “Don’t Look Now,” “The Day of the Locust,” “1900,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Ordinary People,” “Cold Mountain,” “The Italian Job,” and “Pride & Prejudice.” Most recently, he played President Snow in “The Hunger Games” series.

Also never Oscar-nominated, Varda was born in Belgium and kicked off the French New Wave with her first feature, “La Pointe Courte,” in 1956. Varda made a wide variety of shorts, documentaries and narrative features over more than 60 years, including classics “Cleo from 5 to 7,” “Le Bonheur,” “One Sings, the Other Doesn’t,” “Vagabond,” “Jacquot,” “The Gleaners and I,” her autobiographical documentary “The Beaches of Agnès,” and her most recent work, potential Oscar contender “Faces Places,” which won Best Documentary at Cannes.

Born in Mississippi and raised in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, Burnett wrote, directed, produced, photographed and edited his first feature, “Killer of Sheep,” in 1977.  His other features include “My Brother’s Wedding,” “To Sleep with Anger,” “The Glass Shield” and “Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation.”  Burnett also has made several documentaries including “America Becoming” and “Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property,” and such short films as “The Horse” and “When It Rains.”

Born in Brooklyn, Roizman earned five Oscar nominations for his work on “The French Connection” (1971), “The Exorcist” (1973), “Network” (1976), “Tootsie” (1982) and “Wyatt Earp” (1994).  He shot television commercials before making his debut feature film, “Stop,” in 1970.  Other credits include “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Three Days of the Condor,” “Absence of Malice,” “True Confessions,” “The Addams Family” and “Grand Canyon.” Roizman represented the Cinematographers Branch on the Academy’s Board of Governors from 2002 to 2011.

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