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VES to Honor Illumination’s Chris Meledandri with Lifetime Achievement Award

This marks the first Lifetime Achievement honor for an animation leader.

Chris Meledandri Portrait shoot at Illumination Studios in Santa Monica, CA on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 (Photo: Alex J. Berliner / ABImages)

Chris Meledandri



The Visual Effects Society (VES) has tapped Illumination founder/producer Chris Meledandri with its Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented at the 17th Annual VES Awards on February 5th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. It marks the first such honor for an accomplished filmmaker from animation.

“Chris Meledandri has greatly contributed to the advancement and ever-increasing success of mainstream animated entertainment over the last 20 years,” said Mike Chambers, VES Board Chair. “His leadership in the industry is paving the way for future generations of artists and producers and he has helped redefine the profile of animation and visual effects on a global scale.”

Benedict Cumberbatch voices the Grinch in "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch" from Illumination.

“The Grinch”

Photo Credit: Illumination and U

Read More: Avengers: Infinity War’ Leads VES Awards with Six VFX Nominations, with Surprising Shutouts

Previous winners of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award have included James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, John Dykstra, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, Sir Ridley Scott, and Ken Ralston.

Since founding Illumination in 2008, the Oscar-nominated Meledandri has produced two of the highest-grossing animated films of all time (“The Secret Life of Pets” and “Despicable Me 2”), as well as the highest grossing franchise, “Despicable Me.” Collectively, Illumination’s eight films have grossed more than $6 billion globally.

Prior to Illumination, Meledandri, was the founding president of 20th Century Fox Animation, where he created the hugely successful “Ice Age” franchise.

Illumination’s upcoming films include “The Secret Life of Pets 2” (June 7th), “Minions 2” (July 3rd, 2020), and “Sing 2” (Christmas 2020).

As previously announced, the VES Visionary Award will be presented to acclaimed writer-director-producer Jonathan Nolan. The VES Award for Creative Excellence will be presented to award-winning creators-executive producers-writers-directors David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

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