George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy honoured at PGA Awards

George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy honoured at PGA Awards

George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy were honoured with the Milestone Award at the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards on Saturday (19.03.22).

Director Steven Spielberg handed over the accolade to the Lucasfilm bosses, who he has worked with for decades, and praised the pair for their "courage and utter lack of intimidation" when it comes to getting things done in order to make the best movies they can.

He said: “I feel even in this room, we need to define what producers do. Producers do whatever the hell it takes. Courage and imagination and utter lack of intimidation, the producer needs to know everybody’s jobs, and not how to do them, but how they are done well, which is what makes George and Kathy so deserving of this recognition.”

In her acceptance speech, Kathleen, the company's president, noted she had met George and Steven at the "dawning of a new age" for the industry.

She added: "We worked side by side through one revolution in our industry after another — revolutions not only in the means of moviemaking, and in the ways movies reach audiences, but also in the composition of our business.

"As women, artists of colour, LGBTQ and differently labeled artists and producers who have fought for and won a place at the table, propelling our community toward a more inclusive, diverse, richer, more sophisticated and nuanced sense of our responsibilities for social, racial and economic justice.

"There’s no one that I would rather share this moment with more than my friend, my mentor and the greatest master Jedi of them all: George.”

George thanked his former mentor, Francis Ford Coppola, and then delivered a passionate speech about the role of a producer.

He said: “To me, that’s the first and foremost job of a producer, which is to do the impossible. And you do it every single day. And then every single day, something comes along to destroy everything you’ve done. And you have to pick it all up at lunch, and figure out a new way to finish the movie, in conjunction with the director, and it’s daunting to say the least.

"But a producer never works alone. One, you have to have a great crew. I’ve always had the best crews,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without them. And so I think my job also is to gather them all together and inspire them to be the best they can be.”

Elsewhere at the ceremony - which took place at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles - 'Coda' won the night's biggest award, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, taking the prize ahead of 'Being the Ricardos', 'Don't Look Up', 'Dune','King Richard', 'Belfast', 'Licorice Pizza', 'Tick, Tick... Boom!', 'The Power of the Dog', and 'West Side Story'.

Producer Philippe Rousselet - who was joined on stage by director Sian Heder and stars Marlee MAtlin, Daniel Durant and Troy Kotsur, as well as other members of the production team - said: "I think we will all agree that a good movie always starts with a good story. As a producer I’ve always been drawn to stories that are filled with humanity and in a world where we see the lack of it every day, I’ll take this award as a sign that there’s still hope.”

Denis Villeneuve presented Mary Parent with the David O. Selznick Award, while Rita Moreno received the Stanley Kramer Award from Jessica Chastain.

Issa Rae was honoured with the Visionary Award, and Greg Berlanti took home the Norman Lear Award.

Other winners on the night included 'Succession', 'Summer of Soul', and 'Encanto'.

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