Selznick Award

Kathleen Kennedy confesses it was the movies of her youth that inspired her, not the example of David O. Selznick, whose names graces the award she is receiving with her husband, Frank Marshall.

With all due respect to the maker of “Gone With the Wind,” she picks Julia Phillips, “because she produced ‘Close Encounters’ with Steven and was a woman, was somebody I recognized in a position I could aspire to. That empowered me,” Kennedy says. “And Sherry Lansing was very influential, since she was such a pioneer for so many women in this industry.”

The Kennedy/Marshall names will be forever linked with Spielberg’s, of course, on some of Hollywood’s all-time most successful (“E.T.,” “Jurassic Park”) and important (“Schindler’s List,” “Munich”) releases. Trio reunites for the fourth Indiana Jones installment this May.

Kennedy/Marshall’s brand has graced a slate of films in its own right. In 2007 alone, Marshall was a producer on the smash “The Bourne Ultimatum,” ditto Kennedy on PGA nominee “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” She also exec produced Oscar nominee “Persepolis.” A virtually unprecedented three-decade string of ambitious, influential successes seems amply worthy of peer recognition.

Kennedy did return to Rudy Behlmer’s collection of Selznick memos upon learning she and her husband had been named to receive the award. “The chord it always strikes is: There’s a basic, fundamental process of making movies that hasn’t really changed. The filmmakers never have enough time or money. Casting is always an issue. There’s always that sort of interesting tension among all the moving parts that get a movie made. I think in many respects, it’s remained exactly as it was.”

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