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Lensers give Ebert thumbs up

Critic to receive special honor at ASC awards

HOLLYWOOD — The American Society of Cinematographers has tapped film critic Roger Ebert for a special honor at its 17th annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards.

The kudos will be presented Feb. 16 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

“Roger Ebert has earned the respect and affection of our members because of his integrity and passion for the art form,” said Owen Roizman, who heads the ASC awards committee. “His reviews are intelligent and insightful. He focuses on films which merit attention rather than just the highest-profile studio movies with the biggest stars.”

Advocate for the art

Roizman also cited Ebert’s advocacy of the art of filmmaking at festivals, schools and other public forums. Org noted that the fourth annual Ebertfest of Overlooked Films last March attracted 20,000 participants to Champaign, Ill.

“There is no category for the award we are presenting to Roger Ebert,” Roizman said. “We just want him to know that we believe he is making an important contribution to our art form, and we appreciate his efforts.”

First to win Pulitzer

Ebert was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times in 1966 and wrote his first review for that newspaper six months later. He received the first Pulitzer Prize ever presented to a film critic in 1975.

Ebert and Gene Siskel first teamed up on “Sneak Previews,” which aired on the Chicago PBS affiliate and was picked up nationally in 1978 by PBS. In 1981, the show went into syndication as “At the Movies”; it became “Siskel & Ebert” in 1987. In 2000 Ebert teamed up with Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper to continue the show after Siskel’s death.

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