LONDON — Writer-director Philip Kaufman, whose credits include “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “The Right Stuff,” will receive a lifetime achievement award for directing at Camerimage, a film festival that celebrates the art of cinematography.
The award recognizes filmmakers who have “changed the way movies are made with their creativity, visual skills and passion for their craft,” the fest said. “Kaufman is an artist who is not afraid to supplement genre features with deeper analyses of the human condition,” it added.
His first screenplay and directorial debut was the comedy “Goldstein,” which shared the Cannes Film Festival Prix de la Nouvelle Critique with Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Prima Della Rivoluzione” in 1964.
Next up was comedy “Fearless Frank,” which featured a comic-book hero played by Jon Voight, and revisionist Western “The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid,” starring Robert Duvall as Jesse James.
Drama “The White Dawn” marked Kaufman’s first collaboration with the cinematographer Michael Chapman. His next film, the horror “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” established his reputation in the film industry. “Not only was the atmosphere, which Kaufman created with the help of Chapman, so intense, but it also shaped him as an ambitious and rebellious filmmaker who pushed creative boundaries,” the fest said. The following year, Kaufman made the drama “The Wanderers,” also shot by Chapman.
Kaufman is perhaps best known for “The Right Stuff,” which won four Oscars and was recently inducted into the National Film Registry. It was shot with cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, who was Oscar nommed for the film. “Kaufman’s artistic vision made ‘The Right Stuff’ a gripping, suspenseful and utterly funny exploration of an ineffable, indefinable quality of heroism in the face of almost certain death,” the fest said.
This was followed by “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” an adaptation of Milan Kundera’s novel of the same name. It picked up two Academy Award nominations, for adapted screenplay and cinematography for Sven Nykvist.
Kaufman’s “Henry & June,” which was based on the memoirs of Anais Nin, was shot by Philippe Rousselot, who picked up an Oscar nom. This was followed by “Quills,” shot by Rogier Stoffers, and “Hemingway & Gellhorn” for HBO.
The festival runs Nov. 15-22. It was previously announced that Deschanel will be the recipient of the festival’s lifetime achievement award for cinematography.