Writer-director Charles Burnett, cinematographer Owen Roizman, actor Donald Sutherland, and director Agnes Varda will receive honorary Oscars this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday. The prizes will be presented at the annual Governors Awards ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 11.
The Academy’s Board of Governors made the decision at the group’s monthly meeting Tuesday night. It was the first meeting cinematographer John Bailey has overseen as AMPAS president since winning the position last month.
“This year’s Governors Awards reflect the breadth of international, independent and mainstream filmmaking, and are tributes to four great artists whose work embodies the diversity of our shared humanity,” Bailey said.
Burnett is an independent filmmaker whose work has been praised for its portrayal of the African-American experience. He wrote, directed, produced, photographed and edited his first feature film, “Killer of Sheep,” in 1977.
Roizman has been Oscar-nominated five times, for his work on “The French Connection,” “The Exorcist,” “Network,” “Tootsie,” and “Wyatt Earp.”
Sutherland began his career with small roles in British and Italian films before his breakthrough in 1967’s “The Dirty Dozen.” He has never been nominated for an Oscar.
Varda has been called the mother of the French New Wave. Her first film, “La Pointe Courte” (1956), is considered to be the film that inspired the movement. Her most recent work is “Faces Places.”
The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
The Governors Awards event was first spun off as a satellite ceremony in 2009. Prior to that, honorary Oscars and other Academy prizes like the Irving G. Thalberg were presented during the annual Oscars telecast.
Recent recipients of the Governors Awards honors have included Jackie Chan, Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds, Hayao Miyazaki, Steve Martin, D.A. Pennebaker, James Earl Jones, Jean-Luc Godard, and Lauren Bacall.
The 90th annual Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018.