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Big Bear Lake Film Festival Honors Allen Daviau, ASC

Festival Honors 5 Time Academy Awards Nominee September 14 16, 2007


September 10, 2007

Big Bear Lake, CA – It has been a Big Bear Lake International Film Festival (BBLIFF) tradition since 2003 to pay tribute to a distinguished Cinematographer. The Festival Board is delighted to announce the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award for Cinematography recipient is Allen Daviau. Daviau is a five-time Academy Awards contender. The award will be presented at the Festival Gala the evening of Friday, September 14th. Earlier that day, there will be a Special Tribute Screening of Daviau’s film, Empire of the Sun directed by Steven Spielberg at 12:30 p.m. at the Village Theatre North. On Saturday, September 15th, Daviau will participate in a Cinematography Showcase featuring clips from his award-winning films followed by a Q&A with audience members.

Daviau received his first nomination in 1982 for E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial. The film netted four Oscars, including one for its Director Steven Spielberg and another for Daviau. It also received five other nominations. The notable Cinematographer’s star continued to rise with four additional Academy Award nominations for such memorable masterpieces as The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Avalon, and Bugsy. Among Daviau’s other cinematographically excellent films are The Falcon and the Snowman, Fearless, the Astronaut’s Wife, and Van Helsing.

Films have brought Daviau industry recognition but he is also a prolific television commercial shooter with more then a 1000 credits. Discussing his commercial work Daviau says, “I think commercials are the best friend of the cinematographer. It’s a different medium…But I have learned so many things by shooting commercials. I also get to work with a lot of different directors, and all of them want me to do something challenging and new. I have learned things shooting commercials that I’ve later used in films. Commercials give you the freedom to wait for the right film.”

Allen Daviau was born in New Orleans and raised in Los Angeles. He developed a passion for films at a young age; often talking his way past the gate guards at studio’s to watch cinematographers, directors and actors at work on motion pictures and live T.V. shows. After crashing the gate at Paramount Studio’s, and witnessing Cinematographer Charles Lang shooting the hacienda scene for Marlon Brando’s directorial debut in One-eyed Jacks, Daviau says, “I could see that Charley was really enjoying himself…I thought that he must have the best job in the world. I think that’s when I decided I wanted to be a cinematographer.”

Daviau started shooting and developing pictures at age 14. While in High School he did the lighting for school stage plays and believes, “that taught me how light enhances drama in real time. I learned how light can effect emotions and draw an audience into a story.” Following High School, Daviau earned the money to buy his first 16mm camera by working in film labs and camera stores. His first industry job was shooting pre-MTV music videos for a live music program on KHJ-TV. He took a pay cut, the television job paid only $100 a week but it was a start. Daviau was following his destiny, shooting and editing film.

He spent the next several years shooting commercials, occasional documentaries and free projects for students and aspiring filmmakers, including Amblin (1968) for a promising young filmmaker Steven Spielberg. This was the film that got Spielberg his first contrast directing for Universal Studio’s. According to Daviau, “He (Spielberg) tried to bring me with him, but I couldn’t get into the camera guild.”

For the next decade, Daviau shot independent features for cinema and television, including commercials with some of the industry’s top directors until he became a member of the International Cinematographers Guild in 1978. This opened doors for him to work on bigger projects. Then in 1982, Spielberg recruited Daviau to collaborate with him on E.T. and the rest is Hollywood history.

Daviau is an outspoken activist for both artist’s rights and film preservation. Daviau has played a leadership role in representing cinematographers in discussions about the need to preserve films as a part of our cultural heritage. He believes “it is important for cinematographers to supervise restoration projects,” saying, “We’re not only bringing our memories…we are bringing our enthusiasm.”

Daviau was honored by his colleagues in the American Society for Cinematographers with the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his accomplishments as a filmmaker. He is the youngest recipient of that tribute from his peers.

The BBLIFF will present Allen Daviau with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gala dinner and awards presentation held at Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Friday, September 14, 2007. Other Lifetime Achievements recipients will be announced within the next few weeks. Tickets for the Opening Night Gala reception only are $25 per person. The Performing Arts Center is located at 39707 Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear Lake.

The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival is held annually on the second weekend following Labor Day. Festival 2007 scheduled events on Friday, September 14 include: screening of films, screenwriting seminars, filmmaker networking reception, Opening Night Gala Party with Lifetime Achievement awards, and special opening night film; Saturday, September 15 include: screening of films, Screenwriting/Filmmaker panels, cinematography showcase, youth educational seminar, high school film showcase, sidebar showcase of films relating to outdoor mountain activities, and Wrap Party with filmmaker awards ceremony; and on Sunday, September 16, screenings of Award winning films and new this year a “Pitchfest” for screenwriters and filmmakers. They will have an opportunity to have five-minute one-on-one meetings to pitch their ideas to industry professions.

To purchase tickets for Festival events or learn more about the Festival visit the website www.bigbearlakefilmfestival.com or call 909-866-3433. Tickets and passes to BBLIFF film screenings and all events may also be purchased at the PAC 909-866-4970.



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