Friday, February 09, 2007

Bill Witliff honored by Texas Cultural Trust

It was announced today that Austin Film Festival board member Bill Witliff will be honored by The Texas Cultural Trust. Congratulations Bill!

From the press release:

The Texas Cultural Trust, ( announced today the recipients of its bi-annual Texas Medal of Arts Awards (TMAA), celebrating the states legendary artists, entertainers, and art patrons. The Trust will pay tribute to honorees in a series of events April 2-3 culminating in a ceremony and show at Austins historic Paramount Theatre the evening of April 3. Governor Rick and Anita Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Tom and Nadine Craddick will serve as Honorary Chairs. CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent and Moderator of Face the Nation Bob Schieffer will emcee.

Bill Wittliff, Media/Multi-Media

Bill Wittliffs accomplishments in the fields of art, literature and film making are truly breathtaking. Born in Taft and based in Austin, he has had a distinguished career as photographer, film producer, director, publisher and screenwriter. Mr. Wittliff is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, a past board member of the Sundance Institute, a board member of the Austin Film Festival and member of the Texas Philosophical Society. In the late 1980s, Wittliff wrote the teleplay and served as executive producer for the Emmy award-winning TV mini-series Lonesome Dove (1989). Previously, he had written scripts for the westerns Barbarosa (1982) and Red Headed Stranger (1986). His other film credits include The Black Stallion (1979), Country (1984), Legends of the Fall (1994), and The Perfect Storm (2000). As a photographer, Wittliff is best known for his photographs made on the set of Lonesome Dove. As filming began in March 1988 in Austin, he photographed cast members Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Urich, Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, and Diane Lane in their various roles. One of Mr. Wittliffs photographs from the series, titled Gus on the Porch, remains the best-selling, single original photograph of the period. Mr. Wittliffs photographic relationship with Mexico began in 1969 when he made numerous trips to the vast El Rancho Tule in northern Mexico to photograph the vanishing culture of Mexican vaqueros as they worked cattle and horses. He continues to divide his time between Texas and Mexico and is intimately familiar with the history, culture, geography and spiritual beliefs on both sides of the border. More than 100 photographs appear in his recent book, La Vida Brinca (Life Jumps), published by UT Press in 2006.

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