Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2008 Distinguished Screenwriter Awardee: Sam Shepard

The Austin Film Festival is honored to announce screenwriter, actor, director and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard will accept the Distinguished Screenwriter Award at the 2008 Austin Film Festival.

Sam Shepard began his career by writing for Off-Off Broadway. His major Broadway playwrights include "Angel City," "Curse of the Starving Class," "The Mad Dog Blues," "Cowboy Mouth," and "The God of Hell." Shepard wrote his first screenplays, "Me and My Brother" (1968) and Antonioni's "Zabriskie Point" (1970).

In 1979 he received the Pulitzer Prize, the ultimate writing honor, for his three-act play "Buried Child." Shepard later wrote and directed the Pulitzer-nominated and Obie-winning play "Fool for Love," which he also adapted for Robert Altman to direct in the 1983 screen version starring Shepard himself and actress Kim Basinger.

In 1984, Shepard collaborated with Wim Weinder's and wrote the highly acclaimed film "Paris, Texas." He also wrote and directed the features "Far North" and "Silent Tongue."

Shepard's memorable screen performances began in 1978 in Bob Dylan’s "Renaldo and Clara" and went on to impress critics in Terrence Malick’s "Days of Heaven." A number of strong appearances followed including "Resurrection," "Raggedy Man," "Frances," opposite Jessica Lange, and most notably his role as Chuck Yeager in Philip Kaufman’s "The Right Stuff," which earned him an Academy Award® nomination. Shepard also wrote and stared in "Don’t Come Knocking." Other film credits include: "Baby Boom," "Steel Magnolias," "Voyager," "The Pelican Brief," "Snow Falling on Cedars," "Hamlet," "All the Pretty Horses," "The Pledge," "Black Hawk Down," "The Notebook," "Stealth," "Bandidas," "The Return" and "Walker Payne." Shepard’s television films and miniseries include Larry McMurtry’s "Streets of Laredo," "Lily Dale," "Purgatory," “Dash and Lilly," which brought him both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for his performance as writer Dashiell Hammett; "One Kill," "Wild Geese," and "Ruffian."

Shepard's recent credits include "Felon" and Jim Sheridan’s "Brothers". His one man play "Kicking a Dead Horse" just opened on July 14th at The Public in New York.

The Distinguish Screenwriter Award will be presented at the Awards Luncheon, presented by AT&T, on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008 at the Austin Club. Tickets available for purchase from badge-holders only by calling 1.800.310.FEST (3378). To purchase your badge, click here. The award luncheon sells out every year, so call and reserve your seat today!

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