Emmy-nominated director-producer Serge Viallet is the recipient of the 2017 FOCAL International lifetime achievement award.
Viallet (pictured) will be presented with the award at the Federation of Commercial Audio-visual Libraries’ 14th annual event, to be held on May 25 at the Lancaster London Hotel.
Viallet has previously directed such acclaimed and award-winning documentaries as The Rape of Nanking, Mysteries in the Archives and Kwai, the Emmy-nominated film that revealed the story behind the building of the bridge over the river Kwai.
He has also played a key role in preserving more than 30 years of Medecins Sans Frontiere (Doctors Without Borders) footage, recorded for and by the humanitarian organization. The archive collection is now stored at France’s national audiovisual archive INA.
“I am so proud and moved to have been honored with this award. I am so thankful to all my mentors around the world who have supported me throughout my career,” Viallet said in a statement. “I am also grateful to all the wonderful archivists and archive lovers whose work has been so valuable in helping me produce my films.”
“Serge Viallet makes programs that are scrupulous in their commitment to archival integrity – and eminently watchable. In the era of ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’ he stands for the finest in our documentary tradition. He richly deserves this recognition,” added historian and archive expert Jerry Kuehl.
The FOCAL International Awards seek to celebrate the achievement of producers, directors, archivists, film libraries, researchers and technicians in the creative use of footage across a variety of genres and media platforms.
The final shortlisted nominees across all categories will be announced on March 17.