Pennebaker to receive Honorary Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to give an Honorary Award to 87-year-old doc-maker DA Pennebaker (pictured), the acclaimed director behind The War Room and Dont Look Back.
September 6, 2012

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to give an Honorary Award to respected doc-maker DA Pennebaker (pictured), the director of The War Room and Dont Look Back.

The Honorary Award – an Oscar statuette – is given to an individual for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”

The 87-year-old will be presented with the prize at the Academy’s 4th Annual Governors Awards dinner on December 1 in California, alongside three other recipients – stunt performer Hal Needham, arts advocate George Stevens Jr and producer/philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Pennebaker, a pioneer of vérité-style filmmaking, has directed more than 20 feature-length docs, often with his wife, Chris Hegedus.

His docs have frequently focused on politics and music. On the former, he helped shoot the seminal JFK film Primary and received an Oscar nomination for his Bill Clinton campaign doc The War Room; while docs in the latter genre include Monterey Pop and the iconic Bob Dylan doc Dont Look Back.

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Jillian Morgan is the Associate Editor at Realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.