FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORMAN LEAR TO RECEIVE “OUTSTANDING TELEVISION WRITER” AWARD AT 2015 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL & SCREENWRITERS CONFERENCE
“The Writers Festival” announces Panelists for 22nd Anniversary, featuring Shane Black, Jack Burditt, Katie Dippold, Jenny Lumet, Kelly Marcel, George Pelecanos, Phil Rosenthal, Terry Rossio, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Wain, Ron Yerxa, and more
Austin, TX – April 8, 2015 – Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier film festival that recognizes the writers’ and filmmakers’ impact on film, television, and new media, is thrilled to announce Norman Lear as the recipient of the “Outstanding Television Writer” Award at the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival, this October 29-November 5.
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film, and as a political and social activist and philanthropist.
Mr. Lear began his television writing career in 1950 when he and his partner, Ed Simmons, were signed to write for The Ford Star Revue, starring Jack Haley. After only four shows, they were hired away by Jerry Lewis to write for him and Dean Martin on The Colgate Comedy Hour, where they worked until the end of 1953. They then spent two years on The Martha Raye Show, after which Mr. Lear worked on his own for The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show and The George Gobel Show.
In 1958, Mr. Lear teamed with director Bud Yorkin to form Tandem Productions. Together they produced several feature films, with Mr. Lear taking on roles as executive producer, writer, and director. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1967 for his script for Divorce American Style. In 1970, CBS signed with Tandem to produce All in the Family, which first aired on January 12, 1971 and ran for nine seasons. It earned four Emmy Awards for Best Comedy series as well as the Peabody Award in 1977. All in the Family was followed by a succession of other television hit shows including Maude, Sanford and Son, Good Times, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
Mr. Lear’s memoir, Even This I Get to Experience, was published in October 2014 by The Penguin Press.
Austin Film Festival annually recognizes an Outstanding Television Writer for their collective body of work that has elevated and heavily contributed to the culture of television. Previous Award recipients have been Chris Carter, David Chase, Vince Gilligan, Mitch Hurwitz, Mike Judge, David Milch, Garry Shandling, David Simon, and Matthew Weiner, among others.
Lear joins a strong roundup of Panelists confirmed to speak at the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference, including the writers of films Fifty Shades of Grey, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Heat, Iron Man 3, Lethal Weapon, Rachel Getting Married, Saving Mr. Banks, Shrek, The Pirates of the Caribbean, Wet Hot American Summer, and television shows 30 Rock, Everybody Loves Raymond, Fraiser, Justified, Last Man Standing, Mad Men, Orange is the New Black, Parks and Recreation, Stella, The Shield, The Mindy Project, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Wire, and Treme.
The 2015 Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference will once again present over 150 panels on the art and craft of storytelling featuring a slate comprised entirely of working film, television, and new media industry professionals. In addition to over a dozen parties and nearly 200 film premieres, AFF is adding more networking opportunities this year, including a “Screenwriters Lounge” which will serve as a dedicated space to set meetings and write. The 22nd Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference takes place October 29th through November 5th, 2015.
AFF is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department
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