Presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the art of cinema, and whose presence in our community has offered leadership and inspiration to other cinema artists, the John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema is named in honor of one of America's greatest filmmakers.

Julie Taymor is one of the most adventurous directors working today, known for her visionary work on stage and screen. She is a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and won two Tony Awards – including Best Director – for The Lion King, which is the highest grossing Broadway show of all time. Her most recent stage triumph was the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Theater for a New Audience.

Taymor is also an accomplished director of opera, with productions including an astounding realization of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (broadcast on PBS) in Matsumoto, Japan; The Magic Flute for the Metropolitan Opera and The Flying Dutchman and Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel for the LA Opera.

Taymor made an astonishing debut as a film director with her adaptation of Shakespeare’s Titus (screening on Friday, April 4th at FTF), starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange, and has directed three other films: Frida – the story of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina (which earned six Oscar nominations and won two); Across the Universe, a phantasmagorical musical featuring the music of the Beatles that was a Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture; and The Tempest – her second reinvention of Shakespeare – starring Helen Mirren as Prospera. With her boundless imagination and originality, she is the ideal recipient of our John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema.

Once called "the eccentric's eccentric" by Paul Newman,  John Huston was an extraordinary actor, director, writer and producer who created some of the most memorable films in cinema history, including THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, THE AFRICAN QUEEN, THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, THE UNFORGIVEN, THE MISFITS, and his outstanding first film, THE MALTESE FALCON.