12th Annual Lumiere Awards honor Guillermo del Toro, Adam McKay, Denis Villeneuve

The Advanced Imaging Society’s Lumiere Awards winners list runs to 21 categories for distinguished creative and technical achievement. The theme for the March 3 event was “Larger Than Life” and the concept rang true as three of Hollywood’s most acclaimed directors were among the honorees. Guillermo del Toro, Adam McKay and Denis Villeneuve all took center stage in a ceremony honoring content and experiences produced for film, television, advertising, gaming, mobile, online and more.

The inaugural Gene Kelly Visionary Award was presented to del Toro by Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly. “When I heard about the award, I thought maybe somebody had finally seen me dancing,” the “Nightmare Alley” director joked after accepting his gold-dipped statue. “Then I thought, maybe it’s for something else. The fact that he was a futurist. He was a man that was painfully aware of where the art form was and where it could be taken. He was a link to the perpetuity of our art. Being part of a tradition and pushing it forward is something that I value. When somebody asks what is the role of a museum or an academy, and how we should treat the past, we should preserve it so it can change. So we can recognize the future. We need to understand that we should pursue excellence, but not elitism. We are not gatekeepers. We’re gate holders so the next generation can storm the castle. I could not identify more than I do with an artist like Gene Kelly. This sounds very strange for someone of my girth, but it’s true. He completely transformed the art that he touched.”

SEE Guillermo del Toro criticizes Oscars telecast changes

The first-ever EARTHDAY.ORG “Voices for the Earth Award” was given to McKay, an Academy Award-winning writer, director and producer. It was presented by Kathleen Rogers, President of EARTHDAY.ORG, who credited McKay’s humorous approach to conveying the seriousness of the threat we are all facing. McKay reminisced about various memories he had from both childhood and adulthood that highlighted the beauty of nature before referencing his Best Picture nominated film “Don’t Look Up.” “I don’t know who has seen the movie,” he remarked. “But there’s a line where Leonardo DiCaprio says, ‘We really did have it all, didn’t we?’ And we do.”

The esteemed Harold Lloyd Award was presented to Villeneuve by Suzanne Lloyd, Chairman of Harold Lloyd Entertainment. According to AIS, the “Dune” director “represents the true spirit of this award, using his creative teams and the latest technology to empower his storytelling in the service of entertaining millions of fans. Upon receiving the award, Villeneuve remarked, “Cinema has always found an equilibrium between the old ways and the new ones. It always finds a way of growing without losing touch with its roots. Cinema was born in theaters. The language was created for the big screen. These roots have been weakened by the pandemic. It is imperative to bring back an equilibrium between the theatrical experience and the streaming services. I love streaming, but theaters need a reasonable window of time in order to preserve that original language. Theaters need our love right now.”

SEE ‘Dune’ director Denis Villeneuve: ‘My dream was to make a movie without a single line’

Below is a full list of winners from the March 4, 2022 event:

Best Documentary: “The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+)

Best Audio – Episodic: “WandaVision” (Disney+)

Best Use of AR: “Expo Dubai Xplorer”

Best Use of VR: “”Machu Picchu and the Spirit of the Condor” (Cityneon)

Best Original Song: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from “Encanto” (Disney Animation)

Governor’s Cinema Award: “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Sony/Marvel)

Best Use of High Dynamic Range – Live Action: “Dune” (Warner Bros.)

Best Use of High Dynamic Range – Episodic: “Foundation” (Apple TV+)

Best 2D to 3D Conversion: “Shang Chi: The Legend of the Ten Rings” (Disney)

Best Musical Scene or Sequence: “West Side Story” / The Dance at the Gym (20th Century Studios)

Best Episodic – Animated: “Arcane” (Netflix)

Best Motion Picture – Musical: “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios)

Sir Charles Wheatstone Award: Epic Games’ Unreal Engine

Best Episodic – Live Action: “Squid Game” (Netflix)

Best Feature Film – Animated: “Encanto” (Disney)

Best Audio – Theatrical: “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight)

Best Feature Film – Live Action: “Dune” (Warner Bros.)

Best Scene or Sequence in a Feature Film:  “No Time to Die” (MGM/UA Releasing)

Gene Kelly Visionary Award: Guillermo del Toro

Voices for the Earth Award: Adam McKay

Harold Lloyd Award: Denis Villeneuve

The statuette that winners receive is an elegant, stylized image of Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn. She’s gorgeous and impressive. The awards ceremony host made a point of informing the audience that her statuette is coated in real gold and is manufactured by R. S. Owens, the same firm that makes the Oscar and Emmy statuettes.

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