| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Dec 1 Hollywood producer Jeffrey
Katzenberg received an honorary Oscar for his charitable work on
Saturday at a star-studded gala that kicked off the movie awards
season and bestowed film industry gold on three other industry
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annually
hands out its Governors Awards to people who have made an impact
This year, the honorary Oscars went to Katzenberg, stuntman
Hal Needham, documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker and arts
advocate George Stevens Jr. They were recognized at a black-tie
affair that brought out stars such as Annette Bening, Kirk
Douglas and Steven Spielberg.
Katzenberg, a former chairman of Walt Disney Co's
movie division and the founder and chief executive of Dreamworks
Animation, was given a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
for his fundraising efforts for a range of charitable causes.
"Jeffrey has no problem asking you for like, way too much
money," actor Will Smith joked in a speech during the ceremony.
Katzenberg, who has helped raise funds for the Motion
Picture & Television Fund and the University of Southern
California's Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and
Education, said he owed his award to the generosity of those in
Hollywood who gave alongside him.
"You might say that all of us who work in the film industry
live in two worlds," Katzenberg said as he accepted the award.
"There is the imaginary world that we project on the screen and
then there is the real world that we live in every day. This
award is a recognition of the extraordinary generosity of our
industry towards improving the real world that we all share."
Needham, a sharecropper's son and former Army paratrooper,
said he broke 56 bones and punctured a lung during his stunt
career. He received an honorary Oscar for his work as one of
Hollywood's top stuntmen of the 1960s and 70s. Needham also went
on to direct several films starring Burt Reynolds, including
"Smokey and the Bandit" and "The Cannonball Run".
"I have ripped off many shots from you," director Quentin
Tarantino said in a speech honoring Needham.
D.A. Pennebaker claimed an award for his work as a pioneer
of cinema verite. Pennebaker primarily shot his films, including
the landmark "Don't Look Back" about Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of
the United Kingdom, with a hand-held camera without narration or
Pennebaker, who is 87, called his award "amazing", then
looked around the ballroom and remarked that "everybody here
probably has one of these already".
The fourth honorary Oscar went to George Stevens Jr., a
director, producer and writer who is best known as the founder
of the non-profit American Film Institute, which was created to
support filmmaking in the United States.
The Oscars, or Academy Awards, for the films of 2012 will be
given out in a ceremony in Los Angeles on Feb. 24. Nominations
will be announced on Jan. 10.