May 22, 2016 – The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s inaugural Icon Award for Contributions to the Cinematic Arts was presented to writer/filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan. With credits including Star Wars (Episodes V, VI, and VII), Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Big Chill, Wyatt Earp, The Bodyguard, and more, Kasdan received the award on May 22nd during a ceremony held at the Woodruff Arts Center.
Kasdan reflected on his life and film experience with ArtsATL co-founder Catherine Fox, from how he structured scenes economically to the ways his faith and values influenced his filmography, and answered questions from the crowdsourced #AskKasdan hashtag. Kevin Kline, J.J. Abrams, Glenn Close, Steve Martin, Martin Short, James Newton Howard, Kathleen Kennedy, Carol Littleton, and Mr. Kasdan's family were all part of a star-studded tribute video interspersed with clips from the films that have made Lawrence Kasdan an icon.
After the Icon Award was presented by an actor dressed as Indiana Jones, a VIP Reception convened at Twelve Eighty, complete with photo sessions, fan meetings, and a silent auction of exclusive autographed memorabilia.
The Icon Award honors exemplary artists who've upheld the tradition of artistic excellence in film, informed directly or indirectly by a Jewish subject or sensibility, and who inspire preeminence in filmmaking worldwide.