Acclaimed Director Judd Apatow named San Diego Film Festival’s 2013 ‘Visionary Filmmaker Award’ recipient


The San Diego Film Foundation announced recently that Judd Apatow has been named as recipient of its “Visionary Filmmaker Award” and will be feted in a tribute gala at the San Diego Film Festival on Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.

“Judd Apatow is indisputably one of the most supremely talented and beloved contemporary filmmakers working today,” said Festival Directors Tonya Mantooth and Dale Strack in a joint statement. “His body of work transcends a typical movie-going experience and enters the zeitgeist in a way rarely seen. On behalf of San Diego, we are beyond thrilled to honor him with a much-deserved award.”

Apatow is an American film producer, director, and screenwriter. Best known for his work in comedy films, he is the founder of Apatow Productions and also developed the cult television series Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared and Girls. Apatow’s work has won numerous awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award (for The Ben Stiller Show) a Hollywood Comedy Award, and an AFI Award for his movie Bridesmaids.

Apatow’s work has also been nominated for Grammy Awards, PGA Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Academy Awards (for Bridesmaids). In October 2012, Vanity Fair announced that Apatow would be guest-editing their comedy Issue, the first person to ever do so. It has also been reported that Apatow will guest-write on an episode of The Simpsons that is due sometime in 2013-2014. In 2007, he was ranked #1 on Entertainment Weekly’s The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.

Noted film critic Jeffrey Lyons is also onboard as Festival Host and Jury President. Lyons has reviewed more than 15,000 movies, 900 Broadway and off-Broadway plays, interviewed nearly 500 actors, and written or co-authored six books. He’s co-hosted a variety of national movie review shows on PBS (“Sneak Previews”), MSNBC (“MSNBC’s “At the Movies”) and NBC’s syndicated (“Reel Talk”), and has enjoyed a stellar career on television, radio and print spanning 43 years – interviewing nearly every movie star of the past four decades.

The San Diego Film Festival is “one of the most alluring festivals on the rise, boasting a close proximity to LA and a trendy crowd of nearly 13,000 people. It doubles as a film lover’s paradise and a weekend getaway where participants can take advantage of sunny weather, thriving art culture, and the city’s robust nightlife in the famed Gaslamp Quarter.”

Last year’s awards recipient was Gus Van Sant, the award-winning director of Good Will Hunting (1997) and Promised Land (2012). Stars such as Diane Ladd, Anne Heche, Robin Williams, and Ben Affleck paid tribute.

This year promises another robust slate of headline films and world premieres. Last year’s lineup included premieres of Silver Linings Playbook, The Sapphires and Seven Psychopaths among many others. Additionally, The San Diego Film Festival is filled with groundbreaking panels. Last year’s included a discussion and screening of the documentary Trek Nation, featuring Rod Roddenberry and many others.

The San Diego Film Foundation celebrates the art and power of independent film by creating unique, interactive, memorable film-going experiences. The non-profit San Diego Film Foundation produces the annual San Diego Film Festival showcasing one-of-a-kind film premieres, informative industry panels, and filmmaker and celebrity events. The organization is devoted to the inspiration and talent behind each film, and turns every screening into a must-see event, complete with after-parties. For more information and film schedule, visit