The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films was founded in 1972. The non-profit organization was spear-headed by noted film historian, Dr. Donald A. Reed.

Dr. Reed spent most of his life following his passion of genre filmmaking. He would spend his early childhood going to the movie houses which surrounded his home. His first genre organization was The Count Dracula Society which began in 1962. The group was devoted to the serious study of film and gothic literature. Some of the members and leaders of the group included Forrest J Ackerman, Walt Daugherty, Eric Hoffman, Alan White, Bill Warren, and A.E. Van Vogt. Dr. Reed’s group flourished for many years holding banquets for many genre icons.


Honorees included:


Vincent Price Darren McGavin
Rod Serling Rock Hudson
Dan Curtis Robert Wise
Elsa Lanchester Gloria Swanson
Carl Laemmle Bud Abbott
Lon Chaney Jr. Helen Gahagen Douglas
Burgess Meredith Robert Bloch
Ray Bradbury Jack Arnold
Rouben Mamoulian Herman Cohen
Francis Lederer George Clayton Johnson
John Agar Richard Matheson
Boris Karloff Gene Roddenberry
Reginold Le Borg Ann Robinson
Ray Harryhausen Roger Corman


In 1972, Dr. Reed and his core of devotees began the organization we all know today as the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.

In the beginning, the organization held several events at Dr. Reed’s alma mater, USC, where many students became interested in the group, due to their interest in genre entertainment. Robert Zemeckis became a member as did Randal Kleiser, Rich Correll, Douglas Wick, and Ben Burtt.

The first awards were simple certificates which still held meaning for the recipients. The first recipients of the awards were William Marshall (for Blacula) and Kurt Vonnegut (for Slaughterhouse Five). As the idea continued to prosper, there was interest from television producers to put the awards show on television. In 1978 the Saturn Awards debuted on television. The show was produced by Arnold Shapiro, who would go on to win an Oscar for his startling documentary, Scared Straight.

Although the awards show only aired on television for 3 consecutive years (with William Shatner, Karen Black, and Mark Hamill hosting various shows), the organization continued to build a strong base of genre fans who continued to vote for the best in genre filmmaking.

In the 80’s it was decided to add awards devoted to television programming to the event. A dozen years later, home entertainment was also added to the mix of honors.

In the new millennium, the Academy decided to expand and broaden the genres beyond science fiction, fantasy and horror. Genres such as action, adventure, and thrillers were added to the annual awards show. It was with great sadness we lost our leader, Dr. Reed, in 2001. He built a strong and viable organization which continued and stayed devoted to his passion for genre entertainment.

Today the Academy and the Saturn Awards honor many genres including dark drama, independent film, international film releases, and all forms of edgy entertainment.

The films we honor tend to the most successful and imaginative films in release today. We have seen genre entertainment become a major force of its own and we will continue to honor and recognize the best in film, television, stage productions, and home entertainment.


The Saturn Awards:

The Saturn Award is the official honor presented by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror films. The Academy has been voting these awards since 1972. The films may change, but the quality and ideas presented in these works remain to be the most successful at the box-office.

We have expanded and broadened our scope to other genres including action, adventure, thrillers, dark drama, edgy comedies, independent films, and international releases. We honor all genre of film which has an “edgy” feel to it.

The Saturn Awards is an acknowledgement of fine work. Some of it is ground-breaking, some of it is just pure entertainment, but the bottom line is these are the crowd-pleasers, the films which are most talked about throughout the year. And they tend to the most successful film releases of the year.

From the writers who create these flights of fancy, to the studios and producers who finance these ideas, to the director who makes these ideas a reality, filmmaking is a collaborative process which was created over one hundred years ago.

In the many years we have been presenting these awards, our purpose has always been to acknowledge quality work. In its simplest form, awards are a “thank you” to filmmakers who entertain and enrich our lives a little bit with thoughts, ideas, and visual wonder.

We dedicate ourselves to continuing the goal of honoring the best in genre entertainment.