LOS ANGELES – Their creations have become towering achievements in genre entertainment, and on June 26, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films will recognize the continually influential work of Richard Matheson, William Friedkin, Vince Gilligan and Jonathan Frakes at the 39th Annual Saturn Awards.
“The recipients of this year’s special Saturn Awards have influenced generations of fans – not to mention other creative minds, and their accomplishments truly rank among the great contributions to science fiction, fantasy and horror,” said Academy President Robert Holguin. “They have provoked our thoughts, invaded our dreams and set our minds soaring to new heights, and the Academy is genuinely thrilled to pay tribute to them and their works.”
From the moment he published his first short story, “Born of Man and Woman,” at age 24, RICHARD MATHESON has been a singular voice in fiction, whose prolific written work is as unforgettable as the television and filmed entertainment it has inspired for more than half a century. In addition to more than 25 novels and nearly 100 short stories, Matheson wrote 14 timeless episodes of The Twilight Zone – including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” “Little Girl Lost,” “The Invaders” and “Night Call.” As a screenwriter, he has adapted his own work and also seen his writing serve as the basis for other screenwriters – resulting in such indelible entertainment as Steven Spielberg’s Duel, The Incredible Shrinking Man, I Am Legend and The Omega Man, Stir of Echoes, Real Steel, What Dreams May Come, The Legend of Hell House and Somewhere In Time. At the 39th Annual Saturn Awards, Matheson will receive the Academy’s VISIONARY AWARD.
This year’s LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD will be presented to WILLIAM FRIEDKIN, whose cinematic accomplishments as a director, producer and screenwriter have included such classic films as The Exorcist, The French Connection, Sorcerer and last year’s widely acclaimed Killer Joe. Few filmmakers have challenged audiences with a blend of reality and fantasy as regularly and boldly as Friedkin, whose career began with a feature film starring Sonny and Cher – and went on to include multiple Academy Awards and nominations, cementing his place as one of the industry’s most remarkable voices, bringing a new reality to genre filmmaking.
Television producer and creator VINCE GILLIGAN is the recipient of the DAN CURTIS LEGACY AWARD, a new award named for the legendary producer of such remarkable TV entertainment as the original Night Stalker films, the epic miniseries The Winds of War and War and Remembrance and Dark Shadows. Likewise, Gilligan’s work has changed the face of television as writer and executive producer of The X Files and the creator, writer, producer and director of the wildly successful AMC series Breaking Bad, winner of three past Saturn Awards.
JONATHAN FRAKES has left an indelible mark in genre entertainment beginning as an actor and transitioning into a masterful director. Well known for his acting work as Commander William T. Riker in the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation series (1989-1994), Frakes also directed eight episodes of the iconic series. He would successfully direct two of the feature film Star Trek Next Generation films, Insurrection, and First Contact. He has since directed episodes of many other television series including Roswell, Persons Unknown, Burn Notice, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Castle. He has a strong working relationship with filmmaker Dean Devlin by directing 13 episodes of Leverage and 2 of Devlin’s popular tv films, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines, and The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice, which starred Noah Wyle. We are thrilled to honor him with THE LIFE CAREER AWARD.
The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films was founded in 1972 by noted film historian Dr. Donald A. Reed to honor and recognize films often overlooked by mainstream awards. Over the years, the Academy has expanded its reach to include recognizing excellence in television and home entertainment, as well as other genres, including adventure, thriller, dark drama, and edgy entertainment.
This year’s Saturn Awards will be presented on Wednesday, June 26, at the Castaway Event Center in Burbank.
For a complete list of nominations and more information about the Academy, visit www.saturnawards.org/nominations.html or the Facebook page for The Saturn Awards.