|The Governors Awards|
|Awarded for||Lifetime achievement in film|
|Presented by||Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences|
The Governors Awards presentation is an annual award ceremony hosted by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center.1 Three awards, the Academy Honorary Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award are presented at this ceremony. The first Governors Awards ceremony was held on November 14, 2009. Prior to this, these three awards were formally presented during the main Academy Award ceremony, but now are restricted to a short appearance of the recipients on stage after a summary recorded presentation of the event.
The Governors Awards are one of five award ceremonies hosted by AMPAS, along with the Academy Scientific and Technical Awards, Academy Student Academy Awards and the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.2
The Academy Honorary Award, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award are presented at the ceremony. The Governors Awards are held the November or December before the main Academy Awards ceremony, usually held in February or March the following year.1 The Awards are not voted upon but, rather, are presented at the discretion of the Academy.
The Academy Honorary Awards and Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards are both Oscar statuettes, while the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award is a small bust of Thalberg on a plinth.
The Academy Honorary Award is given for "extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy". The Thalberg Award is given to "a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production".3
The board members of AMPAS had previously been concerned about awarding more than one or two Honorary Academy Awards each year for fear of lengthening the main Academy Awards presentation but, in most iterations of the Governors Awards to date, they have awarded three Honorary Academy Awards. So far in the history of the Governors Awards, the Hersholt Award and the Thalberg Award have always been given on separate years.
The smaller presentation of the Governors Awards was designed to invoke the feel of the early Academy Award ceremonies.4 During the event, several notable colleagues of the awardees give them tributes before they make an acceptance speech. Though the event has not been televised, thus far, the Academy posted most of the speeches for the 2013 event online.
Since its inception, the event has become a major red carpet stop for many prospective Oscar hopefuls, including actors and filmmakers, and is, in some ways, the first major stop of the seasonal Awards Circuit.5
The Academy held its 1st Annual Governors Awards ceremony on November 14, 2009. The following awards were presented.
- Academy Honorary Award: Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, and Gordon Willis6
- Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award: John Calley
The Academy held its 2nd Annual Governors Awards ceremony on November 13, 2010. The following awards were presented.
- Academy Honorary Award: Kevin Brownlow, Jean-Luc Godard, and Eli Wallach3
- Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award: Francis Ford Coppola
The Academy held its 3rd Annual Governors Awards ceremony on November 12, 2011. The following awards were presented.
- Academy Honorary Award: James Earl Jones and Dick Smith7
- Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Oprah Winfrey
The Academy held its 4th Annual Governors Awards ceremony on December 1, 2012. The following awards were presented.
- Academy Honorary Award: D.A. Pennebaker, Hal Needham and George Stevens, Jr.8
- Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Jeffrey Katzenberg
The Academy held its 5th Annual Governors Awards ceremony on November 16, 2013. The following awards were presented.9
- Academy Honorary Award: Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury and Piero Tosi
- Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Angelina Jolie
- Governors Awards at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 6 September 2010.
- The Awards 11 September 2010.
- Brownlow, Coppola, Godard and Wallach to Receive Academy’s Governors Awards 6 September 2010.
- AMPAS chooses Governors' Awards winners 11 September 2010.
- "Governors Awards Becomes a Red-Carpet Stop". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- 2009 Governors Awards 11 September 2010.
- 2011 Governors Awards 14 November 2011.
- 2012 Governors Awards 1 December 2012.
- LA Times Coverage of 2013 Governors Awards