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Director Alexander Payne Honored As ‘Filmmaker of the Year’ By UCLA

Greek-American film director and Academy Award winner Alexander Payne was honored recently at the Director’s Guild as Filmmaker of the Year during the UCLA Theater, Film and Television Festival. The event took place June 8-14, and the awards ceremony closed out the week-long soiree, which according to organizers, “aims to serve as a premier interdisciplinary global professional school that develops outstanding humanistic storytellers, industry leaders and scholars whose diverse, innovative voices enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world.” In a press release, they also stated that as honoree, Payne represents “a voice and vision that [impacts] the way people look at the human condition and [demonstrates] the spirit and message of the independent filmmaker.”

Payne graduated from UCLA in 1990 with a Master of Fine Arts in Film. His feature film debut came in 1996 with “Citizen Ruth.” He then went on to make other critically acclaimed films, including “Election” and “About Schmidt” before striking Oscar gold with “Sideways” and “The Descendants.”

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