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Leonard Maltin, Alexander Payne, Mary Ellen Mark Honored by George Eastman House

May 07th, 2014

Rochester, N.Y., May 5, 2014--Earlier tonight, George Eastman House held its second Light & Motion Gala in New York City, which highlighted the museum's work in photograph and film preservation and restoration, and paid tribute to the accomplishments of emerging and established artists in the fields of motion pictures and photography. 

More than 250 were in attendance at the black and white gala, including presenters Paul Giamatti and Steven Soderbergh. Giamatti was on hand to present Alexander Payne with his Lifetime Achievement in Film Award and Soderbergh presented Blurb CEO, Eileen Gittens with the Corporate Award. In addition, Leonard Maltin was honored with the 2014 Light & Motion Award for Advocacy, Mary Ellen Mark was given the Lifetime Achievement in Photography, and Chris McCaw and Julia Loktev were presented with the Emerging Icon in Photography and the Emerging Icon in Film, respectively. 

Images from the 2014 Light & Motion Gala are available for download from Getty Images here:

"George Eastman House is an American institution that stands apart in the digital age," said David Friend, creative development editor, Vanity Fair, and chair of this year's gala. "This event helps to strengthen the connection between Eastman House and the vibrant photography and film communities in New York City, and energizes the impulse to create, preserve, and archive imagery in our image-driven culture." 

George Eastman House leads in film preservation and photograph conservation, educating archivists and conservators from around the world through graduate schools and historic-process workshops. The museum holds unparalleled collections, totaling more than 4 million objects of photography, motion pictures, and cameras and technology, as well as literature of these fields of study.

The honorary chairs of the Light & Motion Gala were Ken Burns, Richard Gere, and Howard Greenberg.

"As a filmmaker, I appreciate having the support of such a passionate and talented team at George Eastman House to help bring my vision for a film full circle," said Burns, who has a collection preserved in the vaults at the museum. "Preserving a film's story, message, images and emotion allows the art to stand the test of time, keeping it accessible and relevant for years to come."

In addition to the gala, Eastman House is represented in New York City this spring via its collections, with photographs on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, and films to be screened at MoMA. Alumni of Eastman House's graduate-level programs are employed by nearly every major museum and archive in New York City.

For more information about the Light & Motion Gala, please visit

Honorary Committee

Serving on the gala's honorary committee are Renate Aller, Kristen Ashburn, Roger F. Ballen, Adam Bartos, Jeff Bridges, Carl Chiarenza, Vincent Cianni, Sebastian Copeland, Douglas Crimp, John Curran, Tacita Dean, Jen DeNike, Benedict J. Fernandez, Robert Forster, Phyllis Galembo, Jack Garner, Bruce Goldstein, Debbie Grossman, Betty Hahn, Ron Haviv, Tamara Jenkins, Ed Kashi, Francoise and Douglas Kirkland, John Landis, Steve McCurry, Jonas Mekas, Ronay and Richard Menschel, Joel Meyerowitz, Louie Palu, John Pfahl, Sylvia Plachy, Bill Plympton, Robert Polidori, Priscilla Rattazzi, Eli Reed, Julian Sands, Julie Saul, Bastienne Schmidt, Gary Schneider, Taryn Simon, Carole and Howard Tanenbaum, George Tice, Rebecca Norris Webb and Alex Webb, and William Wegman.

Members of the Benefit Committee

Members of the benefit committee are Nathan Benn and Rebecca Abrams, Bruce Barnes and Joseph Cunningham, Janet Borden, Laura L. Fulton and Martin P. Zemel, Kevin and Nancy Gavagan, Elaine Goldman and John Benis, Rufus and Amy Judson, Drs. Dawn and Jacques Lipson, Sharon and Bob Napier, and Steven Schwartz.

About the Award Recipients

Leonard Maltin, Light & Motion Award for Advocacy

Leonard Maltin is best known for his annual Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide and thirty-year run on Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and appears on Reelz Channel. His books include The 151 Best Movies You've Never SeenOf Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated CartoonsThe Disney Films, and The Art of the Cinematographer. He has served as president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and he currently votes on the National Film Registry and sits on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the Walt Disney Treasures DVD series. He has received awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, Telluride Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego's Comic-Con International. 

Mary Ellen Mark, Lifetime Achievement in Photography

Mary Ellen Mark has achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions, and editorial magazine work. She has published photo essays and portraits in major publications, such as

LifeThe New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. For over four decades, she has traveled extensively to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism. Today, she is recognized as one of the world's most respected and influential photographers. Her images of diverse cultures have become landmarks in the field of documentary photography. A photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of the Academy Award-nominated film Streetwise (1984), directed and photographed by her husband, Martin Bell. 

Chris McCaw, Emerging Icon in Photography

Chris McCaw was thirteen when he took his first photo course at a community center--and he was hooked. He spent his youth in the punk and skateboarding scenes and applied the "DIY" motto of those cultures to photography. He first built a camera in 1995: a 7x17-inch view camera to make contact negatives for platinum prints. Over the past two decades, he has continued to use photographic materials, especially expired gelatin silver paper, in groundbreaking ways. His work is held in numerous public collections, and his monograph, Sunburn, was published in 2012 by Candela Books. McCaw received New Works and Alternative Exposure grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation, and his work has been included in exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Portland Art Museum, among other museums and galleries across the United States and abroad. 

Alexander Payne, Lifetime Achievement in Film

Award-winning director, producer, and screenwriter Alexander Payne is known for such critically acclaimed films as Election (1999), About Schmidt (2002), Sideways (2004), The Descendants (2011), and Nebraska (2013). Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Payne graduated from Stanford University with degrees in history and Spanish literature before earning an MFA in film at UCLA. Winner of two Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, and nominated three times for Best Director, most recently for Nebraska, Payne has established himself as one of the leading filmmakers working today. With an eye for landscape, a satirical wit, and a love for the lives of everyday people that is rarely seen on screen, Payne is a distinct and unforgettable voice in American cinema. He serves on the board of directors of the Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving motion picture history, and on the board of Film Streams, a cinematheque in Omaha. He divides his time between Nebraska and Los Angeles. 

Julia Loktev, Emerging Icon in Film

Julia Loktev was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and immigrated to the United States with her family at age nine. Her first feature Moment of Impact (1998) won the Directing Award at Sundance and the Grand Prize at Cinéma du Reél, and screened in New Directors/New Films. Her fiction debut

Day Night Day Night (2006) premiered at Cannes in Directors' Fortnight, where it won the Youth Prize, and went on to receive the Louve D'Or at the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Best New Director at the Chicago International Film Festival, two Gotham Awards nominations, and the Someone to Watch prize at the Independent Spirit Awards. Loktev's latest film The Loneliest Planet

(2011) won the Grand Jury Prize at the AFI Film Festival; it was also nominated for Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards and Best Feature at the Gotham Awards. Her video installations have been shown at MoMA PS1, Brooklyn Museum, and Tate Modern. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009.

Blurb, Corporate Award

Blurb was founded on the premise that everyone--not just the talented few--should be able to publish beautifully designed books with first class production values. By creating a business model that supports a minimum of one copy per title, Blurb has opened up the world of publishing to anyone with access to a computer and a story to tell or work to share. Blurb's self-publishing platform enables the ability to design, publish, share, market, distribute and sell both print and e-books. Photographers around the world turn to Blurb to create high-quality photo books. Blurb takes George Eastman's vision of photography for everyone a step further, democratizing the publishing of photography books. Blurb puts self-publishers in full control by providing a comprehensive publishing toolkit: a suite of free book design tools including Blurb BookWright, an Adobe InDesign plugin and Adobe Lightroom integration, plus a variety of print and distribution options, book format and paper choices, and online selling and social sharing tools. Launched in 2006 by CEO Eileen Gittins, Blurb now enjoys global scale via its 1.1 million book creators, resulting in over 2.8 million unique book titles delivered to more than 70 countries.

About George Eastman House

George Eastman House holds unparalleled collections, totaling more than four million objects, of photographs, motion pictures, cameras and technology, and photographically illustrated books. Established as an independent nonprofit institution in 1947, it is the world's oldest photography museum and third largest film archive in the United States. The museum is in Rochester, New York, and includes the National Historic Landmark house and gardens of George Eastman, the philanthropist and father of popular photography and motion picture film. Learn more at

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