October 14, 2011 7:00am PT by Scott Feinberg
'Moneyball' Director Bennett Miller to Receive Honor at Hollywood Film Awards (Exclusive)
The 15th annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards, presented by Starz Entertainment, will honor Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller with its 2011 Hollywood Director Award.
Miller is being recognized for his work on the critically acclaimed blockbuster Moneyball, which was adapted from Michael Lewis's best-selling novel and stars Brad Pitt as Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane. Miller will collect his statuette at the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony, which will take place at the Beverly Hilton on Oct. 24.
Prior to this film, on which Miller replaced Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh, the 44-year-old was best known for his direction of Capote, his feature directorial debut. That film received an Oscar nod for best picture, earned a best actor Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman and led to best director nods from the Academy, Directors Guild of America and BAFTA for Miller. (The New York Film Critics Circle also awarded him its prize for best first film.)
Carlos de Abreu, the founder and executive director of the event, told The Hollywood Reporter, "With Moneyball, Bennett Miller has given us a beautiful film, from what many called an 'unfilmable' book, and we're thrilled to honor him." He added, "Bennett found the heart in this story of baseball statistics and guided the remarkable performances of Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. 'Capote' was a masterful debut, and Moneyball further proves that Miller has a real gift for breathing life into complex material."
Previous recipients of the Hollywood Director Award include Norman Jewison, John Schlesinger, John Frankenheimer, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Michael Mann, Sam Mendes, Oliver Stone, Marc Forster, Clint Eastwood, Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hooper. Just months after collecting their Hollywood Film Festival Award, Bigelow and Hooper went on to win that year's best director Oscar, while Scorsese received a nomination.
In recent weeks, as The Race was the first to report, de Abreu revealed the recipients of a number of other prizes, as well (which are determined by de Abreu and a panel of advisers): the cast of The Help for the Hollywood Ensemble Award; Oscar winner George Clooney (The Descendants) for the Hollywood Actor Award; Oscar nominee Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn, Meek's Cutoff, Take This Waltz) for the Hollywood Actress Award; Oscar nominee Christopher Plummer (Beginners) for the Hollywood Supporting Actor Award; Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan (Shame, Drive) for the Hollywood Supporting Actress Award; Oscar winner Diablo Cody (Young Adult) for the Hollywood Screenwriter Award; Rango for the Hollywood Animation Award; Letty Aronson (Midnight in Paris) for the Hollywood Producer Award; Oscar nominee Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life) for the Hollywood Cinematographer Award; Oscar winner Stephen Mirrione (The Ides of March) with the Hollywood Editor Award; Oscar nominee Alberto Iglesias (The Skin I Live In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) for the Hollywood Film Composer Award; Oscar nominee James Murakami (J. Edgar) for the Hollywood Production Designer Award; Oscar winner Scott Farrar (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) for the Hollywood Visual Effects Award; Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) for the Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award; Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50) for the Hollywood Breakthrough Actor Award; Jessica Chastain (Coriolanus, The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, and The Tree of Life) for the Hollywood Breakthrough Actress Award; Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) for the New Hollywood Award; Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Elle Fanning (Super 8), Amber Heard (The Rum Diary), Andrea Riseborough (W.E), Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), and Anton Yelchin (Like Crazy) for the Hollywood Spotlight Award; and Oscar nominee Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) for the Hollywood Career Achievement Award.
He also announced that the nominees for this year's Hollywood Film Award, which will be determined by the public through voting on the Yahoo! Movies website, are Captain America: The First Avenger, Cowboys & Aliens, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2, The Help, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Rango, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, and X-Men: First Class.