Al Clark to Receive Australian Academy's Lifetime Raymond Longford Award

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"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" producer gets Australia's highest Academy honor, formerly bestowed on Peter Weir and Geoffrey Rush.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert producer Al Clark will receive the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts' highest honor, the Raymond Longford Award, in Sydney in January.

Since 1983, Clark has produced or executive produced 19 films, including Russell Crowe's debut feature The Crossing, Chopper, which introduced director Andrew Dominik and actor Eric Bana to international audiences, and the British films 1984, starring Richard Burton, and Absolute Beginners, costarring David Bowie.

After a stint as spokesman for Virgin Records in the U.K., where he represented the Sex Pistols, XTC, Phil Collins and Devo, and was, according to punk historian Barry Cain, "everybody's favourite press officer," Clark produced or executive produced six features for Virgin Films before moving to Australia in the late 1980s. Priscilla, directed by Stephan Elliott and starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, was one of Australia's biggest international hits and was later turned into a stage musical.

Clark's most recent productions are Red Hill and the upcoming Goddess. A journalist for Time Out in his youth, Clark wrote two books, Raymond Chandler in Hollywood and The Lavender Bus. Previous Longford Award winners include Peter Weir, Fred Schepisi and Geoffrey Rush.