Cinema Expo to honor Pierre Morel

French director's 'Taken' lauded as one of year's best

"Taken" helmer Pierre Morel will be honored as international director of the year at Cinema Expo 2009.

Morel will be feted June 24 during the annual exhibition confab, which runs June 22-26 at the RAI convention center in Amsterdam.

"Talk about taking the world by storm," Cinema Expo co-managing director Mitch Neuhauser said. "With the incredible critical and boxoffice success achieved worldwide by 'Taken,' it's clear that Pierre Morel has a firm grip on the pulse of moviegoers worldwide. With his exciting visual style coupled with the pulse-pounding, take-no-prisoners attitude, he has crafted one of the great films of 2009."

The French director began his career as a camera and Steadicam operator on TV shows, commercials and movies. He frequently was involved with U.S. productions shooting in France and throughout Europe and eventually transitioned to cinematography.

Morel's first feature directing credit came with the French sci-fi crime actioner "District B13," which Time magazine ranked among its 10 best films of 2006.