Gus Van Sant tapped for Stockholm fest nod

Director to receive Visionary Award in November

STOCKHOLM -- Director Gus Van Sant, best-known for his international hit "Good Will Hunting," was named the recipient of the Stockholm Film Festival's Visionary Award on Thursday for his contribution to modern cinema.

Van Sant became a prominent independent filmmaker in the 1990s with features such as "My Own Private Idaho" and "To Die For," which earned critical acclaim for their poignant and comic portrayal of American drifters and strivers.

Kentucky-born Van Sant gained mainstream acceptance in 1997 with "Good Will Hunting," a film about a troubled mathematical genius from the tough suburbs of Boston, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best director.

"His films and vision of an alternative America are a celebration of film art," festival director Git Scheynius said in a statement.

In 2008, Van Sant returned to the mainstream spotlight with "Milk," a biographical film about the life of San Francisco gay activist and politician Harvey Milk, which received eight Oscar nominations, including best picture.

Van Sant, also known as a producer, screenwriter and photographer, will travel to Stockholm in November to receive his award and meet with filmgoers.

The Stockholm Film Festival, started in 1990, takes place in November every year and screens more than 180 films from 50 countries, the statement said.
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