Kodak Award for Excellence in Filmmaking: Edward Zwick


It hasn't been a simple process for Zwick to earn the title of "filmmaker." It's not that the 56-year-old director-producer-writer came to making movies late in life, exactly. He directed his first feature, "About Last Night," in 1986. But he spent the mid-1980s to mid-1990s carving out a niche with partner Marshall Herskovitz as TV's preeminent producer of sensitive adult television, first with "thirtysomething" and then with the short-lived but celebrated "My So-Called Life."

In-between came the films, though, including the Oscar-winning "Glory" (1989) and "Legends of the Fall" (1994), which Zwick also produced. But not until he won an Oscar as a producer of 1998's "Shakespeare in Love" did his reputation in film eclipse his renown in TV. He's spent the past half-decade "pretty much exclusively doing film," a trend that continues with December's "Defiance," his third film as a writer-producer-director multihyphenate (his others were 1998's "The Siege" and 2003's "The Last Samurai").

"I've enjoyed the singular focus of not going back and forth between the two mediums," Zwick says. "It isn't about the screen size so much as film being where the stories I'm most interested in telling happen to be at."

As for earning the Kodak Award on Thursday, Zwick says he's happy to receive it. But he adds, "As someone once said, 'I'm fundamentally opposed to awards. But I'm not opposed to winning them.'"