PGA Awards: Industrial Light & Magic to be Honored

DEATHS: Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson, an Olympic fencer and stunt performer who wielded Darth Vader's light saber in the original Star Wars trilogy -- including "The Empire Strikes Back" (pictured) -- died Jan. 1 in the U.K. He was 89.

The VFX studio has won 15 Academy Awards.

The Producers Guild of America will present the inaugural Visionary Vanguard Award to VFX studio Industrial Light & Magic during the 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards, which is set to take place Jan. 23 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

ILM president Lynwen Brennan and senior VFX supervisor John Knoll will accept the award on behalf of the company.

“ILM’s dedication to advancing the creative possibilities of film has inspired the imaginations of storytellers worldwide and provided the tools to transport audiences to richly immersive new worlds,” said PGA co-chairs Michael DeLuca and Jennifer Todd in a statement.

Since its founding in 1975 by director George Lucas, ILM has created visuals for 320 feature films, including Jurassic Park, Terminator 2 and the Star Wars pics. ILM has received 15 Academy Awards for best visual effects.

In years past, the PGA has presented the Visionary Award and Vanguard Award as separate honors, but the guild chose to combine the two this year "in light of the unique nature of ILM’s contributions to technology and entertainment."

Said Brennan: “It’s been an incredible adventure since the day George Lucas first assembled his team of dreamers to create the special effects for Star Wars. Now, some 300 films later, we’ve had the privilege of helping some of the most visionary filmmakers in the industry create iconic moments that are forever part of our collective memory.”