Writer, director and producer Quentin Tarantino is set to accept Los Angeles Press Club’s Distinguished Storyteller Award. The ceremony will take place at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards Gala on December 1 at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
The Distinguished Storyteller Award honors storytellers outside of journalism whose dazzling skills bring fiction to vivid life. With his vibrant imagination and dedication to richly layered storytelling, Quentin Tarantino has established himself as one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his generation.
“I, like many fans, have grown up with Quentin, watching the one-time wunderkind of the Sundance Film Festival turn into one of the film industry’s leading lights,” said club President Chris Palmeri. “Quentin’s unique voice and passionate commitment have served the movie business as an inspiration to many. His efforts reigniting the careers of veteran actors have impacted popular culture. This year’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stands with his best work, as homage to all that we find so fascinating about our city and the movie business. It is clearly the work of a masterful storyteller.”
On the same evening, Ann-Margret will be honored with the Legend Award. Ben Mankiewicz, host of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will receive the Luminary Award for Career Achievement in Media. The founder of the ‘me too.’ movement Tarana Burke will be honored with the Impact Award for Influential Contributions to Culture and Society, and actor/producer/entrepreneur Danny Trejo will accept the Visionary Award for Humanitarian Work.
The National A&E Journalism Awards Gala is dedicated to the memory of actor Robert Forster, the very first host of these awards and a cherished friend of the LA Press Club.
Quentin Tarantino is the second person to receive the Distinguished Storyteller Award. Author Michael Connelly was the inaugural recipient.
Tarantino’s numerous awards and industry accolades include The Hateful Eight which garnered many awards, including Ennio Morricone’s only Oscar along with Golden Globes, BAFTA and ASCAP wins for the composer; while Tarantino was nominated by BAFTA and the Golden Globes for his screenplay, Jennifer Jason Leigh by the Academy and BAFTA for supporting actress and Robert Richardson by the Academy for his Ultra Panavision 70MM cinematography. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Damián Bechir, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen, the film debuted worldwide in approximately 100 theaters retrofitted with 70MM anamorphic film projectors screening exclusive 182-minute roadshow prints complete with an overture, intermission and printed programs. A special four-chapter extended version curated by Tarantino is available on Netflix.
Tarantino won his second Oscar for Best Screenplay for Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz (in his second Academy Award-winning role), Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and Walton Goggins. Set in the Antebellum South, Django Unchained chronicles a freed slave’s search for his long-lost wife. Django Unchained was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards (with wins for Waltz and Tarantino for Best Screenplay), five BAFTAS (again, with wins for Tarantino and Waltz and editor Fred Raskin) and five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Django Unchained grossed over $425 million worldwide.
Inglourious Basterds, his World War II epic, assembled a renowned international cast, including Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender, Melanie Laurent, Til Schweiger, Mike Myers and Christoph Waltz, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Colonel Hans Landa. First shown in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Inglourious Basterds was a critical and box office sensation, garnering numerous awards, including six BAFTA nominations, four Golden Globe nominations and eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Achievement in Directing. Prior to Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino thrilled audiences with Death Proof, starring Kurt Russell and Zoë Bell. Paired domestically with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror on a double bill called Grindhouse, Death Proof was shown in competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
In Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2, Uma Thurman, as The Bride, enacted a “roaring rampage of revenge” on her former lover and boss, played by David Carradine. Shot in China, Japan, the United States and Mexico, the film co-starred Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox and Michael Madsen as Carradine’s team of assassins. He wrote and directed Jackie Brown, a crime caper loosely based on Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch, starring Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda and Michael Keaton. Grier garnered both Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her performance in the title role. Forster was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Jackson won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin International Film Festival for his performance as Ordell Robbie.
Tarantino’s career as a filmmaker began when he wrote, directed and starred in Reservoir Dogs, which made an auspicious debut at the Sundance Film Festival and marked his first trip to Cannes (out of competition). Reservoir Dogs co-stars Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi and Harvey Keitel.
Following the success of Reservoir Dogs, the screenplays that Tarantino wrote during his tenure as a video store clerk became hot properties: Tony Scott directed Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette in True Romance and Robert Rodriguez directed George Clooney and Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn. In addition to their collaborations From Dusk Till Dawn and Grindhouse, Tarantino also joined Rodriguez as a special guest director on his hit Sin City. Tarantino joined Rodriguez, Allison Anders and Alexandre Rockwell by directing, writing and executive producing a segment of the omnibus feature Four Rooms. For television, Tarantino directed the season five finale of “CSI.” The episode, titled “Grave Danger,” garnered Tarantino an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Tarantino made his television directorial debut in 1995 with an episode of the long-running drama “ER.”
He co-wrote, directed and starred in Pulp Fiction, which won numerous critics’ awards, a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Screenplay, and the Palme D’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. (Tarantino made a return visit to Cannes ten years later to take on the prestigious role of jury president.) The time-bending crime drama stars John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer and Christopher Walken.
His diverse work as a producer exemplifies both his commitment to first-time filmmakers and his support for his experienced peers and colleagues. Among his producing credits are Eli Roth’s Hostel and Hostel: Part II, Roger Avary’s Killing Zoe, Katrina Bronson’s Daltry Calhoun and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn. The longtime fan of Asian cinema presented Yuen Wo Ping’s Iron Monkey to American audiences in 2001, Zhang Yimou’s Hero in 2004 and RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists in 2012.