56th San Francisco International Film Festival will Present Inaugural George Gund III Award to Ray Dolby

Industry Pioneer To Receive Honor at Film Society Awards Night at Bimbo’s 365 Club, May 7


The San Francisco Film Society announced today that Ray Dolby, inventor of numerous recording technologies and founder of local industry powerhouse Dolby Laboratories, will be the recipient of the inaugural George Gund III Award at the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 25–May 9). The award will be presented to Mr. Dolby at Film Society Awards Night, Tuesday, May 7 at the famed Bimbo's 365 Club. The George Gund III Award, given in tribute to the longstanding Film Society chairman of the board who passed away earlier this year, honors a worthy member of the filmmaking community for their outstanding and unique contributions to the art of cinema.

The Film Society and its year-round programs in exhibition, education and filmmaker services will be the beneficiary of the fundraiser honoring Dolby. The soon-to-be-announced recipients of the Founder's Directing Award, the Peter J. Owens Award for excellence in acting and the Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting will also be honored at the star-studded event. Previous honorees have included Terence Stamp (Peter J. Owens Award 2011), Robert Redford (Peter J. Owens Award 2009), Kevin Spacey (Peter J. Owens Award 2002), Oliver Stone (Founder's Directing Award 2011), Francis Ford Coppola (Founder's Directing Award 2009), Werner Herzog (Founder's Directing Award 2006), James Schamus (Kanbar Award 2010) and Peter Morgan (Kanbar Award 2008). Katie and Todd Traina are chairs of this year's Film Society Awards Night gala.

"From the moment of his initial involvement in the world of film, Ray Dolby has tirelessly worked to bring us closer to the ideal–the perfect realization of the filmmaker's vision," said Ted Hope, executive director of the San Francisco Film Society. "His contributions to the art form and to the creative landscape of San Francisco have been immeasurable. Long before anyone had ever heard the phrase 'tech boom,' he planted the seeds both in film and technology that have blossomed to make the Bay Area a community of innovation and inspiration for the rest of the world."

Ray Dolby, founder and director emeritus of Dolby Laboratories, was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1933. He worked on various audio and instrumentation projects at Ampex Corporation, where he was mainly responsible for the development of the electronic aspects of the Ampex videotape recording system. After receiving his PhD in physics from Cambridge, Dolby took up a two-year appointment as a United Nations advisor in India, and then returned to England in 1965 to establish Dolby Laboratories in London. In 1976, he moved to San Francisco, where his company established further offices, laboratories and manufacturing facilities. Dolby's pioneering work in noise reduction and later in surround sound has earned extensive recognition worldwide. He holds more than 50 U.S. patents, and has received many accolades for his work, among them an Academy Award for Scientific or Technical achievement and an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

George Gund III was an avid film lover and distinguished philanthropist, and his unwavering support of the San Francisco Film Society spanned more than four decades. He led SFFS and its annual San Francisco International Film Festival into a period of unprecedented growth and success, resulting in a robust year-round cultural organization that now reaches more cinema enthusiasts and supports more filmmakers than any other time in its history. Created in 2011, the George Gund III Award pays homage to Gund for the more than 40 years of service to the organization and will be given periodically to a member of the film community in recognition of their distinguished service to cinema as an art form.

For more information or tickets to Film Society Awards Night, contact Trista Kendall at 415-561-5049.
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56th San Francisco International Film Festival
The 56th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 25-May 9 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the Castro Theatre and New People Cinema in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Held each spring for 15 days, the International is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country's most beautiful cities, featuring 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards and $70,000 in cash prizes, upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests and diverse and engaged audiences with more than 70,000 in attendance.