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San Francisco Film Society will Present 2015 George Gund III Craft of Cinema Award to Maurice Kanbar at 58th San Francisco International Film Festival

Intrepid Entrepreneur, Film Producer and Philanthropist to Receive Honor at Film Society Awards Night at The Armory, April 27

3/31/2015

San Francisco, CA - The San Francisco Film Society announced today that Maurice Kanbar, the legendary entrepreneur and film producer whose support of independent film has touched so many lives, will be the recipient of the George Gund III Craft of Cinema Award at the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23–May 7). The award will be presented to Kanbar at Film Society Awards Night, Monday April 27 at The Armory (1799 Mission Street). The George Gund III Craft of Cinema Award, given in tribute to the longstanding Film Society chairman of the board who passed away in 2013, honors a worthy member of the filmmaking community for outstanding and unique contributions to the art of cinema.

The Film Society and its year-round exhibition, education and filmmaker services programs will benefit from the Film Society Awards Night fundraiser honoring Kanbar. The star-studded event will also honor Richard Gere, the recipient of the Peter J. Owens Award for excellence in acting; Guillermo del Toro, who will receive the Irving M. Levin Directing Award; and the soon-to-be-announced recipient of the Kanbar Award for excellence in storytelling. Christine Aylward, Heidi Castelein and Victoria Raiser are co-chairs of this year's gala, which is sponsored by NET-A-PORTER.COM.

"The name Maurice Kanbar is synonymous with the celebration of great independent cinema," said Noah Cowan, executive director of the San Francisco Film Society. "His longstanding and unwavering support of so many other institutions across the country that are dedicated to the art and craft of film is beyond impressive. His passion inspires all of us, and we are fortunate to have such a keen mind defending independent artistry in this medium we all cherish."

Philanthropist, film producer, entrepreneur and inventor Maurice Kanbar holds over 36 patents on various consumer and medical products, and he built the first multiplex movie theater, the Quad Cinema, in Greenwich Village. Kanbar is a renowned supporter of the arts and sciences. He is a long-standing board member of the San Francisco Film Society, and has given millions of dollars to charitable organizations worldwide. His generosity has led to the endowment of the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at New York University, Kanbar Hall at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco, the Exploratorium's Kanbar Forum, the Kanbar Cardiac Unit at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, the Kanbar Campus Center at Philadelphia University, and the Maurice Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering at The Cooper Union.

His support of film festivals across the country includes the San Francisco International Film Festival and its Kanbar Award for storytelling, the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Mendocino Film Festival (Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking Award), the UCLA Film Festival, and the Sausalito Film Festival.

In 2006, Maurice produced an animated feature film, Hoodwinked, which held the number one spot in the United States during its first week of release and the movie has grossed more than $100 million in domestic and foreign box office receipts. His film company, Kanbar Entertainment also produced Hoodwinked Too (the sequel to the original hit film), and Seducing Charlie Barker (2012). He is currently developing other film projects.

George Gund III was an avid film lover and distinguished philanthropist whose unwavering support of the San Francisco Film Society spanned more than four decades. He led the organization and its annual San Francisco International Film Festival into a period of unprecedented growth and success, resulting in a robust year-round cultural institution 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 about Film Society Awards Night please call 415-561-5028 or email specialevents@sffs.org.

For general information visit festival.sffs.org.
To request interviews or screeners, contact your Festival publicist.
For photos and press materials visit sffs.org/pressdownloads.

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58th San Francisco International Film Festival
The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 23-May 7 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Castro Theatre, Landmark's Clay Theatre and the Roxie Theater in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Held each spring for 15 days, SFIFF is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country's most beautiful cities, featuring nearly 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards with nearly $40,000 in cash prizes and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests.