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1997 Amicus Awards: Steven Spielberg and the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation

By IDA Editorial Staff

Steven Spielberg leans on a Panavision camera.

Steven Spielberg is one of the world's most respected and successful filmmakers. He reached a professional peak in 1993-94 with Schindler's List, which won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. It also won every major Best Picture award and an exceptional number of additional honors. Also in 1993, he directed Jurassic Park which became the highest grossing film in the history of motion pictures. His list of successes as director or producer have encompassed eight of the top twenty grossing films of all time.

The Color Purple in 1986 earned him his first Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award and eleven Academy Award® nominations. In 1987, Spielberg earned the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award at the Academy Awards® ceremonies in recognition of his consistent excellence in filmmaking. In 1995, he was honored with a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

His other films as director include Sugar/and Express, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1941, E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones trilogy, Empire of the Sun, Always and Hook.

Since forming his own production company Amblin Entertainment in 1984, Spielberg has served as producer or executive producer on more than a dozen films, including such successes as Gremlins, Goonies, Back to the Future I, II and III, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, An American Tail, The Land Before Time, The Flintstones, Casper and the two highest grossing films of 1997, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Men In Black.

On October 12, 1994, Spielberg joined Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen in announcing the formation of a new multimedia studio, Dream Works SKG. He has just completed directing Amistad and Saving Private Ryan for DreamWorks Pictures.

Based on the impact of his personal experience making Schindler's List, Spielberg established Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation to record on videotape the largest collection of Holocaust survivor testimonies ever assembled. The archive will be used as a tool for global education about the Holocaust and to teach racial, ethnic and cultural tolerance. The Foundation currently works in 45 countries and in 29 languages, and is developing breakthrough digital technology to make the archive of testimonies available for educational purposes world-wide. More than 35,000 testimonies have already been taped. In addition to the multimedia archive and database, the Foundation is developing educational materials including CD-ROM applications for schools, books and documentaries.

Among his other philanthropic projects, he established the Righteous Persons Foundation with the profits from Schindler's List, a non-profit Foundation which supports a wide breadth of Jewish causes. He is also chairman of the Starbright Foundation which brings together technology, entertainment and pediatrics to make significant differences in the lives of seriously ill chil dren and their families through the combined intervention of these three areas.

June Beallor and James Moll

June Beallor and James Moll have teamed together for the past 10 years creating promotional, educational and documentary films; Beallor's emphasis has been on producing and Moll's on writing and directing. In March of 1994, Moll and Beallor were hired to spearhead Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. In 1996, Moll and Beallor produced the two-time Emmy® Award and Cable ACE-winning documentary Survivors of the Holocaust. The documentary was also honored with the prestigious Peabody Award. Moll and Beallor subsequently produced The Lost Children of Berlin, a documentary narrated and hosted by Academy Award®-winning actor Anthony Hopkins, which premiered on A&E. Moll and Beallor continue to serve the Foundation as Founding Executive Directors, and Moll/Beallor Productions has a "first look" deal with Dream Works SKG with a variety of film and television projects in development.