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By Film Threat Staff | May 29, 2007

On the heels of announcing that veteran producer Jerry Weintraub will be given the Vanguard Producer Award after screening “Ocean’s Thirteen” during the opening night festivities, the CineVegas Film Festival will honor four other entertainment icons spanning two hemispheres, it was announced today by Trevor Groth, Artistic Director. On Friday, June 15, the Marquee Award will be given to Sir Anthony Hopkins (whose film “Slipstream” will screen at the festival), the Vanguard Actor Award to Sir Ben Kingsley, the Vanguard Director Award to Mike Newell, and the Half-Life Award to Charlize Theron at the Honorees Reception.

“We are incredibly blessed to gather such talent in one spot for the purpose of recognizing their collective work,” stated Groth. “The excitement of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Ben Kingsley, Mike Newell and Charlize Theron coming together at this year’s CineVegas will truly be a weekend, and a year, to remember.”

The Festival’s closing night film is “You Kill Me,” the forthcoming thriller from director John Dahl (“Joy Ride,” “The Last Seduction,” “Rounders”), starring Kingsley, Téa Leoni, Luke Wilson and Bill Pullman. It follows an alcoholic hit man (Kingsley) who heads to California to take a break from his bad habits, taking a job at a mortuary, and becoming romantically involved with the stepdaughter (Leoni) of a corpse he’s embalming.

Sir Anthony Hopkins, once an understudy to Sir Laurence Olivier, first distinguished himself in such feature films as “A Lion in Winter,” “A Bridge Too Far,” “The Elephant Man” and “84 Charing Cross Road,” revealing his full emotional power in his Oscar-winning role as Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.” Through the ‘90s he received two Best Actor Oscar nominations for “The Remains of the Day” and “Nixon,” and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role in “Amistad,” as well as starred in such films as “Desperate Hours,” “Howard’s End,” “Legends of the Fall,” “Surviving Picasso,” “The Mask of Zorro” and “Instinct.” During this decade he reprised his role as Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal” and “The Red Dragon” while creating memorable characters in “Alexander,” “Proof,” “Bobby,” “All the King’s Men” and “Fracture.” He recently completed filming “Beowulf,” in which he stars as King Hrothgar. Hopkins also recently wrote and directed the independent feature “Slipstream” which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

Sir Ben Kingsley has seen his feature film career skyrocket since earning the Best Actor Academy Award for Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi” in 1982. He earned three additional Oscar nominations during the following two decades for “Bugsy,” “Sexy Beast” and “House of Sand and Fog,” along with a BAFTA nomination for “Schindler’s List.” Among his other roles are those in “Turtle Diary,” “Maurice,” “Pascali’s Island,” “Without a Clue,” “Sneakers,” “Dave” (as Vice President to Kevin Kline’s hapless President Mitchell), “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “Species,” “Rules of Engagement” and “Tuck Everlasting.” More recently, Kingsley has lent his enormous talents to “Thunderbirds,” “Suspect Zero,” “A Sound of Thunder,” “Oliver Twist” (as Fagin) and “Lucky Number Slevin,” among other projects.

Director Mike Newell’s breakthrough came with the 1992 Oscar-nominated drama “Enchanted April,” starring Miranda Richardson, followed by the $244 million worldwide success of “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” which earned two Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Subsequent directing work for Newell has included “Donnie Brasco,” “Pushing Tin,” “Mona Lisa Smile” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” also serving as executive producer on “Traffic,” “High Fidelity” and other projects. Newell is currently in post-production on “Love in the Time of Cholera.” Newell began directing British television during the mid-1960s, more recently episodes of ABC’s “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.” He began regularly working in feature film in 1980 with “The Awakening,” followed by such titles as “Dance with a Stranger,” “The Good Father,” “Amazing Grace and Chuck” and “Into the West.”

Theron, hailing from South Africa, is distinguished by a diverse body of work as well as an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her 2003 drama “Monster,” a Best Actress Oscar nomination two years later for her role as a female miner in “North Country,” in addition to an Emmy nomination for HBO’s “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.” Launching her film career in the mid-1990s with such projects as “2 Days in the Valley,” “That Thing You Do!” and “The Devil’s Advocate,” she segued to roles in Woody Allen’s “Celebrity,” “The Yards” and “The Cider House Rules.” During this decade, Theron has continued to demonstrate her range in film work such as “Reindeer Games,” “Men of Honor,” “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” “Sweet November” and “The Italian Job.” She will next be seen in Paul Haggis’ “The Valley of Elah” starring opposite Tommy Lee Jones and is currently filming “Tonight He Comes” with Will Smith.

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