Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich has collected many trophies throughout the awards season, recently winning an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Now, the USC School of Cinematic Arts, which he attended as a student, is awarding him with the Mary Pickford Foundation Award. The award is given to distinguished alum, a status that an Academy Award more than confirms.
The school’s dean, Elizabeth M. Daley released the following statement in a press release:
We are…proud to honor Lee Unkrich, a distinguished alum whose tremendous success over the years has been our pleasure to witness.
The press release also has a recap of Lee’s successful career after graduating from the school:
Unkrich most recently directed the critical and box office smash hit Toy Story 3, which won the Academy Award ® for Best Animated Feature and became the most successful film in animation history, grossing more than $1 billion worldwide. He began his career as a live action editor and director upon his graduation from SCA in 1991.
In 1994, he joined the Pixar Animation Studios team and has since played a variety of key creative roles in nearly every animated feature film produced by the studio. He started at Pixar as an editor on Toy Story and continued on to become the supervising film editor on A Bug’s Life. Unkrich made his feature film directorial debut in 1999 as co-director of Toy Story 2, which won the Golden Globe ® for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical. He also co-directed Monsters Inc., and the Academy Award ®-winning Finding Nemo.
The award is to be handed out at the commencement ceremony for this year’s graduating class, which is scheduled to be held at the Shrine Auditorium on May 13.
Source: School of Cinematic Arts News