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Legendary Filmmaker Walter Mirisch Honored by KCET Cinema Series 7/14 | KCET


Legendary Filmmaker Walter Mirisch Honored by KCET Cinema Series 7/14


JP Shields                     



Legendary Producer Walter Mirisch To Be Honored

with KCET Cinema Series Lumière Award at

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Screening Event July 14


Academy Award® Winning Filmmaker Interviewed by Deadline's Pete Hammond

During Annual James Coburn Movie Night Followed by Screening of Classic Western


BURBANK, Calif. - July 9, 2015 - KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station,announced today that in collaboration with The James and Paula Coburn Foundation and Mitzi Ash Blahd, legendary filmmaker and producer Walter Mirisch is set to receive the KCET Cinema SeriesLumière Award at a special screening event of the classic 1960 western THE MAGNIFICENT SEVENon Tuesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. PT at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The Lumière Award recognizes excellence, artistry, and innovation by an actor or filmmaker for their outstanding contribution to film.Past recipients include Kevin Costner (2014), Gary Oldman (2011), Dame Judi Dench (2005), andIan McKellen (2003). Nationally recognized film expert Pete Hammond will interview the film icon prior to the KCET Cinema Series screening of the timeless film.

"We are pleased to join The James and Paula Coburn Foundation as well as Mitzi Ash Blahd in honoring legendary producer Walter Mirisch with the KCET Cinema Series Lumière Award as we present one of his most treasured filmsTHE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, at the KCET Cinema Series," said Michael Riley, President and CEO of KCETLink Media Group. 

Walter Mirisch (born November 8, 1921) is an American film producer with a long and successful motion picture career, producing some of the industry's finest and most memorable films such as SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), THE APARTMENT (1960), WEST SIDE STORY (1961), THE GREAT ESCAPE(1963), THE PINK PANTHER (1963), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (1971), SAME TIME NEXT YEAR (1978) and many others. Starting out as a producer on low-budget "B" fare at Monogram Pictures (formerly the site of KCET studios) Mirisch rose to become one of Hollywood's leading visionaries and won the 1967 Academy Award® for Best Picture as producer of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. 

He was also awarded the Academy's Irving G. Thalberg Award for his outstanding career as well as the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.  He served as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1973-1977. Mirisch is still active in Hollywood with his role as President and Executive Head of Production at The Mirisch Corporation, an independent filmmaking organization.

"I am incredibly honored to be the recipient of the KCET Cinema Series Lumière Award," commented honoree Walter Mirisch.  "THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is one of my personal favorite films and I am so pleased that it continues to entertain audiences some 55 years after it was made.  It showcases some really memorable performances of its unforgettable cast."

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) is an American film directed by John Sturges starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen and of course, James Coburn. The film, an Old West style remake of Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa's THE SEVEN SAMURAI, which tells the tale of a village at the mercy of a band of outlaws. The townspeople hire seven American gunslingers to free them from the bandits' raids and in turn learn to defend themselves. A remake of the film is currently filming and scheduled to be released in January 2017 starring Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio, Matt Bomer, Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke and Peter Sarsgaard.

"The Coburn Foundation is proud to support KCET and its commitment to showcase cinematic masterpieces like THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN to the film and artistic communities of Southern California," said Lynda Erkiletian, Executive Director of The James and Paula Coburn Foundation. "We are honored and excited to take part in an evening that recognizes Mr. Mirisch and his achievements in a film that perfectly encapsulates James Coburn's philosophy of acting - of letting go of his own ego and allowing the character to come to the fore."

More detailed accounts of actor James Coburn can be found in an upcoming authorized biography fromRobyn Coburn examining Coburn's thoughts on his role in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and his original encounter with Mirisch on the 1959-60 television series WICHITA TOWN.


KCET's Cinema Series is celebrating its 10th anniversary at the historic Aero Theatre in 2015. Alternating between the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica and the ArcLight Theatre in Sherman Oaks, KCET's quarterly film series celebrates the most anticipated independent and studio films prior to their release in theaters. A lively Q&A with the film's talent or filmmakers follows each screening.

Films from this summer's Cinema Series season have included the critically acclaimed ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, SEX DEATH AND BOWLING, BATKID BEGINS, A LITTLE CHAOS, THE END OF THE TOUR, and MR. HOLMES. 

The upcoming film schedule is as follows:

SAMBA (Broad Green Pictures), Tuesday, July 21 at 7 PM       

A French comedy drama, co-written and directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.  It is the second collaboration between actor Omar Sy and the filmmakers after the 2012 film THE INTOUCHABLES (Sy was the winner of the 2012 Cesar Award for Best Actor).  Sparks fly between an illegal immigrant (Omar Sy) and the caseworker (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who tries to help him stay in Paris.  The film premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  Q & A immediately following with actor Omar Sy.

GRANDMA (Sony Pictures Classics), Tuesday, July 28 at 7 PM                       

A 2015 comedy drama that is written produced and directed by Paul Weitz. The film premiered as the closing night film at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and kicked off the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival. The film stars Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, and Marcia Gay HardenQ & A immediately following with director Paul Weitz.

To learn more about KCET's Cinema Series or to learn how to register to become a member, please visit Join the conversation on social media using#CinemaSeries



On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 50-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit KCET is a part of the KCETLink Media Group.



The James and Paula Coburn Foundation (JPCF) is a tax-exempt private foundation that supports charitable organizations devoted to the arts and sciences. The mission of the JPCF is to sustain and develop the Coburns' legacy, as bequeathed to the LA Philharmonic, the LA County Museum of Art, the Clairbourn School, KCET Community Television, the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the Operation Smile, in addition to, charities involved in the conduct of treatment or cures for cancer and the care of indigent cancer patients.  The foundation is committed to upholding the Coburns' dedication to local and international advancement through music, art, and education, as well as, physical and spiritual health.  The JPCF is organized as a 501© charitable trust and operates its main office in Los Angeles.