Oscar 2015: Academy Honors Spike Le, Gena Rowlands, Debbie Reynolds

August 27, 2015–Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) praised the passion of the board members in choosing the three honorees for Governors Awards.

She described the three recipients: Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds, and Gena Rowlands as “a very interesting group.”

Spike Lee

Lee was cited “because of the impact he has had. When I first saw ‘She’s Gotta Have It,’ I had never seen anything like that before.” She saluted him for being “such an advocate of the indie world and someone who has always stayed true to himself.”

Gena Rowlands

Rowlands “is another one who has made a big difference in independent filmmaking. She’s so unique in her look and style.” Boone Isaacs described her as an icon, and said the same of the third honoree. “No matter where you are in the world, if you say the name ‘Debbie Reynolds,’ everyone knows who she is. And she has spent so much of her time helping those who are less fortunate. There are so many creatives who give back and it’s important to recognize their work.”

In the past, the Academby has made some original choices, such as Kevin Brownlow and Piero Tosi, but this  group of one filmmaker and two actresses are all more well-known Americans.

Some Oscar pundits were surprised that the 58 year-old Lee is a relative newcomer. He’s been making films for “only” 29 years. That’s short, compared to the two actresses, who have been in the public eye for more than 50 years.