Locarno to Honor ‘Walking Dead’ Producer Gale Anne Hurd

The Locarno Film Festival will honor U.S. producer and screenwriter Gale Anne Hurd – best known for being instrumental to “The Terminator” film trilogy and “The Walking Dead” TV franchise – with its Raimondo Rezzonico Prize awarded to a producer who epitomizes the indie ethos.

The prominent Swiss fest dedicated to international indie cinema is on track to hold its 74th edition as an in-person event August 4-14, barring coronavirus complications.

Beginning as an executive assistant to Roger Corman, Hurd co-wrote “Terminator” with her now ex-husband James Cameron and went on to produce “Aliens” and Michael Bay-directed “Armageddon,” among other big-screen features. She moved into series television in the early 2000s and “The Walking Dead” arrived in 2010, followed by spin-off “Fear the Walking Dead” and USA’s “Falling Water.” Hurd’s company, Valhalla Entertainment, has an overall deal with Universal Cable Productions to develop new television and digital programs

“Gale Anne Hurd has revolutionized our conception of what action cinema looks like,” Locarno Artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro said in a statement, noting that “in a domain where the male gaze ruled supreme, she imposed a completely new, explosive and engaging sensibility.” 

By producing the work of emerging and innovative directors like Cameron and Bay “and by playing with and re-writing the rule books for genres from sci-fi to action, not forgetting adventure and drama,” Hurd has “played a decisive role in shaping mythologies,” Nazzaro added, and “left an indelible mark on Hollywood and on the collective imagination.”

Hurd will receive her career achievement award in Locarno’s outdoor Piazza Grande venue on August 7 during a gala comprising screenings of “The Terminator” and Andrew Fleming-directed “Dick,” the comedy reimagining the Watergate scandal as being prompted by two teen-age girls.

She will also hold an onstage conversation for the public and be a guest, as keynote speaker, of the Locarno Pro StepIn think tank held on August 5 for film industry professionals where she will talk about her personal professional experience contending with issues of gender equality in the industry.

Previous recipients of the Raimondo Rezzonico Prize include David Linde Jeremy Thomas, Christine Vachon, Paulo Branco, Menahem Golan and Office Kitano.

 

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