Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara has been set to deliver the USC School of Cinematic Arts 2018 commencement address which will take place on May 11 at the Shrine Auditorium. Last year, NBC/Universal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer gave the address. Others who have done so are Paul Feig, Jay Roach, Jim Gianopulos, Stacey Sher, Barry Meyer, Sumner Redstone, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Laura Ziskin.
In addition, screenwriter and producer Amanda Silver (Jurassic World, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will receive the Mary Pickford Alumni Award at the graduation ceremony. Last year, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd received the award which was initially created in 1995 in partnership with the Mary Pickford Foundation.
The Award pays tribute to women and men of USC whose extraordinary achievements bring special distinction to the School and to the industry. Past recipients have also included Kevin Feige, William Fraker, Brian Grazer, Conrad L. Hall, Ray Harryhausen, Alan Ladd Jr., Jon Laudau, Michelle Manning, Walter Murch, Shonda Rhimes, Jay Roach, Gary Rydstrom, Stacey Sher, John Singleton, Lee Unkrich, Matthew Weiner, David L. Wolper, Robert Zemeckis, Laura Ziskin, Melissa Rosenberg and Susan Downey.
“We are delighted that Kevin Tsujihara, one of the most respected and visionary studio executives in the industry, will address our graduating class this year and we’re excited to honor Amanda Silver, a truly unique and inspired screenwriter, with the Mary Pickford Alumni Award,” said Elizabeth M. Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. “Both are exemplary role models for our students and it’s such an honor to have them join us at this year’s commencement ceremony.”
The move comes as Warner Bros. is launching Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One this weekend both domestically and around the world.
Tsujihara has been at the Studio for 24 years. Prior to serving as CEO, he was President of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, which included home video, digital distribution, video games, anti-piracy and emerging technology operations, a post he assumed at WBHE’s founding in October 2005. Tsujihara managed talent, assets and growth through acquisitions to create Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the only studio-based videogame company in the industry, which is now top-ranked and has revenues exceeding $1 billion annually.
Silver is a veteran screenwriter whose past credits include Jurassic World, the fourth-highest grossing film in history with a global box office take of $1.67B, and the Oscar nominated hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which grossed $481.8M globally). In 2014, Silver and her husband and writing partner Rick Jaffa co-wrote and produced the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($710.6M worldwide), and the third installment, War for the Planet of the Apes ($490.7M worldwide).
Silver also co-wrote the screenplays for the highly-anticipated Avatar sequels Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 with James Cameron. Both films are currently in production. In addition, Silver’s script for the live action version of the Disney animated film Mulan is in pre-production with Niki Caro (Whale Rider) directing.