Film preservationist Kevin Brownlow will receive the Robert Osborne Award at the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival, which this year runs April 11-14 in Hollywood. The honor, recognizing an individual who has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic film alive for future generations, is in its second year; Martin Scorsese won the inaugural award last year.
This Osborne award, named after the longtime Turner Classic Movies host and journalist who died in 2017, will be presented April 13 before a screening at the fest of 1965’s It Happened Here, the alt-history World War II pic directed and written by Brownlow (his first feature film) and Andrew Mollo that took six years to make.
Like Scorsese, Brownlow is revered for his work in restoration of classic film, with a focus on documenting and preserving the silent film era. The writer-director founded Photoplay Productions to make documentaries and revive classics including 1927’s Napoleon, which he worked on restoring for more than 25 years. He won an honorary Oscar for his efforts in 2011.
“In a career spanning more than seven decades, Kevin has played an instrumental role in documenting the history of silent film and preserving and restoring more than 50 silent films,” said Ben Mankiewicz, TCM’s anchor and festival host. “Kevin is truly the embodiment of what the Robert Osborne award signifies, helping ensure that classic film will continue to be experienced as it was meant to be seen for years to come.”
The TCM Classic Film Festival bows April 11 with the 30th anniversary screening of When Harry Met Sally…, with Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Rob Reiner to be in attendance. Crystal is getting the hand-and-footprint treatment at the TCL Chinese Theatre the next day. TCM is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.