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Writer-Director Jason Reitman to receive Aspen Film's New Directions Award
August 21, 2009 Aspen, Co. - Aspen Film will honor Academy Award® nominated director Jason Reitman (JUNO, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) with its first ever New Directions Award at this year's 31st annual Aspen Filmfest September 30th through October 4th. In recognition of his tremendous creative achievement as a writer and director, Aspen Film will screen his new feature, UP IN AIR starring George Clooney and present the New Directions Award followed by an on-stage conversation with Mr. Reitman. This special evening will take place Friday, October 2nd, 6:00 PM at the Wheeler Opera House.
Gifted with a unique vision, Jason Reitman has forged a distinctive, award-winning signature style that captivates critics and audiences alike. Mr. Reitman has a long association with Aspen Film, dating back to 2000 when his short film, IN GOD WE TRUST won Aspen Shortsfest's Best Comedy and Audience Awards. In 2004, he won the Shortsfest Best Short Short Award for CONSENT.
This fall, Jason Reitman returns to Aspen with the dramatic comedy UP IN THE AIR starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and after he's met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.
In making the announcement, Executive Director Laura Thielen commented: "We are honored to showcase UP IN THE AIR and recognize Jason Reitman with the New Directions Award celebrating his fresh and inspiring evolution as a filmmaker. With each new project, Jason's big screen storytelling reveals a new level of mastery and evocative vision. His timely choices and deft blend of comedy and drama to explore human behavior make UP IN THE AIR his finest film to date. Jason has a gift for taking audiences into unexpectedly rich and resonant territory. That's what keeps movies at their authentic, vibrant best. We enjoy following his lead."
With two feature films under his belt, Academy Award®-nominated director Jason Reitman has established himself as an original, smart and funny storyteller known for his keen pitch-perfect satirical commentaries on our society.
Jason Reitman has also produced the upcoming horror comedy film JENNIFER'S BODY for FOX. The Diablo Cody-scripted film was directed by Karyn Kusama, and will be released in September 2009. The film stars Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. Mr. Reitman is also set to produce Max Winkler's directing debut, CEREMONY, which will star Michael Angarano and Jesse Eisenberg.
In December 2007, Fox Searchlight released Reitman's second feature JUNO, which garnered widespread praise and has gone on to gross over $230 million worldwide. Jason Reitman was nominated for an Academy Award® for directing JUNO, while the film earned an Oscar win for Diablo Cody's screenplay and additional nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress (Ellen Page). JUNO also won 3 Independent Spirit awards and a Grammy Award.
Mr. Reitman made his feature film-directing debut with the 2006 hit THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, based on the acclaimed novel by Christopher Buckley, which Mr. Reitman adapted for the screen. The film had its world premiere at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, where it was acquired by Fox Searchlight. The film went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture and an Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay and a Writers Guild of America nomination for best-adapted screenplay. In 2006, the National Board of Review named Mr. Reitman best debut director.
Jason Reitman was born in Montreal on October 19, 1977. At age 19, his first short film, OPERATION, premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. This began a string of shorts; Mr. Reitman's short films played in over a hundred film festivals worldwide, including Aspen Shortsfest where both IN GOD WE TRUST and CONSENT took home awards. Jason Reitman is half of the mash up DJ Band BAD MEANING BAD.