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Director Francis Ford Coppola

Updated on June 24, 2016

UCLA's Award Winning Filmmakers

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The Young Francis Ford Coppola

I had the opportunity to see and meet one of America’s greatest film director’s Francis Ford Coppola recently at the Directors Guild of America on Sunset Blvd. He was invited to receive an award at the 25th annual UCLA TFT Film Festival Directors Spotlight.

Sitting in the front row of the grand theater, Coppola appeared younger than 77 years old. He is known as one of the “New Hollywood” making blockbuster movies in the 1970s. During this era there was the end to the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, threats of nuclear war, rock and roll and drugs. Coppola made Patton, The Godfather, The Great Gatsby, and Apocalypse in the 1970s.

While a graduate student at UCLA, Coppola won a Samuel Goldwyn Award for the best screenplay. With this honor he was hired to write scripts for Seven Arts before he made his first film.

UCLA's Winning Directors

Sitting in the front row on the left side of the theater, Coppola and a young companion watched as student director Marta Savina won Outstanding Drama, Outstanding Achievement in Editing and the Myrl Schreibman Award. Other winners included Gayatri Bajpai for Outstanding Comedy; Reed Van Dyk for Outstanding Achievement Directing the Actor and in Screenwriting; Soraya Selene Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography; Athanasios Papastergiou for Sound Design and Tiffanie Hsu for Alumni Jury Honorable Mention.

After the students received their awards, UCLA Dean Teri Shwartz honored Francis Ford Coppola with the Distinguished Vanguard Director Award Presentation. She enriched guests with the history of Coppola’s career and UCLA put together a short compilation of Coppola’s films.

Coppola climbed the steps to receive his award. He stood at the podium and spoke about his life as a man, his life as a director and the future of film making.


Francis Ford Coppola

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The Giants in Hollywood Meet Early In Their Careers

As Coppola walked up to the stage to accept his award, he shared with an audience of over 200 fans, that he and George Lucas became friends before either became famous. Coppola helped his science fiction friend with his film THX 1138. Later, Coppola produced Lucas’s first blockbuster, American Graffiti, and the two collaborated on Apocalypse Now.

Francis Ford Coppola Films

In alphabetical order -

A - Apocalypse Now and Apocalypse Now Redux

B - Battle Beyond the Sun, Battle Beyond the Sun, The Bellboy and the Playgirls and Bram Stroker's Dracula.

C - Captain EO, The Conversation and The Cotton Club

D - Dementia 13

F - Finian's Rainbow

G - Gardens of Stone, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Godfather Part III

J - Jack

N - New York Stories

O - One from the Heart and The Outsiders

P - Peggy Sue Got Married

R - The Rain People, The Rainmaker and Rumble Fish

T - The Terror, Tetro, Tonight for Sure, Tucker: The Man and His Dream and Twixt

Y - You're a Big Boy Now and Youth Without Youth

A Great Film Director - Francis Ford Coppola

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Make Good Choices in Life

Coppola met and married Eleanor Jessie Neil 53 years ago. “Getting married made me focus on my little team,” said Coppola. " Right now, every institution we know is changing.”

He told the students that there are two types of films today: Independent and Big Studio.Coppola recommends that student directors need to decide which type of film to make and to stick with it. Once they became successful, they might be lucky to make both types like Stephen Sondheim and other great newer film makers.

47 Award Nominations & 50 Wins

Year of Award
Academy or Golden Globe
Honor
1971
Patton
Best Writing, Story
1973
The Godfather
Best Writing, Story
1975
The Godfather: Part II
Best Picture
1980
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Best Original Score
2011
 
Irving G. Thalberg

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Coppola met and married Eleanor Jessie Neil 53 years ago. “Getting married made me focus on my little team,” said Coppola. " Right now, every institution we know is changing.”

He told the students that there are two types of films today: Independent and Big Studio.Coppola recommends that student directors need to decide which type of film to make and to stick with it. Once they became successful, they might be lucky to make both types like Stephen Sondheim and other great newer film makers.

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 10 months ago

      Who can forget the Godfather series? Thank you for sharing this director's history. I agree, he doesn't look 77.

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