Gus Van Sant is a filmmaker who is capable of crafting both deeply unconventional independent films and mainstream crowd-pleasers. He is perhaps best known for directing Good Will Hunting with Robin Williams, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck. Van Sant was nominated for an Oscar for best director in 1998 (Williams won for best actor, as did and Damon and Affleck for best original screenplay).
His most recent film, Milk, was inspired by The Times of Harvey Milk by CCA's Film chair Rob Epstein. It garnered an Academy Award nomination for best director, and the Oscars for best actor (Sean Penn) and best screenplay (Dustin Lance Black). Van Sant was also an executive producer on Rob Epstein's film Howl, staring James Franco.
Van Sant's credits include Drugstore Cowboy with Matt Dillon and My Own Private Idaho with Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix. His exploration of the Columbine killings in Elephant earned best director recognition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, where it also received the festival's highest award, the Palme d'Or.
Other Van Sant films include To Die For with Nicole Kidman and Finding Forrester with Sean Connery. Van Sant has also directed music videos for David Bowie, Elton John, Hanson, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Special support for this event provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.