Atlanta Jewish Film Festival To Honor ‘Star Wars’ Writer

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Interview with Emory University film professor Matthew Bernstein

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival will present its first-ever Icon Award to “The Empire Strikes Back” screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.

Kasdan will reflect on his career in conversation with ArtsATL founder Catherine Fox this weekend, and to preview the event, “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes sat down with Emory University film professor Matthew Bernstein.

“Kasdan was a natural choice,” Bernstein said about the award’s recipient. “He’s been such an incredible talent and force in the film industry since the early 1980s.” 

Kasdan’s credits include “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Return of the Jedi” and the most recent Star Wars film “The Force Awakens,” as well as his own projects “Body Heat” and “The Big Chill.”

The AJFF’s Icon Award honors exemplary artists who have upheld the tradition of artistic excellence in film, informed directly or indirectly by a Jewish subject or sensibility.

“His influence has been pervasive,” Bernstein said, “and he is one of the most successful American Jewish filmmakers – writer, director, producer – in our history.”

Lawrence Kasdan will be awarded the Icon Award in an event at the Woodfruff Arts Center’s Rich Auditorium on Sunday, May 22.