Screenwriter and Film Program alumnus Simon Kinberg ('01SOA) accepted the Columbia University Film Festival's 2010 Andrew Sarris Award at Screenwriting Night at McGraw-Hill Theater May 4. Kinberg's writing credits include Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), which began as his thesis at the School of the Arts; X-Men: The Last Stand (2006); and Sherlock Holmes (2009).
He is also currently writing and producing Doug Liman's next film Luna, and writing an original script for Nicole Kidman at 20th Century Fox, among other projects. Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow ('81SOA) won the festival's annual Sarris Award in 2009.
The Sarris Award, named for School of the Arts Film Program professor and world-renowned critic and theorist Andrew Sarris, honors outstanding service and artistic achievement of distinguished Film Program alumni. The winner is selected by current School of the Arts Film students. Past recipients include alumni Kimberly Peirce, Lisa Cholodenko, Jay Russell, Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini, Sabrina Dhawan, Albert Berger, James Mangold, Jeffrey Sharp, Nicole Holofcener, and Ron Nyswaner.
"I'm incredibly honored to be receiving the Sarris Award," Kinberg said. "Andrew Sarris is an idol of mine, he's one of the greatest minds in the history of cinema, so to even be mentioned alongside his name is deeply humbling."