Katzenberg Receives Academy’s Humanitarian Prize

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DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg was honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences for his humanitarian efforts on Saturday (Dec. 1). The much-admired studio head received an Academy salute, along with Hal Needham, George Stevens Jr. and D.A. Pennebaker at a star-studded event. Actors Tom Hanks and Will Smith were on hand to praise his philanthropic efforts, especially for this two decades of work as the head of The Motion Picture and Television Fund.

As deadline.com reported, Hanks introduced Katzenberg and praised his methods.

“It’s not just a phone call, it’s the invitation to breakfast “It’s the lunch that lasts exactly 47 minutes. It’s the follow-up phone call. It’s the visit to the office. It’s the tour of the facility. It’s the follow-up phone call. It’s a letter to remind you you had a phone call and a tour of the facility. And finally it is a thank you for the contribution you made.”

“It’s a truly great honor,” said Katzenberg. “My story is of mentors … people who give of their time and talents, of their words and wisdom. People who encourage all of us to reach for more and in doing so inspire us to strive for excellence not only in ourselves but in each other.” Katzenberg also recalled advice given to him by Kirk Douglas who said: ‘You haven’t learned to live until you’ve learned to give.’”

(from left) Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Will Smith

(from left) Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Will Smith