The Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry’s professional global honorary society, has named Lynwen Brennan, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Lucasfilm, as the forthcoming recipient of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her valuable contributions to visual arts and filmed entertainment. The award will be presented at the 20th Annual VES Awards on March 8 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The VES Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed by the VES Board of Directors, recognizes an individual and their outstanding body of work that has significantly contributed to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry. The VES will honor Brennan for her dedication to the industry and advancement of unforgettable storytelling through visual effects. Brennan is a driving force for creativity, collaboration and synergy and cutting-edge endeavors at the forefront of our craft. At the helm of a vast operational portfolio, Brennan has been instrumental in the studio’s creation of groundbreaking entertainment, pioneering visual effects, sound design and computer animation for TV and film.
“Lynwen has elevated visual effects as an integral element of the art and production of moviemaking,” said VES Board Chair Lisa Cooke. “She is a powerhouse talent with incredible business savvy, sharp creative and technical instincts and a vision that has delivered some of the most popular movie franchises of all time. Lynwen’s keen sense of culture and community, coupled with her leadership in the global industry, is paving the way for future generations of artists, innovators and executives. We are very proud to honor such an exemplary role model with the VES Lifetime Achievement Award.”
As General Manager and Executive Vice President of Lucasfilm — home to the legendary Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises — Lynwen Brennan oversees all businesses, including Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. She is responsible for the development and execution of Lucasfilm’s business strategy, and works across each division to implement the company vision. Brennan was integral in the creation of ILMxLAB, which combines the talents of Lucasfilm, ILM and Skywalker Sound to break new ground in creating interactive storytelling and immersive entertainment experiences.
Brennan’s career with Lucasfilm started in 1999 with her role as Technical Area Leader in Lucasfilm’s storied visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic. She rose through the ranks to become President of ILM in 2009, and guided the studio through one of its most successful periods. Under her leadership, ILM added three new studios to its global footprint, and expanded their studios in San Francisco and Singapore. In February 2015 she was promoted to General Manager and EVP of Lucasfilm.
In 2016, Brennan was awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for her contributions in support of the U.K.’s visual effects industry. This was followed in 2019 with a Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television from the British Academy of Film and Television Art in Wales, BAFTA Cymru.
Brennan serves as a studio representative for the company-wide women’s initiative, sponsors Women in Animation and passionately supports the education and development of female artists and engineers.
Previous winners of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award have included Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, Dennis Muren VES, Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall, James Cameron, Ray Harryhausen, Stan Lee, Richard Edlund VES, John Dykstra, Sir Ridley Scott, Ken Ralston VES, Jon Favreau, Chris Meledandri and Sir Peter Jackson.
As previously announced, acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is the forthcoming recipient of the VES Award for Creative Excellence, to be bestowed at the 20th Annual VES Awards.
See the full list of nominees for the 2022 VES Awards here.