Press Releases  ·  04 | 05 | 2021

Locarno’s Best Producer Award 2021 goes to U.S. Producer and Screenwriter Gale Anne Hurd

The Locarno Film Festival’s Premio Raimondo Rezzonico for Best Producer on the International scene will go to Gale Anne Hurd, a pivotal figure for both the small and the big screen who was behind giant global hits like The Terminator trilogy and the television franchise The Walking Dead. Hurd will receive the award on the evening of Saturday August 7, and the tribute to her will include screenings of a selection of titles that are landmarks in both her career and in contemporary audiovisual storytelling.

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As one of the most respected figures on the film and television scene from both an industry and an artistic point of view, Gale Anne Hurd has helped breathe life into the sci-fi genre, giving us films and series that have become part of our social imaginary, reflecting or even anticipating the zeitgeist. In 1984 she began her collaboration with James Cameron, producing and co-writing The Terminator, which ranks among the great classics of sci-fi and action cinema. She followed that up with Academy Award®-winning productions such as Aliens (James Cameron, 1986), The Abyss (James Cameron, 1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991) and The Ghost and the Darkness (Stephen Hopkins, 1996). Her work for television has been equally impressive: she is an Executive Producer of one of the biggest hit series in recent years, The Walking Dead, which is currently filming its 11th and final season.

Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival says: “Gale Anne Hurd has revolutionized our conception of what action cinema looks like. In a domain where the male gaze ruled supreme, she imposed a completely new, explosive and engaging sensibility. By producing the work of emerging and innovative directors like James Cameron and Michael Bay, and by playing with and re-writing the rule books for genres from sci-fi to action, not forgetting adventure and drama, she played a decisive role in shaping mythologies like The Terminator and rebooting the disaster movie in films such as Armageddon. For television, she revived the zombie canon with The Walking Dead. The prize for Gale Anne Hurd pays homage to a visionary Producer with an infallible gaze, whose work has left an indelible mark on Hollywood and on the collective imaginary.”

The tribute program

Gale Anne Hurd will receive the Best Producer Award (Premio Raimondo Rezzonico) in Piazza Grande on the evening of Saturday August 7. The tribute will include screenings of stand-out titles in her career:

The Terminator, by James Cameron – USA/United Kingdom – 1984, screened in Piazza Grande, Saturday August 7

Dick, by Andrew Fleming – USA/Canada/France – 1999


The Festival audience and guests will also have an opportunity to attend a panel discussion with the producer, moderated by Marcello Paolillo, on Sunday 8 August at 10.30 am, at Forum @Rotonda by la Mobiliare. In 2021, all public meetings with guests and award-winners of the Locarno Film Festival will be held at laRotonda.

Gale Anne Hurd will also be a guest at StepIn, the Locarno Pro Think Tank on the future of the film industry, as a Keynote Speaker on her own professional experience and issues of gender equality in the audiovisual industry.

The Best Producer Award (Premio Raimondo Rezzonico), offered by the municipal council of Minusio, was created in 2002 in memory of the man who was President of the Festival from 1981 to 1999.

The 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place from 4 to 14 August 2021. The Festival team is currently working, in full compliance with official health and biosecurity guidelines, towards a physical event in 2021. Should those same guidelines so require, however, the Festival reserves the option to make organizational changes which will be announced to the media and the general public in due course.

Gale Anne Hurd - Biography

Gale Anne Hurd was born in Los Angeles in 1955. She is one of the industrys most respected film and television producers. After working in various capacities for the master of horror Roger Corman, previously a guest at Locarno in 2016, Hurd founded her own company, which is currently known as Valhalla Entertainment. In 1984, she produced and co-wrote her first feature film, The Terminator (James Cameron), followed in quick succession by Aliens (James Cameron, 1986). Hurd also produced blockbusters such as Armaggedon (Michael Bay, 1998) and The Incredible Hulk (Louis Leterrier, 2008), cult movies like Punisher: War Zone (Lexi Alexander, 2008), dramas like The Waterdance (Neal Jimenez and Michael Steinberg, 1992), winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Audience and Screenplay Awards, and three documentaries, including the acclaimed Native American feature Mankiller (Valerie Red-Horse, 2017).

She is an Executive Producer of The Walking Dead and its companion series, Fear the Walking Dead, as well as of the third chapter in the series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, which was just renewed for a second season. She also serves as a Consulting Producer on AMCs top-rated talk show, Talking Dead. A Walking Dead feature film was also announced and will premiere theatrically via Universal Pictures, with Hurd serving as a Producer. Hurd’s recent Executive Producer credits include the anthology series Lore, which is currently streaming on Amazon, two seasons of Falling Water for the USA Network and Hunters for Syfy.

A long-time former Board Member and Officer of the Producers Guild of America, Hurd received the organization's coveted David O. Selznick Award for Achievement in Feature Film. She has served as a Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and on the Boards of the American Film Institute, the Waterkeeper Alliance, and the Ocean Conservancy, among many others. Gale was inducted into the prestigious International Women's Forum Hall of Fame, and her Star can be found on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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