Academy Award® and Emmy®-winning Production Designer Stuart Wurtzel, best known for his work on Hannah and Her Sisters and Angels in America, will receive the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual ADG Awards. The Awards ceremony, set for Saturday, April 10, 2021, will break with tradition in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be presented on a virtual platform, streaming to a worldwide and more inclusive audience. The event will honor Wurtzel’s exceptional spectrum of iconic designs for film, television, and theater, created over six decades. This is the first of four Lifetime Achievement Awards to be announced by the Art Directors Guild. The event is free to everyone but registration is required at www.adgawards25.com.
“From his Oscar-nominated design for Hannah and Her Sisters to his iconic evocation of New York during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s in Angels in America, Stuart Wurtzel’s contribution to the art of Production Design stands alone,” said Mark Worthington, Art Directors Council Chair.
Stuart Wurtzel has worked as a prolific production designer with some of the industry’s greatest directors during his long career. He received his Oscar® for his work on Woody Allen’s classic Hannah and Her Sisters following his design of Allen’s Purple Rose of Cairo. He was the production designer on three Peter Yates films: Suspect, The House on Carroll Street, and An Innocent Man.
Wurtzel has been a go-to designer at HBO, winning numerous awards for his work there. These include Mike Nichols’ “Wit,” starring Emma Thompson, and “Angels in America,” which garnered him both an Emmy and an Art Directors Guild Award in 2004. More recently he was nominated for an Emmy and an ADG Award for “Empire Falls,” directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Paul Newman and Ed Harris. He received another Emmy nomination for “Little Gloria…Happy at Last.” His most recent work on “The Loudest Voice” can be seen on Showtime.
Wurtzel’s numerous other feature credits include: Enchanted, Stepmom, Hair, Mermaids, Romeo Is Bleeding, Three Men and a Little Lady, Old Gringo, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Mambo Kings, When a Man Loves a Woman, I.Q., Charlotte’s Web, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, The Ghost and the Darkness, Marley and Me, Hope Springs, and Ricki and the Flash.
Wurtzel’s first feature film design credit was Joan Micklin Silver’s Hester Street, on which he collaborated with his wife, Patrizia von Brandenstein. His association with Silver continued with “Bernice Bobs Her Hair” for the American Short Stories series on PBS and the feature Between the Lines.
In addition to working for the screen, big and small, he has designed numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions including “Henry IV, Part I” for the New York Shakespeare Festival, “Summer Brave,” “Unexpected Guests,” “Tiny Alice,” “A Flea in Her Ear,” “Wally’s Café,” and “Sorrows of Stephen,” for which he won the Joseph Maharam Award for Stage Design.
As previously announced, Ryan Murphy, one of television’s busiest and most successful writers-directors-producers whose shows have consistently reflected the highest quality of production design, will receive the esteemed Cinematic Imagery Award. ADG Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to outstanding individuals in each of the guild’s four crafts. The additional honorees for the Set Designers & Model Makers (SDMM), Scenic, Title & Graphic Artists (STG), and the Illustrators & Matte Artists (IMA) will be announced shortly. A complete list of past honorees can be found on ADG’s website. #iwillbethere #adgawards
Producer of this year’s ADG Awards (#ADGawards) is Production Designer Scott Moses, ADG. Final online voting will be held through April 7, 2021, and winners will be announced at the virtual gala ceremony on Saturday, April 10, 2021. ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producers signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions.
Sponsors include Premier Level: Astek Wallcovering, McLaren, SHOWPRO; Gold Level: Drop Shop Digital; Premier Trade: Shutterstock; Media sponsors: Variety and SHOOT Magazine/ SHOOTonline.