IES Abroad Alum & Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter Willard Huyck Honored at Film Festival

An older gentleman sitting holding a glass award. In the background is a lamp and bookshelf.

The 2018 IES Abroad Study Abroad Film Festival, in benefit of IES Abroad scholarships, was a magical night to remember. Not only were the incredible student filmmakers celebrated, one Film Festival jury member was also recognized for his efforts.

IES Abroad President & CEO Dr. Mary. M. Dwyer honored Willard Huyck (Paris, Academic Year 1965-66) – an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, director, and producer, and dedicated Film Festival jury member – with the inaugural Standing Ovation Award.

The IES Abroad Standing Ovation Award honors an individual or group whose outstanding contributions have enabled IES Abroad to continue to provide the Study Abroad Film Festival as a platform for students to share their study abroad experiences with the world through film. The award recipient is a source of inspiration to IES Abroad young filmmakers, and their contributions grow the recognition and impact of the Film Festival.

Willard epitomizes the inspiration behind this award. His professional film credits include American Graffiti, Lucky Lady, French Postcards, Best Defense, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He also worked on the screenplays for Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope and Mission: Impossible, just to name a few.

“We are honored to work with Willard. Since the inception of the Film Festival, Willard has been actively involved as a juror, not only offering his expertise and suggestions for improving the Festival, but also consistently giving thorough and thoughtful critiques of our students’ films,” said Dr. Dwyer. “We are so thankful for all the time he has dedicated over the last five years.”

Unfortunately, Willard was not able to accept his award in person; however, Willard’s acceptance speech was recorded and played for the audience on the big screen.

“It’s nice to get an award. And I’m getting an award for handing out awards,” said Willard. “Truthfully, judging the IES Abroad student films has been like a final chapter to my own junior year abroad in Paris. A year that turned out to be a more important part of my life than I thought it would be at the time … I want to congratulate the winners [finalists]. Your films were great. They were a smart mix of ideas and emotional takes on your experiences. Creating a film like these make the IES [Abroad] adventure even more enriching, and something to remember years later when you find yourself getting an award and saying merci beaucoup and à bientôt, baby.”