The 32nd Film Festival Ghent dedicated to Robert Wise

15 Sep 2005
The 32nd edition of The Flanders International Film Festival will be dedicated to Robert Wise, the Producer-Director of West Side Story and The Sound of Music, who passed away, Wednesday September 14, just after becoming 91. The former President of the Festival's International Jury was a good friend of Jacques Dubrulle, the President and animator of the Festival. In that way the whole team of the festival wanted to share the condolences with the deceased's family and pay this Hollywood giant himself a well deserved tribute.
Robert Wise was active for over 65 years in the movie industry. He joined RKO in the 1930s as a cutter and eventually became one of the studio's top editors. In 1941 he joined Orson Welles as an assistant on the set of Citizen Kane. He was a 7 times Oscar Nominee and won 4 Oscars as Director Producer for West Side Story and The Sound of Music. He was an all round Director with almost 40 movies in all genres from western to science fiction. Wise died Wednesday after falling ill and being rushed to the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center, from a heart failure.The director appeared to be in good health Saturday, when he celebrated his 91st birthday with friends. His death means a a great loss for the Filmfestival Ghent. Wise was not only a good personal friend of Jacques Dubrulle, the President of the Flanders International Film Festival, he was also a beloved guest at the Festival. In 1993, Wise was the Chairman of the International Jury for the 20th edition of the Festival, while a tribute was brought to his lifetime achievement. For several years now, the Award for Best Director is named after him, and in Los Angeles, his residence, Robert Wise acted definitely as a strong ambassador for the Film Festival Ghent. Besides his four Oscars, Wise was awarded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1966. He also received the Directors Guild of America's highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award, in 1988.