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Warwick to award Honorary Degree to Academy Award-winning Director Oliver Stone

Oliver StoneThe University of Warwick has announced it will award Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at a special awards ceremony on 11th March 2016. After the ceremony Oliver Stone will take part in an “In Conversation with Oliver Stone” event, with an invited audience of University of Warwick students and staff, organised by Dr J.E. Smyth of Warwick’s Department of History.

Dr Smyth said, “Oliver Stone is Hollywood’s most dedicated and influential political filmmaker. Throughout his career he’s asked tough questions about America and its legacies of greed, corruption, and imperialism. I’m delighted that the University of Warwick is honoring his career.”

Oliver Stone has written and directed over 20 full-length feature films, among them some of the most iconic films of the last decades. Some have been deeply odds with conventional myth—including “Salvador” (1985), which revealed the U.S. government’s involvement in Central America; “Platoon” (1986), the first of his three Vietnam films; “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989); “JFK” (1991); “Natural Born Killers” (1994); and “Nixon” (1995).

Stone was born September 15, 1946 in New York City. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry in Vietnam in 1967-68, and was decorated with the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for Valor. After returning from Vietnam, he completed his undergraduate studies at New York University Film School in 1971. He worked as a taxi driver, merchant marine, messenger, advertising salesman, and production assistant before breaking through as a filmmaker. His script for “Midnight Express” (1978) earned him his first Academy Award and “Scarface” (1983) transformed the gangster genre and became a cult hit.

Though focused on controversial questions about the U.S., Stone’s films have a global audience and massive cultural impact, among them “Wall Street” (1987), an exposé of American capitalism; “World Trade Center” (2006), a true story of 2 (of only 20) 9/11 survivors; and “The Doors” (1991), a biopic of influential rock icon Jim Morrison. He has produced or co-produced a dozen films including “The People vs. Larry Flynt” (1996), “The Joy Luck Club” (1993), and “Reversal of Fortune” (1990).

Stone’s documentaries include three on Fidel Castro (“Comandante” (2003); “Looking for Fidel” (2004); and “Castro in Winter” (2012)); one on South America, “South of the Border” (2009), prominently featuring Hugo Chavez and six other Presidents in a continent undergoing huge social changes. He also made “Persona Non Grata” (2003) on Israel-Palestine relations.

His recent “The Untold History of the United States” (Showtime, 2012), is a 12-hour televised documentary series interrogating the conventional, triumphalist narrative of U.S. history. The companion book, co-written with Peter Kuznick, was a best seller.

Stone’s next project, “Snowden”, is slated for release this autumn.

There will be an opportunity for press photography / filming of the degree ceremony. Time restraints mean that it will not be possible to offer any individual interviews. Any press wishing to attend should contact the University press team as below.

For further information please contact:

Alex Buxton, Communications Manager, Tel: 02476 150423, Mob: 07876 218166 or Nicola Jones 07920531221

Members of the press are asked to confirm their attendance.

University staff and students can find out further information about the event here

Alex Buxton
Communications Manager
Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166