Our inaugural honoree, director, editor and producer Monte Hellman, has a career that spans six decades. He has exemplified cutting-edge filmmaking across multiple genres, working with budgets, from high-to-low, and with casts featuring stars to complete unknowns. Two films in particular, THE SHOOTING (1966) and TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (1971), are examples of Hellman’s rare ability to take two vastly different genres—the Western and the road movie—and deconstruct them, stripping them down, and making them singular entries in what is a remarkably diverse filmography.
Hellman got his start working with legendary producer Roger Corman, making his debut with BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE (1959). He later delivered another of his more notable films for Corman, RIDE THE WHIRLWIND (1966), and further cemented his reputation as a director with a singular and influential style with both image and performance. After a 20-year hiatus, Hellman came back to the big screen with a vengeance with the visionary neo-noir, ROAD TO NOWHERE (2010).