SAN JOSE, CA (Sept 21, 2010) — Academy Award-winning filmmaker and best-selling author, Michael Moore, has been named the recipient of the Steinbeck Award by the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University. Moore will formally receive the "In the Souls of the People" award on Thursday, October 14, at 7pm.
The Steinbeck award is given to writers and artists whose work captures the spirit of Steinbeck's empathy, commitment to democratic values, and belief in the dignity of people who by circumstance are pushed to the fringes.
“Courage is 75% of art,” states Thomas Steinbeck, noted author and the son of John Steinbeck. “Michael Moore is a courageous man and a great selection for the John Steinbeck Award. My father would have loved him; my father was the Michael Moore of his time.”
Noted as the “who’s who of disturbers,” previous recipients include Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, John Sayles, Jackson Browne, Garrison Keillor, Joan Baez, and Sean Penn.
"I am truly grateful to the Steinbeck family and the Steinbeck Center for their generous acknowledgment of my work,” says Michael Moore. “The works of John Steinbeck have been a singular and powerful inspiration to me all of my life. Steinbeck believed that a story could change the world. He spent his life telling the stories of the powerless and the exploited. Through him, they had a voice. Today we are sadly, once again, witnesses to another Grapes of Wrath."
Moore's films include "Capitalism: A Love Story," "Roger & Me," "Sicko," "Fahrenheit 9/11," and "Bowling for Columbine," as well as best-selling books, "Stupid White Men" and "Downsize This!"
“When you read the criteria for the John Steinbeck Award, it seems like a job description of Michael Moore,” states Ted Cady, member of the board and producer of events for the Center for Steinbeck Studies.
The October 14 event is a benefit for the Center for Steinbeck Studies. Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for students through Ticketmaster and the SJSU Event Center box office. The talk will be hosted by the SJSU Student Union and Thomas Steinbeck, with an interview moderated by Metro Silicon Valley Executive Editor, Dan Pulcrano.
About Michael Moore
Michael Moore is the Oscar-winning filmmaker of "Bowling for Columbine," "Roger & Me," "Fahrenheit 9/11" (winner of the Cannes Palm d'Or), the Oscar-nominated "Sicko," and, most recently, "Capitalism: A Love Story." Four of the top eight top grossing documentaries of all time are Michael Moore films. He won the Emmy Award for his NBC show, "TV Nation." He also won the British Book of the Year award for his political humor book, "Stupid White Men" (which spent over a year on the New York Times best seller list), and he has written five other New York Times best selling books.
Michael was born in Flint, Michigan, and became the youngest elected official in Michigan at the age of 18. He now lives near Traverse City, MI, where he founded and runs the non-profit Traverse City Film Festival and its art house, the State Theatre. He sits on the Michigan Film Advisory Committee, appointed by Governor Granholm in 2008, and in July 2010 he was elected to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
About the Center for Steinbeck Studies
San Jose State – Silicon Valley's largest institution of higher learning with 27,400 students and 3,190 employees – is part of the California State University system. SJSU's 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation's 10th largest city. The John Steinbeck Award (http://bit.ly/steinbeckaward) has been authorized by the Steinbeck family and is presented by the Center for Steinbeck Studies.
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