Akira Kurosawa School of Film Anaheim University which pioneered online education in the mid-90s celebrated the launch of the Akira Kurosawa School of Film at the Cherry Blossom Gala on March 23rd at the Beverly Hills Hotel, with accolades from Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese, who took part in the creation of a video tribute to the late, great Academy-Award winning Filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998).

George Lucas talks about Akira Kurosawa during Anaheim University Akira Kurosawa Memorial Video TributeGeorges Lucas’s messages for the tribute included, “It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Kurosawa’s work, and that his films were a source of inspiration for my own Star Wars Saga . . .I have no doubt his work will continue to inspire for generations to come.” Lucas told the students of Anaheim University that they are following in the footsteps of one of the great filmmakers of the 20th century, explaining how he learned a great deal from Kurosawa and it was from Film School that he was first introduced to Kurosawa. “He had a tremendous influence on my life and on my work, and on my sensitivity to visual story telling.” stated Lucas.

Steven Spielberg talks about Akira Kurosawa during Anaheim University Akira Kurosawa Memorial Video TributeSteven Spielberg congratulated Anaheim University for launching the Akira Kurosawa School of Film. He expressed his hope that students of Anaheim University would go on to be inspired and influenced as he was by Akira Kurosawa, stating “’The time I spent with Kurosawa has been reflected in my own work as all of the time I spent with Kurosawa’s films have done so much to inspire me to be a better filmmaker.”

scorsesetribute.jpgMartin Scorsese, whose work has earned more than a dozen Oscars, congratulated Anaheim University and the Kurosawa Family on the launch of the film school, stating “Let me say it simply – Akira Kurosawa was my master”. Mr. Scorsese included an emotional recollection of how he worked as an actor on Kurosawa’s classic “Dreams”.

The School of Film is slated to launch online Certificate and Master Degree Programs in Digital Filmmaking in September. Anaheim University will endeavor to extend its expertise in online education to filmmaking giving students an intuitive grasp of the art of film while using unique approaches and innovative hands-on teaching tools such as the Cell Phone Camera.

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Video Greetings to the Cherry Blossom Gala attendees from George Lucas, one of America's Top Directors

The Star Wars films of George Lucas have made him one of the most successful moviemakers in history. He was the co-writer and director of American Graffiti, the film that kicked off a country-wide craze for 1950's nostalgia. With his clout from that success he made Star Wars, a slam-bang space adventure which broke box office records around the world. Five sequels have been made to date, including The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005). With Steven Spielberg, Lucas also created the dashing archaeologist Indiana Jones; Lucas produced Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and its sequels, while Spielberg directed. The Oscar-winning director is also the head of LucasFilms and the special effects studios Industrial Light & Magic, and is famous for his Skywalker Ranch production facilities north of San Francisco. In 1992 Lucas received a special Oscar, the Irving G. Thalberg Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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Video Greetings to the Cherry Blossom Gala attendees from Martin Scorsese, one of America's Top Directors

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese's films about mobsters, mean streets and the violence of modern life made him one of America's most respected modern filmmakers. After directing Roger Corman's Boxcar Bertha (1972), Scorsese was able to make the more personal Mean Streets the next year. He had further success with Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) and then Taxi Driver (1976). Taxi Driver, with DeNiro as crazed assassin-wannabe Travis Bickle, became an iconic film of the 1970s and put DeNiro on the map for good. Following in the distant footsteps of Coppola's Godfather films, Scorsese has made a number of films exploring the rush and despair of organized crime, including Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), Gangs of New York (2002), and the Boston undercover drama The Departed (2006). His many other movies include Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Color of Money (1986), and The Aviator (2004). The Departed won the Academy Award as the best picture of 2006, with Scorsese also winning the Oscar as the year's best director.

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Video Greetings to the Cherry Blossom Gala attendees from Stephen Spielberg, one of America's Top Directors

Stephen Spielberg, Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing credits to his name, as producer, director and writer. Among his amazing list of blockbuster movies are Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark (and the subsequent Indiana Jones features), E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, the Back to the Future trilogy, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg has received countless awards for his critically-acclaimed body of work, including three Academy Awards for Directing, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his work as a creative producer.