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Sir Richard Taylor, renowned for special effects, to be honored at SLO film festival

This year, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival honors the man behind some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.

Sir Richard Taylor, the special effects supervisor behind “Avatar,” “The Adventures of Tintin” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, will receive the film festival’s King Vidor Career Achievement Award, which honors excellence in filmmaking.

“He is extremely well-loved in the film business and in general,” festival Executive Director Wendy Eidson said, describing Taylor as a “celebrity” in his field.

Taylor and his wife, Tania Rodger, will travel from Wellington, New Zealand, for the March 12 awards ceremony in San Luis Obispo.

“It is a very rare public appearance,” Eidson said, noting that Taylor generally prefers to stay out of the spotlight.

The recipient of five Academy Awards and countless other honors, Taylor has served as the creative director of New Zealand special effects house Weta Workshop and its affiliates for more than 25 years.

Under his leadership, the companies have created physical and digital effects for films including “District 9,” “King Kong” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Weta is currently working with “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which opens Dec. 14.

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival runs March 7 through March 11 at venues throughout San Luis Obispo County. For more information, visit www.slofilmfest.org.

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