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  • David Llewelyn Wark "D. W." Griffith was an American film director, mostly remembered as the director of the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation and the subsequent film Intolerance. He is closely associated with his frequent leading lady, Lillian Gish. Griffith began making short films in 1908, and released his first feature, Judith of Bethulia, in 1913. His film The Birth of a Nation made pioneering use of advanced camera and narrative techniques, and its immense popularity set the stage for the dominance of the feature-length film in the United States. The film has been extremely controversial for its negative depiction of African Americans, white unionists, and the Reconstruction, and its positive portrayal of slavery and the Ku Klux Klan. The film was subsequently both lionized for its radical technique and condemned for its racist philosophy. Filmed at a cost of $110,000, it returned millions of dollars in profits, making it, perhaps, the most profitable film of all time, although a full accounting has never been made.

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Year Award category Award winner Winning work Ceremony Achievement level Notes/Description
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  • for his distinguished creative achievements as director and producer and his invaluable initiative and lasting contributions to the progress of the motion picture arts

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  • D.W. Griffith was one of the most important film directors of all time and his creative influence has been felt world-wide.
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