In 1963, Sidney Poitier made a film in Arizona, “Lilies of the Field.” The performance led to a huge milestone: He became the first Black winner of a lead-acting Oscar.
Now, Arizona is the site of another career milestone for the legendary actor and filmmaker — Arizona State University has named its new film school after him, reports the Associated Press. The Sidney Poitier New American Film School was unveiled at a virtual ceremony recently.
The decision to name the school after Poitier, 93, is about much more than his achievements and legacy, but because he “embodies in his very person that which we strive to be — the matching of excellence and drive and passion with social purpose and social outcomes, all things that his career has really stood for,” said Michael M. Crow, president of ASU.
“You’re looking for an icon, a person that embodies everything you stand for,” Crow said in an earlier interview. “With Sidney Poitier, it’s his creative energy, his dynamism, his drive, his ambition, the kinds of projects he worked on, the ways in which he advanced his life.”