coen - Courtesy - February 22 2011
Film makers Joel and Ethan Coen. Photo by Courtesy
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American filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen, the Oscar award-winning producer-director team with iconic films like “The Big Lebowski” and “A Serious Man” to their names, are expected to visit in Israel to accept the Dan David Prize for their contributions to cinema, Tel Aviv University announced yesterday.

“With control over final cut of their films, their creative involvement makes them a creative partnership unique in the history of filmmaking,” the prize committee, based at Tel Aviv University, said yesterday. The Coen brothers will receive $1 million in prize money

The Coens were born to a Jewish family in Minnesota. Their filmmaking collaboration began 26 years ago, when they teamed up to write, produce and direct the film noir-ish “Blood Simple.” They would go on to create 15 full-length feature films, including “Raising Arizona,” “Miller’s Crossing,” “Barton Fink,” “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “A Serious Man.”

In 2008, the Coen brothers won the Academy Award for best director for their work on “No Country for Old Men.”

The other million-dollar prize winners for 2011 are University of California at San Francisco Professor Cynthia Kenyon and Harvard Medical School Professor Gary Ruvkun for their work in gerontology, and Stanford University Medical School Professor Marcus Feldman for his work in the evolutionary sciences.

“Cynthia Kenyon is recognized as a pioneer most responsible for first showing that the aging of the C. elegans worm is under genetic control,” the prize committee said.

Ruvkun is being rewarded for “a huge contribution to the future of human health with the discovery of metabolic genes with universal influence on aging.”

The committee also praised Feldman’s work, which they said had broad applications in understanding animal and plant evolution.

“His work has led to highly focused insights of cultural significance such as the out-of-Africa model of human evolution, as well as cultural preferences in different civilizations,” they wrote.