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Lifetime Achievement Award 2024

FOCAL International to Honour Eric Kulberg

LONDON, 21 MARCH 2024: The FOCAL International Lifetime Achievement Award is gifted by the FOCAL International executive board to an individual who has contributed to and supported the audiovisual archive industry within their career and through the body of their work.

We are delighted to announce the 2024 recipient is Eric Kulberg.

Eric Kulberg will receive his award at the 2024 FOCAL Awards Gala Ceremony, which will be held on June 20th, 2024, at the Church House Westminster in London.


Eric Kulberg began working in television in 1961 at the age of 16 at KTVA, the CBS affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska. As a result, he received a scholarship and attended and graduated from American University in 1968. He majored in Broadcasting & Communications with minors in Musicology, Art History and Marketing/Advertising. While at American University, Mr Kulberg was heard on WAMU FM from 1964 to 1974, producing and announcing progressive Jazz, Avant-garde “classical”, and world music programming. While attending classes, he began working part-time for the then-new Channel 20, WDCA, as a film editor.

After graduation, he went to WTTG to become a producer, director, and production manager from 1968 to 1976. He directed and produced musical, news and information programming and was responsible for selecting music for program openings, any underscoring, and any music licensing, including the once-a-year BMI and ASCAP reportage. He was also the feature film buyer for the programming department.

From 1976 to 1983, he produced programming for domestic and international outlets as well as directed and edited hundreds of commercials and political advertisements, including the Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter Presidential campaigns. From 1982 to 1984, he was the Executive Producer for the 1982 Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica. The program aired internationally, including Channel 4 in the UK. In 1985, he and John Paige started Universal Media Inc. In the beginning, they produced programming for the National Park Service and EPA. In 1986, he became the music and archival consultant for the Kennedy Center Honors film unit for 28 years.

Around this time, UMI did their first clearance work for CBS’ West 57th and has been clearing music, footage, photos and guilds ever since, not only documentaries but also for feature film playbacks and for footage used in Time Life Infomercials for 27 years. In 2009, he produced with David Leaf, The Night James Brown Saved Boston and won a FOCAL award that year. In the world of photography, he has had photo exhibitions at the Historical Society of Washington of his attendance at the March on Washington in 1963.

Eric Kulberg Said:
"When told I would receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award I was elated and felt vindicated for the sacrifices I made following this fulfilling career. I am so humble to be included knowing of the work of those who preceded me."

FOCAL International Stated:
Eric Kulberg has advocated for safeguarding our field through his early pioneer days and extensive career and body of work. Exploring all corners of audiovisual content and other mediums, he is the definition of a trailblazer, and we are so pleased to be able to honour Eric with this prestigious award for his outstanding contribution and dedication to the audiovisual industry.


Previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners: Sue Malden, Bríd Dooley, film director Julian Temple, pioneer filmmaker Gerry Weinburn and Emmy-nominated director-producer Serge Viallet.

For further information, please contact:
Mary Egan
[email protected] / +44 (0) 7789 056661