Marvel Studioschief Avi Arad will receive the inaugural Robert W Selig Showmanship Award forAchievement in Film-making at the ShoWest opening day luncheon hosted by LionsGate Films and display technology company Christie in Las Vegas on Mar 23.

Lions Gate willscreen its comic book adaptation The Punisher, which Arad produced with Gale AnneHurd, before the luncheon. Directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, the picture starsThomas Jane as a special agent who becomes a vigilante after his family isslain. John Travolta and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos also star and Jane and Romijn-Stamoswill attend the event. Lions Gate will release the picture on Apr 16.

"Avi Arad isresponsible for bringing Marvel's most beloved and legendary characters to thebig screen," Mitch Neuhauser, co-managing director of ShoWest, said in astatement. "We are honoured to present him with this award and look forward towhatever he brings to the screen next, especially The Punisher."

"Since our recent merger with Artisan Entertainment, weknew that ShoWest was the perfect place for our 'coming out' party," Lions GateFilms Releasing president Tom Ortenberg said. "With so much exciting product,including The Punisher, which features Tom Jane in a true star-makingperformance, we look forward to putting on a good show for the exhibitioncommunity."

Arad's award isnamed after Selig, a distributor and one of the founding fathers of ShoWest whodied on Dec 31 aged 93. Arad's producer credits include Spider-Man and the upcoming Spider-Man 2, Hulk,X-Men and X2,Daredevil and BladeII. Other upcoming productionsinclude Ghost Rider, The Fantastic Four, Iron man and Werewolf By Night.

ShoWest runs from Mar 22-25.