William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Stone came into public attention in the mid 1980s and the early 1990s for writing and directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, in which he had participated as an infantry soldier. He won further attention—and controversy—with the films JFK, Natural Born Killers, and Nixon. Many of Stone's films focus on contemporary American political and cultural issues. Stone has received three Academy Awards for his work on the films Midnight Express, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July. Stone was also presented with the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award at the 2007 Austin Film Festival. British newspaper The Guardian described Stone as "one of the few committed men of the left working in mainstream American cinema." Stone's films often combine different camera and film formats within a single scene (including VHS and 8 mm film) as evidenced in JFK, Natural Born Killers, and Nixon.