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Awards Roundup: Megan Ellison to Receive PGA Visionary Award, Guillermo del Toro Honored and More

Keep up with the glitzy awards world with our weekly Awards Roundup column.

Megan Ellison


Keep up with the glitzy awards world with our weekly Awards Roundup column.

Megan Ellison will receive the Producers Guild of America’s 2017 Visionary Award at the PGA Awards on January 28, 2017 in Los Angeles. The award recognizes television, film, or new media producers for their unique or uplifting contributions to our culture through inspiring storytelling or performance.

Ellison is being recognized with the award for her work as a fierce supporter of distinctive and creative voices in films such as “American Hustle,” “Her,” “The Master,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Foxcatcher,” and most recently “20th Century Women.”

READ MORE: Annette Bening to Receive Career Achievement Award, Ridley Scott Honored By Directors Guild and More

“Megan Ellison joined our industry when she founded Annapurna Pictures just over six years ago, and she got here just in time,” PGA awards chairs Donald De Line and Amy Pascal said in a statement. “Megan and her team’s passion for great stories and uncompromising storytellers has been an inspiration to independent filmmakers and their audiences alike.”

Guillermo del Toro will receive the Motion Picture Sound Editors’s annual Filmmaker Award at the MPSE Golden Reel Awards ceremony on February 19, 2017 in Los Angeles.

The acclaimed director of films like “Hellboy,” “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Pacific Rim,” “Crimson Peak” and the forthcoming “The Shape of Water” is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to the art of cinema.

“Guillermo del Toro’s relentless imagination and energy provide inspiration to all of us in the entertainment industry,” MPSE President Tom McCarthy said in a statement. “He is constantly surprising, challenging and delighting audiences worldwide.” Past recipients of the MPSE Filmmaker Award include Sam Raimi, Darren Aronofsky, George Lucas, Ang Lee, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer and Gale Anne Hurd.

– Director Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” will receive the PGA’s 2017 Stanley Kramer Award at the PGA awards on Saturday, January 28, 2017 in Los Angeles. The award was established in 2002 to honor a production, producer or other individuals whose achievement or contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues.

“Loving” celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of the interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed in the film by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married in 1958 and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown.

“It has never been more important than right now to recognize our shared humanity and the quietly unshakable bond between Richard and Mildred Loving, who-just like Stanley Kramer’s classic characters-stood as the ultimate rebuke to a culture intent on dividing us,” PGA chairs Donald De Line and Amy Pascal said in a statement. “’Loving’ is a film that’s unthinkable without the path that Stanley Kramer blazed, and one the great filmmaker would be proud to recognize as part of his legacy.”

-Director Garth Davis’s “Lion” received the Award for Best International Film at the London Evening Standard British film awards on Thursday. Executive Producer Harvey Weinstein accepted the award on behalf Davis and the filmmakers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman. Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black presented the award and praised the film for the tolerance it encourages, highlighting how important it is for the film industry to champion diversity and remain inclusive.

“It’s an amazing social cause for an amazing film,” Black said. “[It’s] a film that encourages tolerance on an international scale.” “Lion” is adapted from Saroo Brierley’s autobiographical book “A Long Way Home.” The film stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and newcomer Sunny Pawar, and tells the story of an adopted Indian boy who, tormented by his past, decides to look for his mother in the place where he accidentally left by train when he was a child.

– The Cinema Eye Honors announced the five nominees for the Heterodox Award, honoring films that actively blur the line between narrative fiction and documentary. For the first time in Cinema Eye history, two films that are nominated for Cinema Eye’s nonfiction film craft honors are also nominated for the Heterodox Award.

The five films nominated this year for the Cinema Eye Heterodox Award are:

“All These Sleepless Nights,” directed by Michal Marczak
“The Fits,” directed by Anna Rose Holmer
“Kate Plays Christine,” directed by Robert Greene
“Mountains May Depart,” directed by Jia Zhangke
“Neon Bull,” directed by Gabriel Mascaro

“Cinema Eye was established 10 years ago to recognize documentary as an inherently artistic medium,” Cinema Eye Founding Director AJ Schnack said in a statement. “We’re also excited to see ‘All These Sleepless Nights’ and ‘Kate Plays Christine’ nominated for Heterodox and for our nonfiction awards. This speaks directly to this creative moment in filmmaking and the ways filmmakers are confidently playing with the form to create increasingly bold and innovative works.”

READ MORE: Jeff Nichols Honored by Austin Film Society, Iwrin Winkler to Receive PGA Achievement Award and More

– The Directors Guild of America has announced the winners of the 2016 DGA Student Film Awards for African American, Asian American, Latino and Women directors. The awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to exceptional diverse directors in film schools and select universities across the country.

The 2016 winners are:


West Region

Jackson Young of AFI for “Trouble Man”
Jury Award: Rachel Bass of Chapman University for “Black Magic”

East Region

Kevin Giles of Drexel University for “The Blaise EP”
Jury Award: Daniella Hobbs of Ithaca College for “The City of Good Neighbors”


West Region

Auden Bui of USC for “The Lost City of Tomorrow”
Jury Award: Yizhou Xu of Art Center College of Design for “Shop of Eternal Life”

East Region

Yudho Aditya of Columbia University for “Pria”
Jury Award: Christina Liao of School of Visual Arts for “My Grandma’s House”


West Region

Juan Martinez Vera of USC for “Spark”
Jury Award: Santiago Paladines of AFI for “The Fare”

East Region

Jimmy Keyrouz of Columbia University for “Nocturne in Black”
Jury Award: Ivo Huahua of Florida State University for “Stutter”


West Region

Kelly Pike of UCLA for “Owen”
Jury Award: Mia Niebruegge of AFI for “Snowplow”

East Region

Ugla Hauksdóttir of Columbia University for “How Far She Went”
Jury Award: Hannah Engelson of Emerson College for “Jonah Stands Up”

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