Good is good and talent is talent. That realization in Hollywood continues to bring gifted people of color to the forefront and into the spotlight.
This positive momentum is behind the recent appointment of filmmaker Reginald Hudlin to produce the sixth Annual Governor’s Awards for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will be presented to Harry Belafonte, and honorary awards will be presented to Jean-Claude Carriere, Hayao Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara. This announcement was made by Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who was recently re-elected to her post.
On selecting producer Hudlin for the coveted position, Boone Isaacs said, “With Reggie’s experience, unique vision and immense creativity, the evening celebrating those who have given so much to our industry is certain to be a memorable one.”
“I’m honored to be working with the Academy again,” shared Hudlin. “The collective impact of this year’s Governor’s Awards recipients on the evolution of cinema is immeasurable. I’m a fan of all four of these legends, so producing a celebration of Ms. O’Hara’s performances, Mr. Carriere’s storytelling, Mr. Belafonte’s dedication and Mr. Miyazaki’s magic is a pleasure.”
New York filmmakers know the savvy moves that Hudlin used to place himself in such stellar, cinematic company. He worked hard and gave advice and opportunity to developing artists. He built a community and continues to do so.
As a writer, director, producer and pioneering entertainment executive, Hudlin received a Best Picture Oscar nomination as a producer of “Django Unchained.” Hudlin recently produced “The Academy Celebrates the Black Movie Soundtrack” concert at the Hollywood Bowl and has executive produced the NAACP Image Awards show for the past two years.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and the honorary awards, the recipients of which all receive Oscar statuettes, highlight some of the industries consistent creative pioneers. The honorary award is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
Carriere, who began his career as a novelist, was introduced to screenwriting by French comedian and filmmaker Pierre Etaix, with whom he shared an Oscar for the live-action short subject “Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary)” in 1962.
Miyazaki is an artist, writer, director, producer and three-time Oscar nominee in the Animated Feature Film category, winning in 2002 for “Spirited Away.” He is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio based in Tokyo.
O’Hara, a native of Dublin, Ireland, came to Hollywood in 1939 to star opposite Charles Laughton in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” She went on to appear in a wide range of feature films.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is given “to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”
Belafonte, actor, producer, singer and lifelong activist, began performing in theaters and nightclubs in and around Harlem, where he was born. From the beginning of his film career, he chose projects that shed needed light on racism and inequality, including “Carmen Jones,” “Odds Against Tomorrow” and “The World, the Flesh and the Devil.” He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, marching and organizing alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and often funding initiatives with his entertainment income. Belafonte was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987 and currently serves on the boards of the Advancement Project and the Institute for Policy Studies. His work on behalf of children, education, famine relief, AIDS awareness and civil rights has taken him all over the world.
“The Governor’s Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Boone Isaacs. “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look forward to celebrating with them in November.”
All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s sixth Annual Governors Awards, Saturday, Nov. 8, in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland Center.