Cate Blanchett, Kerry Washington Among WIF Award Recipients
Since 1977, Women In Film, Los Angeles has annually honored exemplary women in the entertainment industry - women who lead by example, who are creative, groundbreaking, and who excel at their chosen fields. This year's Crystal + Lucy Awards® fundraising dinner, in support of WIF LA's many educational and philanthropic programs and initiatives, is being held on Wednesday, June 11 in the Los Angeles Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City.
Today, the President of Women In Film, Los Angeles, Cathy Schulman, proudly announced the five honorees. "The women we are honoring this year represent the best, the brightest and the bravest among us," said Schulman. "We are proud to celebrate their achievements and their contributions." They are:
2014 Crystal Award for Excellence in Film - CATE BLANCHETT
2014 Lucy Award for Excellence in Television - KERRY WASHINGTON
The Women In Film Max Mara "Face of the Future®" 2014 - ROSE BYRNE
The 2014 Dorothy Arzner Directors Award® - JENNIFER LEE
The 2014 Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award® - EVA LONGORIA
Iris Grossman, President Emeritus of Women In Film, Los Angeles, returning this year as Chair of the Awards, said ""These five women have distinguished themselves both as artists and as responsible citizens of the world. They inspire us and we in turn are honored to recognize them for all they have given."
About the Honorees
Cate Blanchett / Crystal Award for Excellence in Film
Cate Blanchett starred as Jasmine in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, for which she won Best Actress at the Academy Awards ®. Her portrayal of Jasmine also earned her the Best Actress award at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards. In 2004, Blanchett won an Academy Award® for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, for which she also won BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards® and received a Golden Globe nomination. In 2008, Blanchett was nominated for two Oscars®, as Best Actress for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and as Best Supporting Actress for I'm Not There, making her only the fifth actor in Academy history to be nominated in both acting categories in the same year. Additionally, she received dual SAG and BAFTA Award nominations, for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively, for the two films. For I'm Not There, she also won a Golden Globe Award, an Independent Spirit Award, several critics groups' awards, and the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 2007 Venice Film Festival. She earned her first Oscar® nomination and won BAFTA, Golden Globe Award and London Film Critics Circle Awards for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth. She also received Oscar®, Golden Globe and SAG Award® nominations for her performance in Notes on a Scandal; Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress for the title role in Joel Schumacher's Veronica Guerin and for her work in Barry Levinson's Bandits; and a BAFTA Award nomination for her performance in Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley.
In February 2014, Blanchett appeared in The Monuments Men, directed by George Clooney. She recently wrapped production on Disney's live-action Cinderella, and has completed production on two untitled Terrence Malick films. Blanchett is currently in production on the Todd Haynes' film, Carol, based on the Patrica Highsmith novel The Price of Salt.
Blanchett originated the role of Galadriel in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and reprised her role in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and in the upcoming The Hobbit: There and Back Again, due out in December. Additional film credits include Joe Wright's Hanna; Ridley Scott's Robin Hood; David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Steven Soderbergh's The Good German; Alejandro Inarritu's Babel; Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes (earning an Independent Spirit Award nomination); Mike Newell's Pushing Tin; Sam Raimi's The Gift; Thank God He Met Lizzie, for which she won both the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) and the Sydney Film Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actress; and Gillian Armstrong's Oscar and Lucinda, for which she also earned an AFI Best Actress nomination.
Blanchett served as the co-Artistic Director and co-CEO of Sydney Theatre Company, alongside Andrew Upton from 2008-2013. Blanchett has worked extensively on the stage in Australia and abroad. She is a graduate of the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art and holds Honorary Doctorates of Letters from the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney. Her theatrical credits include Hedda Gabler, The War of The Roses, A Streetcar Named Desire, Uncle Vanya, Gross und Klein and The Maids.
Blanchett has been awarded the Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society through Acting and in 2007 she was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. In 2012, she was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des letters by the French Minister for Culture, in recognition of her significant contributions to the arts. She has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2008, Blanchett co-Chaired the creative stream of the Prime Minister of Australia's National 2020 Summit. She is a patron of the Sydney Film Festival and an ambassador for the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Film Institute.
Kerry Washington / Lucy Award for Excellence in Television
Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Kerry Washington is a versatile and fearless actress who continues to shine on both the big screen and small. A native of The Bronx, Washington has received high acclaim for her work on stage, television and film.
Washington currently stars in the hit ABC TV drama Scandal. For this role, Washington broke barriers by becoming the first African American woman to a headline a network TV show since the 1974 short-lived series Get Christie Love. In 2013, Washington earned her first primetime Emmy award nomination, Screen Actors Guild nomination and Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Olivia Pope. She was also awarded an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress and the show won for Best Drama. The NAACP also honored Washington with the President's Award, recognizing special achievement in furthering the cause of civil rights and public service. Washington and Scandal both earned NAACP Image Award nominations in 2014.
Washington debuted in 2000 in the highly acclaimed independent film Our Song and later in the film Save the Last Dance, for which she received a Teen Choice Award for Best Breakout Performance. Her performance in the 2002 film Lift earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress. In the years following her debut, Kerry starred in several films including Bad Company, The United States of Leland, The Human Stain, Sin, Against the Rope and She Hate Me.
In 2004, Washington starred alongside Jamie Foxx in the Academy Award nominated hit Ray. Her performance earned her the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. Subsequent films include Sexual Life, Mr & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four, LiTTLEMAN, The Dead Girl, I Think I Love My Wife, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Miracle at St. Anna, Life Is Hot in Cracktown, and Mother and Child. Washington received NAACP Image Award nominations for her performances in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland and the 2010 film Night Catches Us. Her performance in the 2008 film Lakeview Terrace earned her a Best Actress nomination at the BET Awards.
In 2010, Washington starred in Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls alongside Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson and Thandie Newton. That year Washington also made her Broadway debut in David Mamet's Race, starring James Spader and David Alan Grier. In 2012, Washington was seen in The Details with Tobey Maguire and A Thousand Words with Eddie Murphy. In 2012 Washington was seen in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained alongside Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel Jackson. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Picture. Washington was last seen in The Comedy Peeples with Craig Robinson. Her performance earned her an NAACP Image award nomination for Best Actress.
An activist, Washington was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Committee of the Arts and Humanities in 2009. She also is an active member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. Washington currently serves as both a brand ambassador and creative consultant for Neutrogena. She is also brand ambassador for Movado.
Rose Byrne / The Women In Film Max Mara "Face of the Future"Award
Rose Byrne has established herself as a rising star of the big screen. Byrne recently completed production on Annie, alongside Quvenzhane Wallis, Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx. The Broadway musical remake is set in modern times and follows the adventures of little orphan Annie as she tries to find a family to call her own. The film is scheduled to be released on December 19, 2014.
During this past year, Byrne completed production alongside Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Corey Stoll, in the upcoming Warner Brothers picture, This is Where I Leave You, as well as on Neighbors, opposite Seth Rogen and Zac Efron. The latter is scheduled to be released on May 9, 2014, while This is Where I Leave You is scheduled to be released September 12th, 2014.
From 2007 to 2012, Byrne starred as 'Ellen Parsons' on the critically acclaimed FX/DirecTV drama, Damages, with Glenn Close. The role garnered her two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.
Additional film credits include: The Internship, I Give it a Year, Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2, Place Beyond the Pines, Bridesmaids, X-Men: First Class, Get Him to the Greek, Adam, Marie Antoinette, 28 Weeks Later, Sunshine, and Troy.
Byrne's fame in Australia began with her role in the gritty crime comedy Two Hands in which she starred with Heath Ledger. She went on to star in Clara Law's The Goddess of 1967 for which she was awarded Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival.
Jennifer Lee / Dorothy Arzner Directors Award
Jennifer Lee grew up in the Seventies and Eighties in Rhode Island, surrounded by hairspray, Irocs, and heavy metal. Her love of storytelling and literature lead her to the University of New Hampshire, where she earned a BA in English in 1992. From there she moved to New York City and built a career in book publishing. Saturdays at Lincoln Center introduced her to the films of Agnes Varda, the Coen brothers, Atom Egoyan, and Hayao Miyazaki. Inspired, she made her first short film and fell in love with visual storytelling. She entered Columbia University's graduate Film program in 2001, studying directing and screenwriting.
In 2002, she received the William Goldman Award for excellence in screenwriting and the Kathryn Parlan Hearst Scholarship honoring women filmmakers. Her first feature screenplay Hinged On Stars won the Columbia University Film Festival and launched her career. She graduated in 2005 with an MFA in film and in 2006 got her first film option for her script The Way Between. Her film The Roundup has been optioned by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way.
In 2010, she moved her family across the country to begin work on Wreck-It Ralph for Walt Disney Animation Studios with fellow Columbia graduate Phil Johnston. The film went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature and the script won the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Screenplay. While finishing Wreck-It Ralph, Lee was tapped to write the screenplay for Disney's Frozen. She also directed the film with animation veteran Chris Buck. The film has earned over a billion dollars at the box office and won numerous awards including a Golden Globe, a British Academy Film and Television Award, and two Academy Awards® for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. Lee currently lives in Los Angeles with her ten-year-old daughter Agatha.
Eva Longoria / Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award
Actress, director, producer and activist, Eva Longoria is founder of "The Eva Longoria Foundation," dedicated to helping Latinas build better futures for themselves through education and entrepreneurship; co-founder of "Eva's Heroes," which enriches the lives of adolescents with developmental disabilities; and is national spokesperson for "Padres Contra el Cancer," a nonprofit committed to improving the quality of life for children with cancer.
The Golden Globe-nominated, Screen Actors Guild Award-winning, and ALMA Award-winning actress is starring in four upcoming feature films, including Frontera, alongside Michael Pena and Ed Harris, Refugio, Any Day, alongside Sean Bean and Kate Walsh, and Visions. Longoria is also executive producer of Devious Maids, Lifetime's hit one-hour dramedy that follows the trials and tribulations of five Latina women who work as maids in Beverly Hills, premiering for its second season on April 20th.
Longoria is executive producer for the NCLR ALMA Awards, executive producer of the documentaries Harvest and Food Chains--both of which explore the current and historic exploitation of farm workers--and writer/director and star of the short film, Out of the Blue, a project with Ron Howard and Canon for their Project Imaginat10n. Longoria is also involved with MALDEF, the United Farm Workers and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Named "Philanthropist of the Year" by The Hollywood Reporter, honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Variety's annual Power of Women Luncheon, Longoria was selected as commissioner for the National Museum of the American Latino Commission.
A Brand Ambassador for L'Oreal Paris, Longoria owns BESO Hollywood and SHe restaurant, her own production company, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, two fragrances "EVA, by Eva Longoria" and "EVAmour," and also has a New York Times bestselling cookbook Eva's Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends.
About Women In Film and the Awards
Women In Film (WIF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women achieve their highest potential within the global entertainment, communication and media industries. WIF's mandate is to ensure gender parity for women in management positions as well as in front of and behind the camera, and to preserve the legacies of all women within the media industries. Founded in 1973, WIF and its Women In Film Foundation provide for members camaraderie, networking opportunities, educational programs, scholarships, grants, film finishing funds, access to employment opportunities and mentorships, as well as enabling members who exhibit advanced and innovative skills numerous practical services, as well as participation in the organization's film and television shadowing programs and its award-winning PSA program. For more information visit www.wif.org
The Crystal Awards were established in 1977 to honor outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry. Past recipients include: Laura Linney, Viola Davis, Annette Bening, Donna Langley, Jennifer Aniston, Diane English and the cast of The Women, Renée Zellweger, Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Diane Lane, Halle Berry, Laura Ziskin, Jessica Lange, Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Alfre Woodard, Polly Platt, Lauren Shuler Donner, Diane Warren, Amy Heckerling, Paula Weinstein, Martha Coolidge, Buffy Shutt and Kathy Jones, Gale Anne Hurd, Nancy Malone, Maya Angelou, Lily Tomlin, Ruby Dee, Penny Marshall, Jessica Tandy, Barbara Boyle, Nikki Rocco, Jean Firstenberg, Lee Remick, Lina Wertmuller, Bette Davis, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Sherry Lansing, Nora Ephron, Dawn Steel, Fay Kanin, Lillian Gish, Whoopi Goldberg, Glenn Close and Amy Pascal.
The Lucy Awards were founded in 1994 by Joanna Kerns, Bonny Dore and Loreen Arbus and are presented in association with the Lucille Ball Estate. They were named for Lucille Ball, who was not only a legendary actress and comedienne, but also a producer, studio owner, creator and director. They are given to recognize women and men and their creative works that exemplify the extraordinary accomplishments she embodied; whose excellence and innovation have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television. Past recipients include: The Women Of Mad Men (Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Jessica Paré, Kiernan Shipka), Bonnie Hammer, Nina Tassler, Courteney Cox, Holly Hunter, Salma Hayek, Shonda Rhimes and the women of Grey's Anatomy, Geena Davis, Debra Messing and Megan Mullally, Blythe Danner, Lily Tomlin, Rosie O'Donnell, Amy Brenneman, Tyne Daley, Phyllis Diller, Marcy Carsey, Carol Burnett, Barbara Walters, Shari Lewis, Garry Marshall, Angela Lansbury, Marlo Thomas, Gary David Goldberg, Diahann Carroll, Tracey Ullman, Fred Silverman, Imogene Coca, Camryn Manheim, Norman Lear, Bud Yorkin and the casts of Sex and the City, If These Walls Could Talk and If These Walls Could Talk 2.
The Women In Film Max Mara "Face of the Future" Award®, inaugurated at Women In Film's 2006 Crystal + Lucy Awards®, is given to an actress who is experiencing a turning point in her career through her work in the film and television industries and through her contributions to the community at large, in recognition of her outstanding achievements and her embodiment of style and grace. Past recipients include: Hailee Steinfeld, Chloë Grace Moretz, Katie Holmes, Zoë Saldana, Elizabeth Banks, Ginnifer Goodwin, Emily Blunt and Maria Bello.
Dorothy Arzner was the first female member of the Directors Guild of America. In her honor, the Dorothy Arzner Directors Award® was established to recognize the important role women directors play in the film and television industries. Past recipients include: Sofia Coppola, Pamela Fryman, Lisa Cholodenko, Catherine Hardwicke, Nancy Meyers, Barbra Streisand, Mimi Leder, Barbara Kopple, Gillian Armstrong, Lian Lunson, Joey Lauren Adams and Nicole Holofcener.
Norma Zarky was a founding member of Women In Film. A renowned entertainment attorney and the first woman President of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, she was a tireless advocate of human rights and women's issues. The Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award® was established in 1979 and is presented to individuals who, like Ms. Zarky herself, have demonstrated enlightened support for the advancement of equal opportunity and devotion to the improvement of the human condition. Past recipients have included: George Lucas, Christina Applegate, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ted Turner, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Quincy Jones and Elizabeth Taylor (posthumously).
About the Sponsors
Max Mara, the premiere collection of the Max Mara Fashion Group, is the epitome of Italian style and luxury; a confident and contemporary collection of tailored silhouettes, sumptuous fabrications and couture details applied to ready-to-wear. Known for stylish coats, form-skimming separates, sharp suits and elegant accessories, Max Mara, was founded by the late visionary Achille Maramotti in 1951. The Collection is now available in more than 2,300 locations in 105 countries and was the first of 19 collections under the Max Mara umbrella. The company remains privately held and managed by the Maramotti family.