Kristin Chenoweth to Host BANFF's Rockie Awards Gala June 12

Kristin Chenoweth to Host BANFF's Rockie Awards Gala June 12

The 39th annual Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce Emmy and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth* (Wicked, Hairspray Live!) will host this year's Rockie Awards Gala Ceremony featuring a star-studded line-up of award recipients. The night of celebration will take place on Tuesday June 12th at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada.

Awards to be bestowed include:

2018 COMPANY OF DISTINCTION AWARD: NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

The Company of Distinction Award recognizes a company demonstrating significant leadership in the world of screen-based entertainment. Past Honorees include: Disney | ABC, HBO, A&E, Lionsgate and CBS.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: Jeremy Podeswa (Here and Now, Game of Thrones, Six Feet Under)

A three-time Primetime Emmy nominee for Best Direction (Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, The Pacific) and with over 40 award nominations and wins since 1985, Jeremy Podeswa is one of the hottest directors in the golden age of TV. His body of episodic TV work includes directing ground-breaking cable television series and mini-series for HBO, Showtime, STARZ, AMC, F/X, and TNT and award-winning films including Fugitive Pieces (opening night, TIFF), The Five Senses (Directors Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival) and Eclipse (Berlin and Sundance Festivals).

The Award of Excellence acknowledges exceptional achievement through a body of work over an extended period of time. Past Honorees include: Kenny Ortega, Diane English, Norman Jewison, David E. Kelly.

A+E INCLUSION AWARD: Elizabeth Vargas (ABC News, A&E Investigates)

Elizabeth Vargas is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, and the first U.S. network evening news anchor of Puerto Rican and Irish-American Heritage. She is a brave storyteller and a trusted expert at bringing audiences closer to the heart of stories that have never been told in order to reveal genuine moments of truth. Vargas recently inked an overall production and first-look development deal with A+E Networks; she will also be the face of A&E Network's new nonfiction journalistic banner, A&E Investigates. The initial project under the A&E Investigates banner is the limited series "Cults and Extreme Belief."

The A+E Inclusion Award recognizes an individual whose efforts and vision in media champion and reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. Past Honorees include: LeVar Burton, Jonathan Murray.

CANADIAN AWARD OF DISTINCTION: Sheila Hockin (The Handmaid's Tale, Vikings)

Primetime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series (The Handmaid's Tale), Sheila Hockin is one of Canada's foremost executive producers, helping bring to life global hits like The Tudors, The Borgias, Vikings, PENNY DREADFUL and most recently, the global phenomenon that is The Handmaid's Tale. Before striking out on her own, Hockin co-founded one of Canada's highest-profile independent production companies, Temple Street Productions, where she spent a decade producing such hits as Queer as Folk, Canada's Next Top Model, and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? This award is presented to a Canadian whose body of work exemplifies outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry. Past Honorees include: Just For Laughs, Eric McCormack, Kim Cattrall.

INNOVATIVE PRODUCER AWARD: New Metric Media (Letterkenny, Bad Blood)

New Metric Media is a film, television, and new-media Production Company that works with top creative talent to produce outstanding content for domestic and international markets. Past and present projects include the CraveTV hit original comedy Letterkenny as well as the half-hour CraveTV comedy What Would Sal Do? and the six-episode, one-hour CityTV/FX Canada limited series Bad Blood. Not content to rest on traditional marketing alone, New Metric has successfully transformed its hit property Letterkenny into a robust consumer brand, complete with its own craft brew and touring live show. The innovative approach has made a discernible impact on Canadian culture, with Letterkenny phrases a part of regular lexicon and ironic "Hard No" tees a regular sight on the street.

The Innovative Producer Award recognizes the entrepreneurial excellence and achievements of an independent producer in TV/digital media. Past Honorees include: WOLF + Rabbit, Don Carmody, marblemedia.

Additional awards to be presented at the 2018 Rockies Gala include:

The Hollywood Reporter Impact Award, The Grand Jury Prize, and Program of the Year.

"This is a blockbuster lineup, and it's going to be an incredible night of entertainment," said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director of the Banff World Media Festival. "The Rockie Awards Gala is a storied jewel of the festival, having recognized the biggest names in the industry year after year. We are honoured to continue the tradition and look forward to celebrating the work of our 2018 award recipients."

Host Kristin Chenoweth can next be seen in the upcoming second season of NBC's "Trial & Error," which premieres on July 19.

The Rockies are BANFF's flagship awards program, taking place over two days and two events. Celebrated annually on the second day of the festival is the Rockie Awards Program Competition followed by the hors-concours (out-of competition) Rockie Awards Gala Ceremony which takes place on the third night of the festival honouring outstanding talent and executives from the industry. Over the years, the prestigious gala event has attracted some of the industry's biggest names including Sir Laurence Olivier, Gregory Peck, Dinah Shore, Ricky Gervais, Chuck Lorre, Martin Short, James Burrows, John Cleese, David E. Kelly, Dick Wolf, Will Arnett, Christine Baranski, David Attenborough, Larry King, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Ridley, Jill Soloway, and Anthony Anderson, to a name a few.

Kristin Chenoweth:

Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth's career spans film, television, voiceover and stage. In 2015, Chenoweth received a coveted star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in "Pushing Daisies." In 1999, she won a Tony Award for "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" and she was also nominated for her original role of Glinda THE GOOD WITCH in "Wicked" in 2004. Chenoweth has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and for a People's Choice Award for her role on "Glee." In 2009, she wrote an upliftingly candid, comedic chronicle of her life so far, "A Little Bit Wicked," which debuted on the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Best Seller List.

About the Banff World Media Festival

The Banff World Media Festival is the world's largest and most important gathering of entertainment industry and digital media executives dedicated to media content development, production, broadcast and distribution within TV and digital media. BANFF provides a platform for the evolving media industry to develop its creative and business objectives - it serves as the leading destination for co-production and co-venture partners and is an unparalleled marketplace for over 1,500 international decision-makers to connect with new business deals. The 39th annual BANFF World Media Festival will take place June 10-13, 2018 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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