×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sterling K. Brown, James Franco, Kumail Nanjiani Among Those Feted at Inaugural IndieWire Honors

IndieWire recognized six of today’s biggest talents — James Franco, Issa Rae, Sterling K. BrownKumail NanjianiDiane Kruger, and Mary J. Blige at its inaugural IndieWire Honors Thursday night at No Name Club in Los Angeles.

Each recipient spoke so briefly after being presented with their award that Franco, when accepting the vanguard award in film, looked embarrassed to say, “I wrote a whole speech!” and rushed to condense it to one minute. “Insecure” co-creator and star Rae took home the vanguard award in television at the ceremony.

Brown, who received the lead performance in television honor, said that he realized his success when he met Oprah Winfrey — and she was excited to meet him. “We were doing an Actors on Actors interview [with Variety] and she was talking to Thandie Newton and heard that I was in the building,” he told Variety. “I was doing my photo shoot and before I could even see her, I heard Oprah say, ‘Sterling K. Brown.‘ She appeared from around the corner and came over to hug me. My jaw was probably hanging on my knee.”

Before receiving the creative independence award in film, Nanjiani told Variety that critic favorite “The Big Sick” became possible when he stopped trying to make something that people wanted to watch and shifted to making something he wanted to watch and would feel proud of. “You have to trust yourself. Ultimately, there aren’t that many rules to these stories,” he said. “Sometimes people get stuck in patterns and formulas, but you just have to tell the story you want to tell and trust that people will connect to it on their own terms.”

Kruger, star of “In The Fade,” which recently began screening in the U.S., received the honor for lead performance in film. “This event shines a light not just on the movie, but also on all the victims and survivors of terrorism,” she told Variety.

“‘In The Fade’ opened me up to a lot of empathy and awareness of what terrorism does to us as human beings.” Kruger added that she met with about 30 families who have lost children and loved ones to acts of terrorism.

Blige, who received the honor for breakthrough performance in film, expressed to Variety that her portrayal of Florence Jackson in “Mudbound” taught her self-acceptance. “Florence has freed me in more ways than I could have imagined. This character was stripped down to nothing. She taught me that beauty is in your heart,” Blige said. “[Director] Dee Rees completely opened me up because she was such a beautiful person and she knew exactly what she wanted.”

Dave Franco, who stars alongside his brother, James, in “The Disaster Artist,” showed up to support him at the event. He told Variety that working on the film reinforced the brothers’ shared “out of the box” sensibilities. “This was the first time the two of us have worked together in a significant way,” Dave said. “I enjoy working with my brother and hope to continue working with him.”

Abbi Jacobson was also on hand to take home the first-ever comedic storyteller of the year award from the Harold Ramis Film School, based at Chicago’s the Second City. “We’re in a time where things aren’t wonderful every day. The most amazing compliment is to hear that ‘Broad City’ can make people laugh at what’s going on or escape it,” she told Variety. “I feel very lucky to be able to do that.”

Host Nick Thune joked that the bartenders should receive their own honors for quenching the crowd’s thirst with endless cocktails. Additional guests at the event Rees, Prentice Penny (executive producer, “Insecure”), and Bria Vinaite (“The Florida Project”).

More Scene

  • Atmosphere91st Annual Academy Awards, Governors Ball

    Inside the 2019 Oscar Parties

    Stars party all around Hollywood before, during, and after the Oscars. Here, Variety hits the town to give you the inside scoop on all the star-studded soirées. Keep checking back throughout the weekend for the latest updates… Impact Awards Gala Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, Feb. 22 Photographers and videographers clamored near the doorways of the [...]

  • Speaker of the United States House

    Nancy Pelosi, Ava DuVernay Honored at VH1 Trailblazers Event

    Cher is feeling a little better about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. “When I see Trump spew his hate and tell his gazillion lies, I get pissed off and feel uneasy at the same time,” the Oscar winner and frequent Trump critic said Wednesday while introducing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at VH1 Trailblazers [...]

  • Karl Lagerfeld'Lagerfeld Confidential' Photocall at the

    Karl Lagerfeld Remembered at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The death of fashion and costume designer Karl Lagerfeld cast somewhat of a shadow over the usually jubilant Costume Designers Guild Awards — the only award show where clothes literally steal the spotlight away from actors — which was held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night. Here it was obvious that Lagerfeld’s impact on [...]

  • Kate Bosworth'Nona' film premiere, New York,

    Kate Bosworth Helps Launch Campaign for Female Filmmakers

    In her 20-year career in Hollywood, Kate Bosworth has starred in blockbusters like “Superman Returns” as well as indie darlings like 2014’s “Still Alice.” But the actress has always had a desire to get more involved from the ground up. Now, she is partnering with Women In Film and Chloe Wine Collection to launch the [...]

  • Amandla Stenberg and Sofia CarsonVanity Fair

    Oscar Week Kicks Off With Vanity Fair's New Hollywood Party

    The night was definitely still young Tuesday at Vanity Fair’s New Hollywood party in Los Angeles. The magazine kicked off Oscar week with a party — the first of its three-event Campaign Hollywood series — at Ysabel in West Hollywood to celebrate new and emerging talent. Co-hosted by Yalitza Aparicio, Henry Golding and Amandla Stenberg [...]

  • Oscars Ultimate Party Guide

    Oscars Ultimate Party Guide 2019

    Welcome to Oscar week. It’s the time of year when Hollywood’s film industry celebrates all things movies. But it’s certainly not just the big show everyone is looking forward to. With voting closed, it’s all about the parties now. Who’s doing what and where and when are they doing it are the questions everyone is [...]

  • Yalitza AparicioTeen Vogue Young Hollywood Party,

    'Roma' Star Yalitza Aparicio, 'Central Park Five's' Jharrel Jerome Sound Off on Trump

    Yalitza Aparicio recently reunited with Alfonso Cuarón, who directed her in “Roma,” for a W magazine photo project that featured her standing at various barriers built at the border between Mexico and the United States. The message? “You can make a name for yourself despite the differences,” Aparicio told Variety on Friday at Teen Vogue’s Young [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content