Lena Waithe to Receive Variety Producing Honor at Palm Springs Film Festival

Lena Waithe Power of Women
Joe Pugliese for Variety

Emmy award-winning producer Lena Waithe will be honored with the Creative Impact in Producing Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival as part of Variety‘s 10 Directors to Watch brunch, presented by AT&T.

Waithe is the screenwriter and producer of Universal Pictures and Makeready’s “Queen & Slim,” which received the Impact Award and was listed as one of the top 10 Best Films of the Year by the African-American Film Critics Association. The film is the feature film debut of both Waithe and director Melina Matsoukas. Aside from her work on the big screen, her work can also be seen on the small screen in shows like “Master of None,” “The Chi” and “Boomerang.”

“Lena Waithe is one of the most prolific writer-actor-producers working in Hollywood right now, with an extraordinary ability to get projects with black filmmakers and talent produced for film and television,” says Claudia Eller, Variety editor-in-chief. “With ‘Queen & Slim,’ Lena wrote and produced a story that has been central to the conversation regarding representation and storytelling in the black community. Her determination to get these stories told is inspiring.”

Previously announced honorees of the brunch include “The Irishman” star Robert De Niro, who is being honored with the Creative Impact in Acting award, and “Joker” director Todd Phillips, who will receive the Creative Impact in Directing award.

The Palm Springs Film Festival runs Jan. 2-13. Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch brunch will take place on Jan. 3.