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Oscar winner Viola Davis will receive recognition at the 37th annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards for Outstanding Achievement Gala in honor of her groundbreaking contributions to the cinematic space. The award will be presented to Davis Mar. 5 by the ASC Board of Governors at the Beverly Hilton.

“We’re thrilled to be honoring the brilliant and talented Viola Davis for her exceptional contributions to cinema and television,” ASC President Stephen Lighthill said. “As an artist, no one sets the bar higher. She is a true collaborator and an important voice in our community.”

Davis’ past accolades include scoring an Oscar for her performance in the 2016 film “Fences” and earning an Emmy for the series “How to Get Away with Murder” in addition to winning two Tony Awards and five Screen Actor’s Guild Awards.

The star’s most recent project was “The Woman King,” directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, where she embodies lead character Nanisca. Other notable works in Davis’ filmography are 2011’s “The Help,” 2020’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and 2021’s “The Unforgiveable.”

Former recipients of the same award include storied actors and filmmakers like Sofia Coppola, Denzel Washington, Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford, Christopher Nolan, Morgan Freeman, Barbara Streisand and more.

Nicole Holofcener, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, Jenny Han Set for Nantucket Honors

The Nantucket Film Festival, prepping for its 28th annual outing, has named its latest batch of tribute award honorees. Oscar nominee Nicole Holofcener (“Lovely & Amazing,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, “Enough Said”) will collected the Screenwriters Tribute Award. Ken Burns and producing partner Lynn Novick (“Hemingway,” “Prohibition”) will be recognized with the Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling. Creator Jenny Han (“The Summer I Turned Pretty,” “To All The Boys”) will take the New Voices in Television Writing award.

“Nicole has helped define the dramedy genre, and staked out women’s inner lives as the terrain of serious filmmaking. For decades, Americans have turned to Ken and Lynn’s documentaries to understand ourselves and our history. And Jenny has become the great chronicler of the journey from adolescence to adulthood for a generation of young women,” said Mystelle Brabbée, executive director of the Nantucket Film Festival.

Additionally, the festival will host its third Screenwriters Sessions workshop (in partnership with Almanack Screenwriters. Patty Jenkins, Destin Daniel Cretton, screenwriting duo Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa (“Avatar: The Way of Water”), Reinaldo Marcus Green (“King Richard”) and Burns will all participate.

Visual Effects Society Names Nancy Ward as New Executive Director

The Visual Effects Society (VES) announced Nancy Ward has been selected as the Society’s new Executive Director.

The VES Board of Directors voted on the selection of Ward at the culmination of a comprehensive search process, guided under the leadership of VES Chair Lisa Cooke.

VES Chair Lisa Cooke stated, “Nancy has a passion for the VES and a vision to further uplift the Society and bring it to the forefront of the global entertainment community. She has earned a tremendous reputation among the Board, staff, Sections, worldwide membership and industry partners, and we are confident that the VES will achieve new heights under her leadership. I am thrilled to have someone of Nancy’s caliber to helm our next chapter.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Executive Director of the Visual Effects Society,” said Ward. “It’s an enormous privilege to connect, educate, honor and celebrate the hardest working – and probably most underappreciated professionals – in entertainment, around the world. The VES is a beacon of creative and technological innovation and excellence, and it is my intention to further grow the Society into a powerful resource that is recognized and respected in all corners of the globe. I look forward to building on the strong foundation created by Eric Roth, and helping the Society cement its position as a leading voice at the epicenter of the entertainment industry.

IATSE Launches VFX Workers Rates and Conditions Study

IATSE is studying how VFX workers’ rates and conditions compare to industry standards for the first time, The Union Behind Entertainment announced Monday.

“VFX is integral to almost every film and television production made today, Yet the workers who make VFX possible are among the only film & tv workers not represented by a union today,” said IATSE Organizer and VFX Worker Mark Patch.

“Knowing our worth is an essential step towards building a more sustainable VFX industry.”

This marks the first time the union has sponsored an official VFX study.

IATSE Communications Director Jonas Loeb explained that the Union’s involvement is intended to drive higher participation than ever before. Said Loeb, “The more in the VFX community that participate, the more representative the study will be.”

The survey is open to all who work in the VFX space, including non-IATSE members. All submissions will be anonymized and tallied with aggregated totals. Submissions will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2023.

Palm Springs International Film Awards to Give Danielle Deadwyler Breakthrough Performance Award, Actress

The Palm Springs International Film Awards announced that actress Danielle Deadwyler will receive the Breakthrough Performance Award, Actress for her performance in Chinonye Chukwu’s “Till.”

“’Till’ tells the true story of the historic activist Mamie Till-Mobley’s heartbreaking fight to galvanize the civil-rights movement after her son, Emmett Till was lynched in 1955. The riveting portrayal of Till-Mobley by Danielle Deadwyler is unquestionably moving and memorable,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For this incredibly significant performance we are honored to present the Breakthrough Performance Award, Actress, to Danielle Deadwyler.”

Past recipients of the Breakthrough Performance Award, Actress include Mary J. Blige, Marion Cotillard, Andra Day, Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o and Rosamund Pike.

The Film Awards will take place in-person on Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, with the festival running through Jan. 16. The event will be presented by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight and IHG Hotels & Resorts.

Comedian Deon Cole to Host American Black Film Festival Honors in March

ABFF Ventures LLC announced the American Black Film Festival Honors will be held in Los Angeles on March 5, with actor and comedian Deon Cole returning as host. ABFF’s annual award season gala honors Black artists who have made significant contributions to the motion picture and television industry, as well as those who champion diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.   

The tributes will be presented in multiple categories, including Hollywood Legacy Award, Excellence in the Arts Award, Entertainment Icon Award, Rising Star Award and Industry Leadership Award. In addition, ABFF Honors presents competitive awards for Movie of the Year and Documentary of the Year. The nominees and winners for both categories are determined by the more than 100,000 alumni of the film festival.

ABFF Honors’ list of former award recipients include Denzel Washington, Ava DuVernay, Regina King, Tiffany Haddish, Ryan Coogler, Don Cheadle, Will Packer, Queen Latifah, Lena Waithe, Terrence Howard, F. Gary Gray, Billy Dee Williams, Issa Rae, Omari Hardwick, Louis Gossett, Jr., Diahann Carroll and the cast of classic films and television shows “Martin,” “The Wire,” “Hollywood Shuffle” and “Love Jones.”

ABFF Honors is executive produced by Nicole and Jeff Friday (ABFF Ventures) in association with Rikki Hughes (Magic Lemonade) and de Passe Jones Entertainment. The 2023 ABFF Honors sponsors and partners to date are Cadillac (Presenting) and Sony Pictures Entertainment (Official).

‘Here’s… Yianni!’ From Director Christina Eliopoulos Begins Production for Productivity Media

Productivity Media announced that “Here’s…Yianni!,” starring Joe Cortese, Julia Ormond, Kevin Pollak, Rosanna Arquette, Eric Roberts and Sofia Vassilieva has begun production in New Jersey. 

The film is based on a true story in which a Greek diner owner (Cortese) begins to suffer from dementia, imagining himself as a late-night TV talk show host. Writer and director Christina Eliopoulos helms the film, which is based on the short film “Tonight and Every Night,” a film festival favorite starring Cortese that she also wrote and directed.

Producers of “Here’s…Yianni!” are Valerie McCaffrey, Cortese, Colleen Camp, Nick Vallelonga, Productivity Media’s William G. Santor and Doug Murray. McCaffrey is also the film’s casting director.