FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles, CA (September 3, 2015) – Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen, announced today that it will honor two-time Academy Award–winning actor, director and producer Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia,” ”Forrest Gump”), and Academy Award–nominated writer-director Lisa Cholodenko (“The Kids Are All Right,” “Olive Kitteridge”) at the 2015 Legacy Awards on Thursday, November 5th.
Merrill Lynch will return as the Presenting Sponsor. This year’s awards dinner will once again take place at performing arts venue Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles, with head chef Neal Fraser (Redbird). The event will also be supported by Louis Vuitton.
Hanks will be honored with the Trailblazer Award in recognition of his groundbreaking, Oscar-winning performance in “Philadelphia,” the first major studio film to sympathetically portray characters with HIV/AIDS, 22 years ago.
Cholodenko is receiving the Visionary Award, which recognizes artistic and creative contributions to LGBT media visibility, for a body of work that includes “The Kids Are All Right,” a movie that presented mainstream audiences with the complex story of a lesbian family portrayed by Hollywood stars.
“More than two decades later, Tom Hanks’ performance as a gay man with AIDS in ‘Philadelphia’ stands as a landmark example of a risk well taken,” says Outfest Board Co-President and Legacy Awards Event Co-Chair Ari Karpel. “And his Oscar acceptance speech, in which he eloquently honored two gay men who were influential in his life, sent an essential message during a time of crisis.”
“When Lisa Cholodenko burst onto the independent film scene with ‘High Art’, we were thrilled by her commitment to depicting a lesbian relationship with such unwavering veracity,” says Christopher Racster, Interim Executive Director of Outfest. “However, it was ‘The Kids Are All Right’ that has made the biggest impact, showing the world that LGBT parenting is just as joyful, complicated and challenging as straight parenting.”
The Legacy Awards serves as a fundraiser to support the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project is the largest archive of LGBT moving images in the world, with over 35,000 items. Outfest and UCLA Film & Television Archive partnered in 2005 to create the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, the only program in the world exclusively dedicated to saving and preserving LGBT moving images. The Legacy Project is aimed at the growing crisis in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving image archiving. Many of the landmark LGBT films produced over the last 40 plus years are already in danger of fading away; their original exhibition prints are in tatters and their negatives are in woeful storage conditions, or even lost. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Legacy Project is proud to have collected more than 35,000 moving image items and to have restored 23 historically important film and video projects.
Previous Legacy Award winners include Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City), Hilary Swank (“Boys Don’t Cry”), Lee Daniels (Empire), Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“Chicago”), Adam Shankman (“Rock of Ages”), Roland Emmerich (“Stonewall”), Alan Poul (The Newsroom), Bruce Cohen (“Silver Linings Playbook”), and Paris Barclay (Glee).
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About Tom Hanks
One of the most beloved figures in contemporary American cinema, Tom Hanks has made an indelible mark on movies and television through his extraordinary and eclectic performances and as a director and producer. After his breakthrough in the ABC sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” Hanks graduated to the big screen, where he demonstrated a gift for juggling comedy and drama in Penny Marshall’s “Big,” earning him his first Academy Award nomination as Best Actor. In the ensuing decades, he has played a vast array of roles for some of Hollywood’s leading filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg, Jonathan Demme, Robert Zemeckis, Joel and Ethan Coen, Brian De Palma, John Lasseter and the Wachowskis. In 1995, he became the second actor in history (after Spencer Tracy) to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars, for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump.” Hanks’ latest film, “Bridge of Spies,” directed by Spielberg, will debut on October 16.
On the other side of the camera, Hanks made an acclaimed directorial debut with the musical comedy “That Thing You Do!” As a producer, Hanks and his company Playtone Entertainment have been behind some of the most important film and television projects of the last few decades, including the indie-movie sensation “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” plus Emmy and Golden Globe nominated “Olive Kitteridge,” Emmy and Golden Globe nominated “Big Love,” Emmy winning and Golden Globe nominated “The Pacific,” and Emmy and Golden Globe winning series “Band of Brothers,” “John Adams” and “From the Earth to the Moon.”
About Lisa Cholodenko
Writer-director Lisa Cholodenko’s “The Kids Are All Right” (2010), starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay and won two Golden Globes including Best Picture (comedy) and Best Actress (comedy) for Bening. Other honors include an Independent Spirit Award for Best Original Screenplay, the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay, the Berlin Film Festival’s Teddy Award for Best Feature, a BAFTA nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and inclusion in the American Film Institute’s list of the Best Films of 2010.
Cholodenko recently directed the pilot episode of NBC’s “The Slap,” starring Peter Sarsgaard. Prior to “The Slap,” Lisa directed “Olive Kitteridge”, the four-part miniseries based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel of the same name, which aired on HBO in November 2014. She won the DGA award for Best Direction and the Mouse d’Argento for best out-of-competition film at the Venice Film Festival. “Olive Kitteridge” has also earned 13 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, as well as three Golden Globe nominations, and Critic’s Choice Television, SAG and WGA awards.
Cholodenko grew up in Los Angeles and began working in the film industry as an assistant editor on such films as “Boyz n the Hood” and “Used People.” She moved to New York City in the early ’90s and earned an MFA in screenwriting and directing at Columbia University School of the Arts, where she made an award-winning short film, “Dinner Party,” winner of the UK’s Channel 4 TX prize. Cholodenko’s debut feature, “High Art” (1998), starring Ally Sheedy and Radha Mitchell, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won the National Society of Film Critics award for Sheedy’s performance, the Waldo Salt Screenwriting award at Sundance and the Jury Prize at Deauville, among other honors.
Her second feature, “Laurel Canyon” (2002), starring Frances McDormand, Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale, also premiered at Cannes and was nominated for Independent Spirit Awards for Frances McDormand and Alessandro Nivola’s performances.
Other directing projects include the Showtime feature, “Cavedweller” (2004), which garnered Spirit Award nominations for Kyra Sedgwick and Aidan Quinn, as well as episodes of “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Six Feet Under,” “The L Word,” and “Hung”.
Cholodenko has served as an Adjunct Professor of Film at Columbia University, an advisor for the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriting Labs in Park City, Utah and Oaxaca, Mexico and is currently on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
She lives in Los Angeles with her partner, Wendy Melvoin, and their son Calder.
Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the world’s leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers, and protected over 35,000 LGBT films and videos. The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project is only program in the world exclusively dedicated to protecting LGBT films for future generations.
About UCLA Film & Television Archive
UCLA Film & Television Archive is renowned globally for its pioneering efforts to rescue, preserve and showcase moving image media—and is dedicated to ensuring that the collective visual memory of our time is explored and enjoyed for generations to come. cinema.ucla.edu
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