Annual Fundraiser Benefits SFFILM’s Youth Education Programs and Marks the High Point of Awards Season in the San Francisco Bay Area
SFFILM has announced several individuals scheduled to attend and accept honors at the 2018 SFFILM Awards Night (formerly Film Society Awards Night), its annual fundraising celebration honoring achievement in filmmaking craft. This year’s edition of the dinner and awards presentation event—leveraging its new position in the fall after a wildly successful move in 2017—takes place Monday, December 3rd at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts Exhibition Center.
Taking cues from similar awards season events in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, SFFILM Executive Director Noah Cowan says “More awards isn’t good enough anymore. What people want and need is a unique voice that can actually speak to the qualities of individual contenders.”
Amy Adams will receive the Peter J. Owens Award for Acting, for her performance as Lynne Cheney in Adam McKay’s Vice, opening on Christmas Day from Annapurna Pictures. The Peter J. Owens Award, named after the late local cultural benefactor and longtime SFFILM board member, honors an actor whose work exemplifies brilliance, independence and integrity. Past recipients include Kate Winslet (2017), Ellen Burstyn (2016), Richard Gere (2015), Jeremy Irons (2014), Harrison Ford (2013), Judy Davis (2012), Terence Stamp (2011), Robert Duvall (2010), Robert Redford (2009), Maria Bello (2008), and Robin Williams (2007).
Steve McQueen will receive the Irving M. Levin Award for Film Direction, for Widows, which opens November 16th from 20th Century Fox. The Irving M. Levin Award for Film Direction is presented each year to one of the masters of world cinema and is given in memory the founder of the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1957. Past recipients include Kathryn Bigelow (2017), Mira Nair (2016), Guillermo del Toro (2015), Richard Linklater (2014) Philip Kaufman (2013), Kenneth Branagh (2012), Oliver Stone (2011), Walter Salles (2010), Francis Ford Coppola (2009), Mike Leigh (2008), Spike Lee (2007), and Werner Herzog (2006).
Bay Area native Boots Riley will receive the Kanbar Award for Storytelling for his Oakland-based satire Sorry to Bother You, which was partially funded with grants from SFFILM and opened earlier this summer from Annapurna Pictures. The Kanbar Award acknowledges the critical importance that storytelling plays in the creation of outstanding films. The award is named in honor of Maurice Kanbar, a longtime member of the board of directors of SFFILM, a San Francisco film commissioner and a philanthropist with a particular interest in supporting independent filmmakers. Past recipients include Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (2017), Tom McCarthy (2016), Paul Schrader (2015), Stephen Gaghan (2014), Eric Roth (2013), David Webb Peoples (2012), Frank Pierson (2011), and James Schamus (2010).
SFFILM Awards Night supports the organization’s various year-round initiatives, especially SFFILM Education, which will utilize funds raised to increase the number of Bay Area youth served by film screenings that promote media literacy and inspire meaningful social dialogue; gather student, family, and teacher feedback to build a national platform for sharing lesson plans for current films; and expand the organization’s family-oriented public programming.