Gina Prince-Bythewood and Don Katz latest Gotham Awards tribute honorees
The Gotham Film & Media Institute announced today that director/writer/producer Gina Prince-Bythewood will receive the Filmmaker Tribute and Don Katz, Founder and Executive Chairman of Audible, Inc., will receive the Innovator Tribute during the 32nd annual Gotham Awards Ceremony taking place live and in person on Monday, November 28, 2022 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Nominations for the Gotham Awards were recently announced and the complete list is available here.
Award-winning director/writer/producer Gina Prince-Bythewood is one of the most versatile storytellers working in film and television. Known for her authentic character-driven work, Prince-Bythewood has written and directed such influential feature films as Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, and Beyond The Lights. Prince-Bythewood’s most recent feature film was directing the historical epic, The Woman King, for Sony’s Tristar Pictures which opened in theaters on Friday, September 16 at the top of the domestic box office and received a rare A+ CinemaScore. The critically-acclaimed film is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen.
Prior to The Woman King, Prince-Bythewood directed the critically-acclaimed action drama blockbuster, “The Old Guard,” starring Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne. For television, Prince-Bythewood most recently directed the pilot and served as an Executive Producer of ABC’s limited series Women of the Movement. The six-episode series debuted in January, 2022, and was based on the true story of Mamie Till- Mobley, who devoted her life to seeking justice for her son Emmett Till following his brutal murder in the Jim Crow South in 1955. Prince-Bythewood’s next television project will be Genius: MLK/X, which she and her husband Reggie Rock Bythewood, will serve as Executive Producers under their production company Undisputed Cinema. Genius: MLK/X‘ will explore the formative years, pioneering accomplishments, dueling philosophies and key personal relationships of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of The Gotham Film & Media Institute, stated: “Gina Prince-Bythewood is a visionary filmmaker and a champion of Black narratives, particularly stories that center around Black women. She has brilliantly tackled painful moments in our nation’s history, thorny philosophical debates, and love stories. From the beloved and burnished classic Love & Basketball to the pinnacle success of this year’s The Woman King, Gina is a true inspiration and it is a distinct honor to name her the recipient of this year’s Filmmaker Tribute.”
Don Katz, the recipient of this year’s Gotham Innovator Tribute, is the founder and executive chairman of Audible, Inc., the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling. Prior to founding Audible, Katz was a journalist and author for twenty years; his work won a National Magazine Award, an Overseas Press Club Award, the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, among other prizes. Audible, under Katz’s leadership, commercialized the first portable digital audio player in 1997, four years before the introduction of the iPod. Audible was publicly traded on NASDAQ until acquired by Amazon in 2008 and is now an Amazon subsidiary. Katz was the recipient of a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award, and in 2022 was celebrated as PEN America’s Business Visionary Honoree at its Literary Gala.
“As an author, a visionary entrepreneur, and a storytelling innovator, Don has created a new paradigm for IP development, production and distribution, while simultaneously disrupting the publishing, audio, film and TV industries. His commitment to urban renewal, diversity, equity, and inclusion anticipated the contemporary social justice movement in Corporate America by several decades and stands as a model for future founders and CEO’s,” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of The Gotham Film & Media Institute. “Under Don’s leadership, Audible has become an important collaborator to The Gotham in supporting emerging voices in audio. We are incredibly grateful to Don for his leadership and powerful support.”
Recently announced Audible production and development deals with leading creatives include projects with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s media company Higher Ground; George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse; Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street; Hillman Grad Productions founded by Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani; Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit; Laura Dern’s Jaywalker Pictures; Kenya Barris’s Khalabo Ink Society; Topic Studios; Treefort Media; Kevin Hart’s HartBeat Productions; Charlamagne tha God’s CTHAGOD World Productions; and The SpringHill Company, founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.
Projects produced via these deals will join a series of best-in-class Audible Originals including the #1 New York Times best-selling audio fiction The Sandman and The Sandman: Act II from Neil Gaiman, performed by James McAvoy; The Miranda Obsession performed and produced by Rachel Brosnahan; Living Legend, a new Words + Music original by John Legend; The Big Lie from Fresh Produce and featuring Jon Hamm; Climate of Change with Cate Blanchett; Summer of ’85 from SBH; Seat at the Table from Marcus Samuelsson; The Method from James Patterson and featuring Zachary Quinto; Letters from Camp from Jamie Lee Curtis; Skybound’s Impact Winter; and Broadway Video’s Hot White Heist directed by Alan Cumming and starring an all-queer cast led by Bowen Yang.
The Gotham Awards Ceremony will take place on Monday, November 28, 2022 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. As the first major awards ceremony of the fall season, the Gotham Awards provide critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films and series and their writers, directors, producers, and actors with twelve competitive awards categories. The awards are also unique for their ability to assist in catapulting award recipients prominently into national awards season attention. The Official Automotive Sponsor of the 2022 Gotham Awards is Cadillac and the Official Water Sponsor is FIJI Water.