The Annual Fundraiser Supporting SFFILM’s Year-Round Initiatives Will Award Campion with The Irving M. Levin Award for Film Direction, SFFILM Special Award for Distinctive Voice to Green, Gyllenhaal with The Kanbar Award for Storytelling and Isaac to Receive the SFFILM Award for Acting
SFFILM today announced their honorees for the annual 2021 SFFILM Awards Night, Jane Campion, Reinaldo Marcus Green, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Oscar Isaac. The highly anticipated event honors exemplary achievement in film craft. This year’s celebration will take place on Monday, December 6 at San Francisco’s YBCA Forum.
The guests of honor at SFFILM Awards Night will receive the organization’s prestigious awards for film craft: Jane Campion (The Power of The Dog, Netflix) will receive the Irving M. Levin Award for Film Direction, Reinaldo Marcus Green (King Richard, Warner Bros) will receive the SFFILM Special Award for Distinctive Voice, Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost Daughter, Netflix) will receive the Kanbar Award for Storytelling and Oscar Isaac (The Card Counter, Focus Features) will receive the SFFILM Award for Acting. Celebrity presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.
SFFILM Awards Night supports the organization’s year-round work to discover and nurture the next generation of film artists, not only through the SFFILM Festival and other screenings and events, but also through its SFFILM Education and SFFILM Makers initiatives. The program recognizes the singular careers of some of the most remarkable figures in contemporary cinema with special tributes and high-profile presenters.
“I can’t tell you how tremendous it feels to be back in-person celebrating such exceptional talent. Jane, Reinaldo, Maggie and Oscar embody the spirit and brilliance we value so much in singular storytelling. Their work this year has raised the bar, and SFFILM is proud to award such exceptional artists and hopefully inspire a next generation of storytellers in the Bay Area and beyond,” said Executive Director of SFFILM Anne Lai.
Irving M. Levin Award for Film Direction: Jane Campion
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 Chloé Zhao (2020), Marielle Heller (2019), Steve McQueen (2018), 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), among others.
New Zealand born Academy Award winner Jane Campion has established herself as one of the world’s most powerful storytellers. Best known for her debut feature The Piano, Campion was the first female director to win the Palme D’Or and one of only seven women ever to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar. The film also received over 30 international awards along with nine Academy Award nominations and three wins including for Best Screenplay. Most recently, Campion was awarded the Silver Lion for directing at the Venice International Film Festival for her film The Power of the Dog. Her other films include Sweetie which premiered at Cannes; An Angel at My Table which won seven prizes at Venice Film Festival, including the Silver Lion; The Portrait of a Lady which was nominated for two Academy Awards; HOLY SMOKE which was nominated for the Golden Lion and won the Elvira Notari Prize at Venice; In the Cut which premiered at Toronto; and Bright Star which was nominated for the Golden Palm in Cannes. In television, Jane created, co-wrote, co-directed and executive produced the two season mini-series Top of the LakeE. The series ultimately received eight Emmy Award nominations including Outstanding Lead Actress for Elizabeth Moss, who also won a Golden Globe for her performance.
SFFILM Special Award for Distinctive Voice: Reinaldo Marcus Green
SFFILM Special Award is designed to recognize an achievement that reflects the organization’s belief in the enduring power, beauty, and social impact of film. This year, SFFILM wishes to highlight the work of filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green for his distinctive voice as a filmmaker.
Reinaldo Marcus Green is a writer, director and producer. His first feature, Monsters and Men, had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The film received a Special Jury Prize for Outstanding First Feature. Reinaldo directed the first three episodes of the Netflix series Top Boy, executive produced by Drake and SpringHill Entertainment. He has since completed his sophomore feature, Joe Bell, starring Mark Wahlberg, which premiered at TIFF 2020 and was distributed this summer by Amazon and Roadside Attractions.
Reinaldo has recently directed King Richard starring Will Smith, and is currently in production, directing the upcoming HBO Limited Series We Own This City, written and executive produced by David Simon and George Pelecanos. Following that, Reinaldo is attached to write and direct the upcoming Bob Marley biopic.
Kanbar Award for Storytelling: Maggie Gyllenhaal
The Kanbar Award for Storytelling 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 Aaron Sorkin (2020), Lulu Wang (2019), Boots Riley (2018), 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), among others.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is an award-winning actress, producer, and now director and screenwriter. Her career is full of groundbreaking and thought-provoking performances, and she produced HBO’s The Deuce and critically acclaimed The Kindergarten Teacher, in which she also starred. Gyllenhaal made her directorial debut with her screen adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel The Lost Daughter (starring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, and Jessie Buckley). Gyllenhaal won acclaim in 2002 for Secretary, starring opposite James Spader, for which she won a National Board of Review award and both Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominations. She followed with Laurie Collyer’s Sherrybaby (2006), a painful look at a young woman getting out of prison and hoping to reclaim her child, which earned her a second Golden Globe nomination. In 2009, she starred opposite Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, earning her an Oscar nomination.
Other notable film performances include Donnie Darko (2001), Mona Lisa Smile (2003), Stranger Than Fiction (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), Nanny McPheeReturns (2010), Frank (2014) and The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) among many others. Gyllenhaal moved into television with BBC/Sundance’s The Honorable Woman (2014), for which she won a Golden Globe Award and SAG and Emmy nominations. And in 2019, Gyllenhaal concluded her three-season run as the sex worker Candy who becomes a film director in the HBO drama The Deuce, which she also produced. Her performance earned her rave reviews, and both Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award nominations.
SFFILM Award for Acting (formerly called the Peter J. Owens Award for Acting): Oscar Isaac
The SFFILM Award for Acting (formerly called the Peter J. Owens Award for Acting) has been awarded since 1996 and honors a performer whose work exemplifies brilliance, independence, and integrity. Past recipients include Glenn Close, Adam Driver, Amy Adams, Kate Winslet, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Gere, Jeremy Irons, Harrison Ford, Judy Davis, Terence Stamp, Robert Duvall, Robert Redford, and Robin Williams, among others.
Oscar Isaac is a critically acclaimed and award-winning actor, producer and musician. In 2016, he earned a Golden Globe for his role on the HBO miniseries Show Me A Hero in the Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film category as well as a Critics’ Choice nomination for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries. Two years prior, he scored an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead and a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of the title character in the Coen Brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis. He additionally was featured on numerous songs on the film’s soundtrack. That same year, Isaac led J.C. Chandor’s action-packed drama, A Most Violent Year, for which he earned the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor with the film earning the Best Film nod. The following year, Isaac starred in Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland. The National Board of Review recognized the film as one of the ten best independent films of the year. In 2015, Isaac starred as the Resistance pilot, Poe Dameron, in the highly awaited Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh installment in the main Star Wars film series. Directed, co-produced, and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was the first of a trilogy planned by Disney. Isaac returned as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and most recently in the final chapter Stars Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Other acting credits include The Promise (2016), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Suburbicon (2017), Annihilation (2018), Operation Finale (2018) of which he also is credited as a producer, Life Itself (2018), Triple Frontier (2019), At Eternity’s Gate (2019), and The Addams Family (2019). Issac recently starred in The Letter Room, a short film directed by Elvira Lind, which was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2021 Oscars. In 2017, Isaac headlined The Public Theater’s summer production of Hamlet with Sam Gold at the helm. Off-Broadway, Isaac appeared in Zoe Kazan’s play We Live Here at Manhattan Theatre Club, as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and in Two Gentlemen of Verona, the latter productions for The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. Isaac also appeared in Beauty of the Father at Manhattan Theatre Club and in MCC Theater’s Grace. Additional theatre credits include: Arrivals and Departures, When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba and Spinning into Butter. Most recently, Isaac starred in three separate projects that each debuted at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival. Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter, with Martin Scorsese as an executive producer, starred Isaac alongside Tiffany Haddish and hit theaters this past September. Isaac can also be seen in the much-anticipated reboot of Dune, an adaption of the bestselling novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, which hit theaters and HBO Max in October. Oscar’s third project to debut in Venice was HBO’s Scenes from a Marriage opposite Jessica Chastain. A new episode of this 5-part miniseries was released every Sunday throughout this past September and October. Additionally, Isaac reprised his role as the voice of Gomez Addams in The Addams Family 2, which was also released in October.
(Left to Right: Director: Jane Campion (Photo Credit: Grant Matthews), Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green (Photo Credit: Chiabella James/C.B.J. Photography), Director: Maggie Gyllenhaal, (Photo Credit: Gareth Cattermole), Actor: Oscar Isaac Jon Kopaloff (Photo Credit: FilmMagic)