Nov 20, 2020
Five World-Class Actors Will Attend Virtually as Guests of Honor at SFFILM’s Fundraiser and Awards Show
San Francisco, CA – SFFILM has announced that a bevy of world-class acting talent will attend and receive awards at SFFILM Awards Night, the organization’s annual fundraising celebration honoring achievement in filmmaking craft. This year’s highly anticipated awards show has shifted from its traditional seated dinner and onstage presentation format to a dynamic live-streamed showcase, taking place December 9.
Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy, Netflix) will receive the SFFILM Award for Acting, and the ensemble cast of One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios) — Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom, Jr. — will receive a SFFILM Special Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. They will join the previously announced recipients of the organization’s other awards for film craft: Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7, Netflix), who will receive the Kanbar Award for Storytelling; and Chloé Zhao (Nomadland, Searchlight Pictures), who will receive the Irving M. Levin Award for Film Direction.
“We were simply enthralled by the bold performances of each of these exceptional actors this year,” said SFFILM Executive Director Anne Lai. “Glenn Close, as evidenced by her remarkable turn in Hillbilly Elegy, is simply a master of her craft, and it’s a sight to behold. Kingsley, Eli, Aldis, and Leslie infuse such sensitivity and brilliance into their work, breathing life into these complex characters who also happen to be well-known public figures. We are in awe of their courage and artistry and hope to inspire our audience at SFFILM Awards Night by honoring them and the resonant stories and ideas they brought to the screen this year.”
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. One of San Francisco’s best-attended annual film events and social circuit gatherings, SFFILM Awards Night leverages the Bay Area’s increasing awards season relevance and amplifies the region’s voice in the national critical conversation about film. The program recognizes the singular careers of some of the most remarkable figures in contemporary cinema with special tributes and high-profile presenters. This year’s program will also feature special appearances from SFFILM-supported artists, community members, and notable friends.
Tickets to SFFILM Awards Night are now available. All tickets include a charitable contribution that supports SFFILM’s year-round work cultivating the next generation of world-class film artists. For more information about public participation levels and event access, visit sffilm.org/awardsnight. For questions about press access and interview opportunities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SFFILM Award for Acting: Glenn Close
The SFFILM Award for Acting (previously known as the Peter J. Owens Award for Acting) honors an actor each year whose work exemplifies brilliance, independence, and integrity. Past recipients include Adam Driver (2019), Amy Adams (2018), 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).
Seven-time Academy Award-nominated actress Glenn Close is an acclaimed performer whose work has graced stage, screen, and television. For her most recent film role in The Wife, Close won Golden Globe, SAG, Independent Spirit, and Critics Choice Awards as “Best Actress,” as well as nominations from BAFTA, the Gotham Awards, and the London Film Critics, along with that seventh Oscar nomination. Close currently stars alongside Amy Adams in Hillbilly Elegy, directed by Ron Howard. Close made her feature film debut in George Roy Hill’s The World According to Garp, earning her awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review as well as her first Academy Award nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Stephen Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons, and Albert Nobbs, on which she was also co-screenwriter, producer, and lyricist of the film’s title song. Her additional film credits include Richard Marquand’s Jagged Edge, Barbet Schroeder’s Reversal of Fortune, Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet, István Szabó’s Meeting Venus, Ron Howard’s The Paper, Stephen Herek’s 101 Dalmatians, Kevin Lima’s 102 Dalmatians, Wolfgang Petersen’s Air Force One , Robert Altman’s Cookie’s Fortune, Rose Troche’s The Safety of Objects, Merchant Ivory’s Le Divorce, Chris Terrio’s Heights, and four films with Rodrigo García: Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, Nine Lives, Albert Nobbs, and Four Good Days. For her work in television, as both an actress and producer, Close has 14 Emmy nominations and three wins. For her work on stage, Close has won three Tony Awards.
SFFILM Special Award for Ensemble Cast: One Night in Miami
This will be the second annual SFFILM Special Award, which is designed to recognize an achievement that reflects the organization’s mission — to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. In this case, SFFILM wishes to call attention to the outstanding performances in Regina King’s remarkable film One Night in Miami, both on the individual level for each actor and particularly for the powerful result of their collaborative ensemble effort. The inaugural recipient of the award was Chinonye Chukwu, for Breakthrough Directing in recognition of her remarkable work with Clemency (2019).
Kingsley Ben-Adir is a British-Afro Caribbean actor who, after over a decade of impressive work on stage, film and television, is becoming one of the most sought-after talents and appears in a number of highly anticipated projects. Ben-Adir can next be seen playing the role of Barack Obama in Billy Ray’s The Comey Rule, starring Jeff Daniels as James Comey and Brendan Gleeson as Donald Trump. Upcoming, Ben-Adir stars opposite Sarah Snook in Soulmates, an episodic anthology series premiering on October 5 for AMC and created by Will Bridges and Brett Goldstein. Ben-Adir can also be seen in the Hulu comedy-drama series High Fidelity opposite Zoe Kravitz as well as the HBO Max anthology rom-com series Love Life, alongside Anna Kendrick and produced by Paul Feig. Previously, he starred in the second season of the hugely popular Netflix series The OA, opposite Brit Marling and Jason Isaacs. Additionally, Ben-Adir was a series regular during seasons four, five, six and returned in season eight on ITV’s drama Vera, alongside Brenda Blethyn. He can also be seen playing the role of Colonel Ben Younger, in the latest season of the BBC/Netflix’s critically acclaimed series Peaky Blinders, starring alongside Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, and Helen McCrory.
Eli Goree will next be seen starring as Cassius Clay in One Night in Miami, Regina King’s highly anticipated directorial debut from Amazon Studios. Goree is a truly versatile performer who’s worked across television and film. He was most recently seen starring in USA’s Pearson, which was a series spin-off of the well-known and well-loved series Suits. Goree was also seen reprising his role as Mad Dog in Season 4 of CW’s Riverdale. His additional television roles include HBO’s Ballers, CW’s The 100, Global TV’s Da Kink in My Hair, CW’s Supernatural, CW’s Emily Owens, M.D., CTV’s Motive, Netflix’s GLOW, and Freeform’s Dead of Summer. On the film side, Goree starred in Stephen Hopkin’s Race, for which he received a Leo Award for “Best Supporting Performance by a Male in a Motion Picture.” Born and raised in Halifax, Canada, Goree currently resides in Los Angeles.
Aldis Hodge recently wrapped production on Leverage 2.0, which previously aired on TNT, and will return to work this fall on his new Showtime series City on a Hill opposite Kevin Bacon, produced by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Tom Fontana and directed by Michael Cuesta. Hodge will star opposite Dwayne Johnson in New Line’s Black Adam, with production set to begin in early 2021. Additional film credits include Universal’s The Invisible Man opposite Elisabeth Moss, and Chinonye Chukwu’s independent feature Clemency, for which Hodge won a Virtuoso Award at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Hodge also appeared in the Academy Award-nominated Twentieth Century Fox feature Hidden Figures, for which the cast received an ensemble award at the 2017 SAG Awards. Hodge is perhaps most well-known for his role as MC Ren in Universal Pictures’ Straight Outta Compton. The film gained critical acclaim and was nominated for various awards including a 2016 Screen Actors Guild Award in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, a 2016 Producers Guild Award, as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Other work includes the Disney feature Magic Camp, the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Black Mirror and as the lead in a new Netflix anthology Medal of Honor and the series Underground for WGN America, opposite Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Christopher Meloni.
Leslie Odom, Jr. is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning and Emmy nominated performer — with a multifaceted career that spans all performance genres: Broadway, television, film, and music. Best known for his breakout role as Aaron Burr in the smash hit Broadway musical Hamilton, Odom will next be seen on the big screen in the film adaptation of the Olivier Award-nominated play One Night in Miami directed by Regina King, where he portrays and performs the songs of legendary singer Sam Cooke. For the film, King also enlisted Odom to write and perform the original song, “Speak Now.” Most recently, he released his second holiday album, titled The Christmas Album, which follows the release of Mr, his third album and first of all-original material. Odom can currently be heard voicing the character of Owen Tillerman in the Apple TV+ animated musical-comedy series Central Park, for which he received an Emmy nomination, as well as in the recently released filmed performance of the original Broadway production of Hamilton on Disney+. His other upcoming projects include the feature film Music written and directed by singer-songwriter Sia; Needle in a Timestack, written and directed by John Ridley; and next spring he will star in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel to David Chase’s Award-winning HBO series The Sopranos. Additional film and television credits include the limited series Love in the Time of Corona, which he co-starred opposite Nicolette Robinson and produced, Harriet, Murder on the Orient Express, Only, Red Tails and Smash.
SFFILM Awards Night is presented by Amazon Studios, First Republic Bank, and Live-Stream Sponsor Four One Nine. This year’s event co-chairs are SFFILM Board members Gwyneth Borden, Joni Binder, Heidi Castelein, and Sonya Yu.
SFFILM is a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM is a year-round organization delivering screenings and events to more than 75,000 film lovers and media education programs to more than 15,000 students, teachers, and families annually. In addition to its public programs, SFFILM supports the careers of independent filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond with grants, residencies, and other creative development services. For more information visit sffilm.org.