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Emile Hirsch, Cheryl Hines, and filmmakers honored at Sundance 2014

Stars rallied at the 2014 Spotlight Initiative Awards at the Sundance Film Festival last week to honor independent filmmakers, actors, producers and directors. This gala dinner was hosted by The Creative Coalition at the Supper Suite by STK at The Sky Lodge in Park City, Utah. To bring you the inside scoop, we interviewed Tim Daly (“Private Practice”), Lea Thompson (“Back to The Future”) and John Carroll Lynch (“Shutter Island”) on the red carpet.

Cheryl Hines at Spotlight Initiative Awards at Sundance 2014 hosted by The Creative Coalition
Cheryl Hines at Spotlight Initiative Awards at Sundance 2014 hosted by The Creative Coalition
Liz H Kelly
Cheryl Hines at The Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Awards at Sundance 2014
Liz H Kelly

Award winners, presenters, and hosts included Emile Hirsch, Cheryl Hines (“Life After Beth”), Rose McGowan (“DAWN”), Jonathan Pryce, Tim Daly, Lea Thompson (“Ping Pong Summer”), John Carroll Lynch (“Camp X-Ray”), Producer Randall Emmett (“Inconceivable”), Allie Grant (“Suburgatory”), Josh Gad, Richard Kind (“Obvious Child”), Richard Schiff, Cameron Monaghan, Evan Handler (“Californication”) and Director David Wain (“The Came Together” starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd).

When we asked Tim Daly about the gala, he described it this way, “The Creative Coalition spends a lot of time trying to protect, defend and promote the arts in the United States and that is an uphill battle,…and when we come to Sundance we’re able to sort of relax because everybody here gets it and we celebrate people who’ve had a significant contribution to independent film because we know they’ve had to fight and scratch and claw as hard as we do to get their films made.” Tim also had a film at Sundance called “Lowdown,” which he describes in this VIDEO: Tim Daly and Lea Thompson at Sundance 2014.

Along with emphasizing the importance of arts education and The Creative Coalition, John Carroll Lynch gave us an overview of his Sundance film “Camp X-Ray” starring Kristen Stewart (“Twilight”). John described the story this way, “It’s a film about Guantanamo Bay, but it’s not really a film about Guantanamo, it’s about humanity. And it’s about the way in which the circumstances at Guantanamo change us as human beings. It’s really a very personal story.” He plays the commanding officer of the prisons at Guantanamo, and shared how he researched to play this role in our VIDEO: John Carroll Lynch (Camp X-Ray) at Sundance 2014.

When we interviewed Lea Thompson ("Back to the Future") about her Sundance, she gave us insights on her two films at the festival called "Ping Pong Summer" and “The Trouble with the Truth.” Lea was also there to present an award to Jonathan Pryce (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) that night, and has been supporting The Creative Coalition for years.

The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by Christopher Reeve, Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Ron Silver and other prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance. The Creative Coalition uses the power and platform of the arts and entertainment communities in award-winning public service and advocacy campaigns.

The Spotlight Initiative Awards are a prestigious honor in the film arena. As one of the most significant awards in the entertainment industry, The Spotlight Initiative Awards have been bestowed for almost two decades to luminaries in the arts and entertainment industry. Past award winners include William H. Macy, Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Vera Farmiga, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Quentin Tarantino, Taylor Hackford, George Hickenlooper, Lee Daniels, Roland Emmerich, Barry Levinson, Sean Penn, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Marcia Gay Harden, Melissa Leo, Alfred Molina, Ellen Barkin, Alan Arkin, Tracy Morgan, Kate Bosworth, Spike Lee, Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Doug Liman, Liev Schreiber, Zachary Quinto, and Robert Duvall.

© Liz H Kelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist and Goody Awards Founder