Shailene Woodley, Alfred Molina and Jane Lynch were honored at The Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Awards Annual Gala at Sundance 2013 this week in Park City, Utah. To bring you the inside scoop, we caught up with the winners and stars (Mariel Heminway, John Paul Dejoria, Tim Daly, and more) on the red carpet and at the dinner. You can watch Alfred Molina crack jokes in our HD VIDEO: Sundance 2013: Alfred Molina, Chocolat - First Award Ever.
When asked about the awards, Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition, shared with a smile, “We’re so proud of the Spotlight Initiative Awards,…it celebrates the art and craft of independent film.” Kaycee Stroh (“High School Musical”), added, “We honor people who we feel have done a great job of being unique or having independent films that change the world.”
Robin Bronk kicked off the dinner by sharing deep thoughts from the winners. Jane Lynch ("Afternoon Delight" at SFF) was quoted for saying, “There’s a spirit of doing independent films. More like theater, everybody shows up. You’re not going to get rich doing this, you’re there because you want to tell the story. There is a real different commitment – let’s do it as a team.”
Tim Daly, President of The Creative Coalition, then introduced the first winner as, “He is charming, charismatic, very, very funny and a brilliant actor. His name is Alfred Molina.” Alfred has been nominated for three Tony Awards (most recently “Red”) and four SAG Awards. His independent film work includes, “An Education”, “Coffee and Cigarettes”, “Chocolat”, and “Frida”. His latest indie film, “Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes” was is in the Sundance US Dramatic competition this year.
When Alfred Molina gave his acceptance speech, it was so heartfelt and funny, that the audience roared with laughter. Alfred confessed, “This came as a complete shock and a surprise and absolute delight because my name is Albert Molina so I’ll make sure Alfred gets this (LOL)….Seriously,… I’ve been acting professionally for nearly 40 years, been making films since 1979, and this is the first time I’ve ever been to Sundance, and this is the first time I’ve ever won anything for any work I’ve done in film, and just to show you how special today was, I arrived here so *** early, my coat check number is 1, that’s how pathetic my life is…..(LOL.)”
And then Alfred continued to crack up the crowd by adding, “If that doesn’t sum up independent filmmaking, I don’t know what does. I had to bribe three security men to get in here this evening; they were waiting for Albert Molina too.” Wow and wow, bring back Alfred the comedian!
In a hard to follow act, Miles Teller (“Footloose”) then presented the next award to Shailene Woodley, who co-stars with him in the Sundance hit, The Spectacular Now. She’s been in “The Descendants,” “The Secret Life of an American Teenager” and is currently filming “Divergent” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
Miles also shared funny stories about Shailene. The first time he met Shailene was at a lunch, where she pulled out a Mason jar with spring water. When he asked where she got the water, Shailene told Miles that she hiked and carried back “ten gallons.” Laughing at this story, Miles added, “Shailene is so not Hollywood that it’s refreshing…She is so completely honest to who she is.” He then added, “She’s exceptional and will be around for a long time. I’m lucky to have her as a friend. Congratulations Shailene.”
With a big hug, Shailene Woodley accepted the award from Miles and clarified that she can only carry five versus ten gallons of water at a time. While Shailene said she was very nervous, you couldn’t hear a fork drop during her speech, “I’m so excited to be here and so honored to be in the company of you guys. I go to Sundance every year, just to see films, and this is the first year that I’ve actually had a film here. To be able to present it to a group of people who are so in love with cinema and who support independent filmmaking is so special and so unique and so rare.”
And then Shailene shared her deep love of independent films, “I love being a part of independent filmmaking because there is so much passion that is involved. It is so hard to get an indie film made that once you’re finally on set, everyone is so *** grateful that they got there that everyone’s giving it their all. You don’t care that you’re working 16 hours, and you don’t care that you’re in the middle of 112 degrees and everyone’s sweating. I guess gratitude is the key word here.”
And we are grateful to all the actors, supporters and The Creative Coalition for this wonderful celebration of independent film. Big congrats to Alfred Molina, Shailene Woodley, Jane Lynch, and all the teams with films at 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It is always my favorite week of the year, and an exciting reminder of why arts education is so important. For more information about The Creative Coalition and/or to make a donation, visit http://thecreativecoaltion.org