Three awardees receive $50,000 to continue championing vital stories.
Cinereach has presented independent producers Effie Brown, Scott Macaulay, and Anish Savjani with its annual Producer Award. The Award, which comes with a $50,000 grant, recognizes producers who demonstrate vision and integrity, contribute to the film community as mentors and leaders, and enrich the culture through their films.
“We’re proud to be among organizations like Sundance, SFFilm, IFP and Film Independent who are investing in the careers of exceptional working producers,” said Merrill Sterritt, Head of Partnerships and Creative Initiatives at Cinereach. “We know that the benefits of presenting this award to talented and generous people like Effie, Scott, and Anish will be amplified because they are the type of professionals who pay it forward.”
“Being an independent producer requires big personal and financial sacrifices,” added Caroline Kaplan, Director of Filmmaker Support and Innovative Philanthropy at Cinereach. “Rather than taking that sacrifice for granted, our field needs both immediate and longer-term approaches to sustain those who take it on, so they can continue to get behind adventurous films.”
The nominating committee for the award included a cross-section of independent film professionals and former award recipients. Nominators lauded the awardees for qualities such as having a track record of artistically successful work, a commitment to furthering diversity and inclusion in the industry, being a mentor to early-career filmmakers, and taking chances on less established voices.
At Duly Noted Inc., Effie Brown’s feature film productions included critically acclaimed HBO Films and award-winning projects such as Stranger Inside, In the Cut, Real Women Have Curves, Everyday People and Rocket Science. In 2014, she Produced Dear White People, which won numerous awards including the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent. Brown joined Lee Daniels Entertainment in 2016 to Executive Produce Season 1 of Star on FOX. She is Executive Producer of Disney Channel’s forthcoming Zombies, and is currently raising a content fund for genre films for and by people of color, women and LGBTQ individuals.
Scott Macaulay’s recent films include Kitty Green’s Casting JonBenet and Elisabeth Subrin’s A Woman, A Part. At Forensic Films, with co-founder and partner Robin O’Hara, he produced award-winning features including Peter Sollett’s Raising Victor Vargas, Harmony Korine’s julien donkey-boy, James Ponsoldt’s Off the Black, Jesse Peretz’s The Chateau, and Tom Noonan’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, What Happened Was… Forthcoming projects include a new film by Green, and Alix Lambert’s Goodbye, Fat Larry. He is executive producing Jazmin Lopez’s The Survival of the Fireflies.
At filmscience Anish Savjani has produced films by Kelly Reichardt, Jeremy Saulnier, Joe Swanberg, Steve Collins, Macon Blair, Brian Savelson and others. His films have been nominated for six Spirit Awards and screened at festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, and Venice. Forthcoming projects include Saulnier’s Hold the Dark and Ritesh Batra’s Photograph.
Past Producer Awardees have included Joslyn Barnes, Karin Chien, Julie Goldman, Lars Knudsen, Heather Rae, Shrihari Sathe, and Jay Van Hoy.