The 2021 Cinema Unbound Awards were presented virtually through a live stream and at a live drive-in experience, complete with drive-through performers, a drum line, and catering on March 4, 2021.
View images from the drive-in event here
Presenter: Charles Burnett, Filmmaker (Killer of Sheep)
Academy Award winner Steve McQueen is a British artist and filmmaker. His critically acclaimed first feature Hunger (2008), starring Michael Fassbender as an IRA hunger-striker, won the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. He re-teamed with Fassbender for his follow up feature Shame (2011), for which Fassbender won the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival for Best Actor; the film ranks as one of the highest grossing NC-17 rated movies. McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (2013) dominated awards season, winning, among many others, the Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and AAFCA Awards for Best Picture while McQueen received DGA, Academy, BAFTA and Golden Globe directing nods. His third feature, Widows (2018), was one of the best reviewed films of the year and starred Viola Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Elizabeth Debicki and Michelle Rodriguez. His most recent project, Small Axe (2020), is an anthology series comprising five original films about resilience and triumph in London’s West Indian community from the ‘60s to ’80s. Three of the five films in the series, Mangrove, Lovers Rock, and Red, White and Blue opened the 58th New York Film Festival in September.
McQueen is the recipient of many accolades for his work as a visual artist. In 2016, the Johannes Vermeer Award was presented to him at The Hague. In that same year, the British Film Institute awarded McQueen with a fellowship. His artwork is exhibited and held in major museums around the world; the Portland Art Museum has presented McQueen’s 1998 video work Drumroll, for which he won the 1999 Turner Prize, the highest honor for a British visual artist. A retrospective was recently exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Schaulager in Basel. Tate Modern and Tate Britain were home to two critically acclaimed shows in 2019/2020, Year 3 and a retrospective, Steve McQueen. In 2020, McQueen was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for his services to the arts.
Presenter: Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, Museum of Modern Art
Garrett Bradley was born and raised in New York City. She works across narrative, documentary, and experimental modes of filmmaking to address themes such as race, class, familial relationships, social justice, Southern culture, and the history of film in the United States.
In January of 2020, Bradley became the first Black woman to win the Best Director Award in the US Documentary Competition for her feature-length documentary Time. Bradley’s first solo museum exhibition, American Rhapsody, was curated by Rebecca Matalon at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. She has participated in two group shows, the 2019 Whitney Biennial, curated by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, and Bodies of Knowledge at the New Orleans Museum of Art, curated by Katie Pfohl. Her first New York solo exhibition, Projects: Garrett Bradley curated by Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, is on view through March 15, 2021, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Projects is presented as a part of a multiyear partnership between the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem and features a multichannel video installation of her film America (2019).
Gus Van Sant
Presenters: Paige Powell, Photographer; Thomas Lauderdale, Musician; and Walt Curtis, Artist and Portland’s unofficial Poet Laureate
Gus Van Sant, admired internationally as a filmmaker, painter, photographer, and musician, received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1975. Since that time his studio painting practice has moved in and out of the foreground of a multi-disciplinary career, becoming a priority again in recent years. Van Sant’s work in different mediums is united by a single overarching interest in portraying people on the fringes of society.
Van Sant’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, Le Case d’Arte in Milan, Italy, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene, among others. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions since the 1980s, presenting drawings, paintings, photographs, video works, and writing. Among Van Sant’s many internationally acclaimed feature films are Milk (2008); Elephant (2003); Good Will Hunting (1997); My Own Private Idaho (1991); and Drugstore Cowboy (1989).
Presenter: Chloe Zhao, Filmmaker (Nomadland)
Mollye Asher is an IFP Gotham Award-winning producer and winner of the 2020 Producers Award from the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Most recently, she produced Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ Swallow (IFC Films), which won Best Actress at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival; Chloé Zhao’s multi-award winning Nomadland (Searchlight); and The Rider (Sony Pictures Classics). The Rider premiered in the 2017 Cannes Directors Fortnight and won its top prize. It went on to be nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Picture, and won Best Feature at the 2018 Gotham Awards. Other credits include the 2014 SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner, Fort Tilden (Orion), by writer/director team, Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers; Anja Marquardt’s Spirit Award nominated film, She’s Lost Control (Berlinale, Monument Releasing); and Chloé Zhao’s debut feature, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (Sundance, Cannes, Kino Lorber).
She recently co-founded the production company The Population with Mynette Louie and Derek Nguyen and is currently in post-production on Josef Kubota Wladyka’s thriller Catch The Fair One. It stars champion boxer Kali Reis and is executive produced by Darren Aronofsky and Protozoa. Asher earned her MFA in Film from NYU and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Presenter: Guillermo del Toro, Filmmaker (Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio)
Alex Bulkley is an Academy Award, Emmy, and Annie award-winning producer and co-founder of ShadowMachine, the acclaimed indie animation studio and production house based in Los Angeles and Portland with a body of work that spans all formats of animation over twenty years including the recent Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix), Bojack Horseman (Netflix) and current Final Space (TBS/Adult Swim) and Ten Year Old Tom (HBO).