The 2022 Cinema Unbound Awards took place on March 8 in the Kridel Grand Ballroom with an unbound evening with dinner, entertainment, and inspiration honoring artists, curators, and industry leaders who inspire new ways of seeing.
Creative Polymath—For her consistent redefining of what’s possible as a multi-dimensional artist.
Presenter: Jeff Goldblum
Career highlights: Carrie Brownstein is a writer, director, and musician. She is a founding member of the critically acclaimed rock band Sleater-Kinney and author of the New York Times best-seller Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir. She, along with Fred Armisen, was the co-creator and co-star of the sketch-comedy series Portlandia. The show aired for eight seasons, winning both a Peabody and a WGA Award. Brownstein’s work on the show garnered her eight Primetime Emmy nominations in the categories of Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series. Brownstein has directed television shows for HBO, NBC, Comedy Central, and Hulu. Brownstein most recently co-stars alongside Annie Clark (St. Vincent) in the mockumentary film The Nowhere Inn, which premiered in theaters and VOD in September 2021.
Reinaldo Marcus Green
Directorial Dynamo—For imaginatively propelling forward performances and narratives inspired by real life to new heights.
Presenter: Will Smith
Career highlights: Reinaldo Marcus Green is a writer, director, and producer. He most recently directed the critically acclaimed Warner Brothers film King Richard starring Will Smith. The film is nominated for Best Picture at the Critics Choice Awards and was named one of the Top 10 Films of the Year by both AFI and the National Board of Review. His first feature, Monsters and Men, had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The film received a Special Jury Prize for Outstanding First Feature. Reinaldo directed the first three episodes of the Netflix series Top Boy, executive produced by Drake and SpringHill Entertainment. His sophomore feature Joe Bell, starring Mark Wahlberg, premiered at TIFF 2020 and was distributed by Amazon and Roadside Attractions. He is currently in post-production on the upcoming HBO Limited Series We Own This City. Reinaldo directed all of the episodes of the series, written and executive produced by David Simon and George Pelecanos. Following, Reinaldo is attached to write and direct the upcoming Bob Marley biopic at Paramount.
Tastemaking Trailblazer—For his work promoting and bolstering Black artists creating the future of visual art and storytelling.
Career highlights: Arthur Lewis is a Partner and Creative Director of Fine Arts and the UTA Artist Space at leading global talent, entertainment, and sports company UTA. A patron of the arts and a significant collector of both work by emerging artists and contemporary African American art, Lewis—who is a member of the board of governors of Otis College Art and Design, on the board of Prospect New Orleans, a member of the National Advisory Committee for The New Orleans African American Museum, and a Global Council member at The Studio Museum of Harlem—is a well-known and distinguished figure in the art world.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller
The Groundbreakers—For expanding and re-imagining creative animation through their collective work as writer, directors, producers and champions of untold stories.
Presenter: Peter Lord, Co-Founder Aardman Studios
Academy Award-winning filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller are the prolific multi-hyphenate duo behind some of today’s most successful films including Spider-Man: Into the SpiderVerse, The Lego Movie, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, 21 & 22 Jump Street, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Known for their unique sensibilities and maverick mindset as writer- producer-directors, Lord and Miller have spent their careers pushing the boundaries of creativity to deliver a fresh, unexpected perspective with each of their projects. Immensely talented and endlessly innovative, the pair’s projects have successfully drawn in audiences of all demographics time and time again.
On the features side, Lord and Miller most recently produced the animated feature The Mitchells vs. the Machines, which has been called the best animated film of 2021 and has been awarded multiple critics’ awards. In 2019 Lord and Miller won an Academy Award for their film Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The film, which Lord co-wrote and the pair produced, has been praised by critics for its groundbreaking visuals that bring comic book illustrations to life for the big-screen in an unprecedented way.
Lord and Miller have several feature projects in various stages of development including the live action feature The Last Human, Artemis based on the novel by Andy Weir and Project Hail Mary, an adaptation of Weir’s forthcoming novel, starring Ryan Gosling. They recently wrapped production on Cocaine Bear, a unique character-driven thriller written by Jimmy Warden with Elizabeth Banks directing and the adult comedy “Strays” starring Will Ferrell, Jaime Foxx and Will Forte. Lord and Miller have an overall deal at Sony Pictures Television, where they continue to develop live-action and animated series in both comedy and drama.
Astonishing Artist—For her legendary commitment to blurring the boundaries as an artist who wildly explores and questions the key issues and ideas of our time.
Presenter: Isabella Rossellini
Career highlights: Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist and filmmaker living in New York.
Neshat works and continues to experiment with the mediums of photography, video and film, which she imbues with highly poetic and politically charged images and narratives that question issues of power, religion, race, gender and the relationship between the past and present, occident and orient, individual and collective through the lens of her personal experiences as an Iranian woman living in exile.
Neshat has directed three feature-length films, Women Without Men (2009), which received the Silver Lion Award for Best Director at the 66th Venice International Film Festival, Looking For Oum Kulthum (2017), and most recently Land of Dreams, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival (2021) and will be released in 2022.
Neshat has held numerous solo exhibitions at museums internationally including the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2022); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2021); The Broad, Los Angeles (2020); Museo Correr, Venice, Italy (2017); Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (2015); Detroit Institute of Arts (2013); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2006); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2005); the Serpentine Gallery, London (2000); and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2001).
Neshat was awarded the Golden Lion Award, the First International Prize at the 48th Biennale di Venezia (1999), the Hiroshima Freedom Prize (2005), and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (2006). In 2017, Neshat was awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale award for Painting.
Neshat directed her first opera, Verdi’s Aida, at the Salzburg Festival In 2017. She is represented by Gladstone Gallery in New York and Goodman Gallery in London.
Roger Ross Williams
Multi-Talented Maestro—For his dizzying array of talents as a storytelling artist sharing the chronicles of outsiders, and for his on-going commitment as a supporter of BIPOC creatives worldwide through his production banner One Story Up.
Presenter: Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
Career highlights: Roger Ross Williams is an award-winning director, producer and writer and the first African American director to win an Academy Award. He has directed a number of acclaimed films including Life, Animated, which won the Sundance Film Festival Directing Award, dozens of film festival awards, was nominated for an Academy Award ®, and won three Emmys in 2018, including the award for Best Documentary. He also directed God Loves Uganda, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award ® and American Jail, which examined the U.S. prison system and premiered on CNN. Williams’ Traveling While Black, a VR documentary made for Facebook’s Oculus, premiered at Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for a Primetime Emmy and won a Webby Award. His film The Apollo, a documentary about Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater, was the opening night film of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Documentary. He recently directed three hours of The Innocence Files, which premiered on Netflix in their top ten films to watch. Williams is currently set to direct and produce (under his One Story Up banner) Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped From The Beginning as well as its counterpart Stamped: Racism, Anti Racism, and You.
His production company, One Story Up, creates documentary films, series, specials, animation and VR. One Story Up has produced a variety of projects including two limited documentary series for Netflix and a screen adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ bestseller, Between the World and Me for HBO. They are currently in production on an untitled Netflix feature documentary about civil rights lawyer Ben Crump; The Empire of Ebony (Roger to EP), The 1619 Project with the New York Times, Lionsgate, Disney/ABC, and Harpo Productions, as well as a short film series with Topic and First Look Media; and a feature documentary for A&E entitled Master of Light.