The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors held its 34th annual Caucus Awards dinner tonight at the Skirball Cultural Center, celebrating outstanding achievement in television and new media.
The 42-year-old hyphenates’s organization also celebrated diversity, and there was lots of it to go around: from presenters and hosts, to awards recipients and members of the audience. What used to be mostly an older white guys’ club has become one of the most diverse organizations in Hollywood. It’s motto is “Leading the Evolution,” and as one presenter put it, “We don’t just talk diversity, we practice it.”
Roots director Thomas Carter won the Directors Honor Award; Robert and Michelle King, creators of The Good Wife and BrainDead, won the Writers Honor Award, and Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris won the Producers Honor Award for Grace and Frankie.
Michael T. Fries, co-chair, president and CEO of Liberty Global, received the executive of the year award; Roy Price, vice president and head of Amazon Studios was presented with the New Visions Award; producer Stephanie Allain received the Chair’s Award; producer/director Kevin Bright accepted the Caucus Lifetime Achievement Award, and Frank Chindamo, professor and founder of Fun Little Movies, was presented the Caucus Distinguished Service Award.
The Caucus is especially proud of funding and mentoring of student filmmakers, and standing on stage, this year’s six honorees looked they could have been representatives from the United Nations. Elle Foumbi won the top student prize — and $60,000 — for a student film about the war in Syria, and Julio Vincent Gambuto won second place and $20,000 for a comedic film about his family’s business.
Hosts Charissa Jean Thompson and James Pickens, Jr. did a great job of holding the show together.
For the past 42 years, the Caucus has provided a forum for writers, producers and directors to network as the “creative conscience” of the television industry, advocating for “better and more meaningful television.”