LOS ANGELES, CA: Director Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) received the Humanitarian Award at the 17th Annual Satellite Awards on Sunday, Dec. 16, in an emotional ceremony that turned into a sweep for David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook.” The show also celebrated the talents of Terence Stamp with the Mary Pickford Award, Paul Williams with the Auteur Award, Walter Murch with the Tesla Award, and Bruce Davison with an Honorary Satellite for Career Achievement.
Mirjana Van Blaricom, International Press Academy President, began the evening with: “As we meet again in a world plagued and divided by conflict, violence, hunger, and natural disasters, we share our mutual hope that film and television can play a part in bridging gaps and emphasizing the universality of love, loyalty, and compassion – and thereby increasing a realistic hope for true peace and true brotherhood between nations.”
In presenting the Humanitarian Award, actor Dennis Haysbert said “in the face of such heart-wrenching tragedy, we have a symbol of hope, an emblem of resilience who might help the survivors, young and old, to hold back the beast know as fear: that emblem is a little girl named Quvenzhane Wallis, IPA’ Newcomer Award recipient for 2012.”
Haysbert pointed out that “her performance in ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ rocks you back when you see her mini tour-de-force as a coup-de-grace that vanquishes the monster called Fear. If she can do it, we can do it… and before writer/director Benh Zeitlin comes up to accept for her, Benh, we’d like to let you know that you are our Humanitarian honoree for your compassion, kindness, and emotional fortitude in bringing the world’s attention to the plight of one to shine light on the lives of many.”
“We hope that your film ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ is a source of strength for all children, parents, teachers, caregivers, and even the global community, in its ability to communicate a strategy for standing firm in the face of anything.”
As far as the sweep for ‘Silver Linings Playbook,” the film took Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, Best Actor for Bradley Cooper, Best Director for David O. Russell, Best Editing for Crispin Struthers and Jay Cassidy, as well as Best Picture.
“Thank you so much International Press Academy,” Jennifer Lawrence said. “I’m currently in production on ‘Catching Fire,’ and I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there in person to accept this generous award. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to do what I do. I know how incredibly fortunate I’ve been as a young actress to work on such diverse and rich material like ‘Silver Linings Playbook.’ To be nominated alongside such talented actresses is really an honor.”
“I’ve been a huge fan of David O. Russell’s,” she said, “and I’d always dreamed of the chance to work with him. So when ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ came up, I was just so close to stalking him for the role. He is truly one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. David drew from me a performance I didn’t know I was capable of and I think I can speak for all actors who have worked with him when I say he’s done that for us all.”
“The characters in the film are identifiably David’s. They skew off center, have extreme up’s and down’s, and are so nuanced and a story lies beneath each one of them. I found a real freedom in playing Tiffany. She was so unusual for me because she laid it all out on the table – was tough, and a no-bull kind of girl.”
Lawrence added, “I also like to thank Bradley Cooper for being such a genius partner. I couldn’t have been luckier to work opposite him. I’m grateful that he is a patient man, because as you can surely see on screen, I am a terrible dancer – and that dance sequence required a lot of practice for me. I have no business being on the dance floor. Rest assured, I’ll stick to my day job. Lastly, thank you to The Weinstein Company for embracing and championing this film.”
Gale Anne Hurd followed Lawrence’s acceptance as the presenter for Paul Williams’ Auteur Award, but she also attended for AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead,’ a show on which she is a producer, to accept Best Ensemble, Television. Actors Michael Rooker, Danai Gurira, and Scott Wilson accompanied her on stage to pick up the statue.
Jason Isaacs was on hand to confer the Tesla Award to Walter Murch. Since there were many nominees present for Sound Mixing & Editing, as well as Film Editing, the evening was a rare treat for all involved. Murch said that he is currently working on a project in New York City, and “I walk by a statue of Tesla every day… he and I once shared the same Island (New York), although I was in my mother’s womb in 1943, he was still living then… I like to think that maybe we passed each other on the street.”
Spain’s multi-faceted actor Javier Bardem won Best Supporting Actor for his turn as the Bond-worthy super-villain in SKYFALL. “Rise of the Guardians’ won for Best Animated, followed by Original Score going to Alexandre Desplat for “Argo.” Desplat also scored “Rise of the Guardians.” “Lincoln” won for Art Direction & Production Design, while Denmark’s Manon Rasmussen won Best Costume for “A Royal Affair” – director Nikolai Arcel picked up the statue, and his film (Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen,) is in the running for the Best Oscar, Foreign Language race.
Paul Williams’ moving acceptance touched on key issues for ASCAP, of which he is President and Chairman of the Board. He made an impassioned statement about the importance of young singer/songwriters ability to make a living at their craft.
Honorary Satellite Award recipient Bruce Davison (X-Men, X2) was introduced by Lennie James. James lead off with a quip, responding to John Savage’s opening comments to set the stage for him. “I’m glad to hear I’m a ‘big star’ in the UK,” he said. “It’s my privilege to confer the Honorary Satellite Award for Career Achievement in the Entertainment Industry to Bruce Davison.” Davison’ follows Carl Reiner who received the accolade in 2011.
Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress, and led the first of wins for ‘Les Miserables’ (Universal), which won for Best Original Song “Suddenly” sung by Hugh Jackman, and Best Sound (Editing & Mixing) for Andy Nelson, John Warhurst, Lee Walpole, and Simon Hayes. Hayes, who flew in from the UK, accepted on behalf of the film. “This means so much to me, especially with Walter Murch here tonight,” he said.
“Life of Pi” picked up a couple of awards, including Best Cinematography for Claudio Miranda, Best Adapted Screenplay (from the Booker-Prize winning novel by Yann Martel) for David Magee. This film is the first production from powerhouse post-prod co., now mini studio, Rhythm + Hues.
‘Flight’ picked up Best Visual Effects for the team of Michael Lantieri, Kevin Baillie, Ryan Tudhope, and Jim Gibbs. The four were ecstatic with the win in a tough category, featuring many fine players in VFX who were nominated.
Jeff Orlowski won Best Documentary for “Chasing Ice,” which “was made with money from friends and family, about $650,000, if you can believe that!”
The evening included a tie in the category of Best International Film between KIM Ki-duk’s “Pieta” (South Korea) and France’s “The Intouchables.” Soo Jin Hwang from KOFIC and Jin Sung from KCCLA were present; Soo Jin accepted the award on behalf of writer/director Kim Ki-duk, stating the importance of this recognition for their country on the heels of the film winning the Golden Lion at Venice earlier in the year.