Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver today presented the eighth annual “Made in NY” Awards, honoring individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the City’s entertainment and digital media industries. The 2013 “Made in NY” honorees include: Tony and Olivier Award-winning actor Alan Cumming; “Project Runway” host and executive producer Heidi Klum; two time Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee; five time Tony Award-winning singer and actress Audra McDonald; President of HBO Documentary Films Sheila Nevins; NYC-based blogging platform and social networking website Tumblr; and Harvey and Bob Weinstein, founders of The Weinstein Company and Miramax Films. This year’s “Made in NY” Mayor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to Emmy Award-winning television host and broadcast journalist Barbara Walters. The awards took place at Gracie Mansion and featured a special performance by the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots introduced by Harvey Fierstein.
“New York City can lay claim to many of the most talented people on the planet, and with tonight’s ‘Made in NY’ Awards we’re honoring some of the best of them,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The extraordinary achievements of our ‘Made in NY’ Award honorees are a testament to the leadership position our City holds in the entertainment and media industries. They are thriving sectors of our economy, generating $80 billion to the City each year and providing jobs to more than 275,000 people.”
“Each year the City of New York recognizes the people and organizations that make our City the vibrant, creative metropolis that it is,” said Commissioner Oliver. “The 2013 ‘Made in NY’ honorees illustrate the remarkable opportunities that come from working in New York City. We salute you and thank you for your contributions to our great City.”
Video profiles featuring interviews with each of the honorees discussing their careers are available to watch online at NYC.gov. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment wishes to thank the various guilds and unions, including SAG/AFTRA, DGA and WGA, as well as the studios for their support and cooperation in the making of these videos, including ABC, CBS, NBC, The Weinstein Company, Universal Pictures and Lincoln Center. The agency also wishes to thank Baked by Melissa for providing “Made in NY” cupcakes, Six Point Brewery in Brooklyn and the Bosco for donating the use of a photo booth and gif maker for the evening.
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment consists of the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, facilitating and supporting film and TV production throughout the five boroughs; NYC Digital, which works to realize New York City’s potential as the world’s leading digital city; and NYC Media, the official TV, radio and online network of the City of New York.
In recent weeks, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has launched two new PSA campaigns that emphasize the importance of film production to the City’s economy and encourages New Yorkers to learn about a training program that helps get their foot in the door to work in production. The first campaign highlights the important economic role the production industry plays in New York City: the $400 million in tax revenue generated by the hundreds of films and television shows produced throughout the five boroughs translates to salaries for thousands of local firefighters, teachers and sanitation workers. In the second campaign, New Yorkers are encouraged to ‘Join the Production Crew’ and learn more about the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, a free, full-time, five week-long training program for New Yorkers lacking opportunities in the industry. The program was developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, and since 2006, more than 400 “Made in NY” PAs have been certified with the skills needed for entry level jobs on sets and in production offices. Both campaigns can currently be seen in subways and on bus shelters.
Earlier this year, the office expanded the “Made in NY” logo beyond the film and television industry to encompass New York City’s growing tech sector. “We Are Made in NY,” a multi-platform initiative promoting the City’s thriving technology and digital sector, includes a comprehensive website that brings together City resources to help entrepreneurs and attract new startups to New York City, a map of employment opportunities with the more than one thousand tech companies that are currently hiring, and an advertising campaign that highlights Made in NY tech companies through digital ads and ads on subways and buses.
The 2013 “Made in NY” Award Recipients
“Made in NY” Mayor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement: Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters has arguably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history. She is so well known that her name and a brief biography are listed in the American Heritage Dictionary. She has interviewed every American President and First Lady since Richard Nixon. She made journalism history by arranging the first joint interview with Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin in November 1977. Another of her “firsts” was an hour-long primetime conversation with Cuban President Fidel Castro – an interview which has been printed in half a dozen languages and shown all over the world. In September 2004, after 25 years as co-host and chief correspondent of ABC News’ “20/20,” Ms. Walters left the show to begin a new phase in her career at the network. She remains an active member of the news division and network, substantially increasing the number of primetime ABC News specials, in addition to her “Barbara Walters Specials.” Ms. Walters joined ABC News in 1976 as the first woman to co-host the network news. Ms. Walters’ is also creator, co-owner, executive producer and co-host of “The View,” recipient of the 2003 Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Talk Show.” In August 2009, “The View” hosts received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. In May 2009, “The View” hosts were chosen as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time. In July 2009, Forbes ranked “The View” #11 among “30 of the Most Influential Women in Media.” Prior to joining ABC, she appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” for 15 years. She began as a writer on the “Today Show,” and within a year became a reporter-at-large, developing, writing and editing her own reports and interviews. In 1963, she became a co-host of the program without the official title, but in 1974 NBC officially designated her as the program’s first female co-host. Ms. Walters is a New York Times best-selling author for her memoir Audition, released in 2008. Over the years, Ms. Walters has received national recognition for her work and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards, including 11 Emmy Awards.
Alan Cumming made his professional acting debut as Malcolm in Michael Boyd’s production of Macbeth at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, in 1985. He went on to work extensively in the Scottish theatre before his West End debut in Conquest of the South Pole earned him his first Olivier Award nomination. In 1998, he made his Broadway debut when Cabaret transferred to New York City, winning him Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theatre World, NY Press, FANY and Public Advocate awards. He went on to appear on Broadway in Design for Living and as Mack the Knife in The Threepenny Opera. Off- Broadway he appeared as the Pope in Jean Genet's Elle (which he also adapted) and as Trigorin in The Seagull opposite Dianne Wiest. On TV, he currently appears as Eli Gold in “The Good Wife,” for which he has been nominated for Emmy, SAG, Satellite and Critics Circle awards. He has also published a novel, Tommy’s Tale; released an album of songs, I Bought a Blue Car Today; and recently had his first exhibition of photographs, Alan Cumming Snaps! He regularly performs in concert, most recently with Liza Minnelli at New York’s Town Hall. For his humanitarian work, particularly in the field of LGBT rights and equality, he has been honored by many organizations including HRC, GLAAD, the Trevor Project and the Matthew Shepard Foundation to name but a few. From his homeland he was honored with both the Great Scot and Icon of Scotland awards, and was made an OBE in the 2009 Queen’s Honors List. Time magazine named him one of the three most fun people in show business.
Heidi Klum is a star in the fashion and entertainment world. Klum established herself as a top model, making great impact for such clients as Victoria’s Secret and appearing on the covers of pop-culture mainstays including the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Klum is the host and executive producer of the eight-time Emmy-nominated “Project Runway,” the newest judge on NBC’s hit show “America’s Got Talent” and the host of “Germany’s Next Top Model,” a runaway hit in that country. Other ventures include maternity lines for A Pea In the Pod and Motherhood Maternity, an active wear collection for New Balance, a collection for Babies “R” Us called Truly Scrumptious by Heidi Klum and campaigns for Ann Taylor, Carls Jr. and Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy. She also has Heidi Klum on AOL, a channel for women to find information on every topic. Klum has been featured in top magazines including: Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Allure, Lucky, Self, Town & Country, Redbook, Esquire, Forbes, GQ and British GQ (for which she was named “Woman of the Year” twice in a row), among countless others. Klum’s acting appearances include ABC’s “Spin City,” “How I Met Your Mother,” The Devil Wears Prada, “Sex and the City,” PBS’ “Sesame Street” and a voiceover for The Weinstein Company’s Hoodwinked Too. She hosted the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and various specials for MTV, TNT and CBS. As a testament to Klum’s place in pop culture, Mattel created a Barbie in her likeness. She is also featured in the iconic Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Berlin. Klum is actively involved in charities like The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the American Red Cross, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and God’s Love We Deliver. Klum also appears in a PSA for the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Stand Up to Cancer program and served as the 2011 Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF ambassador.
Spike Lee is a writer-director, actor, producer, author and educator, who has helped revolutionize modern Black cinema. Lee is a forerunner in the ‘do it yourself’ school of independent film. Lee’s latest endeavor is the reinterpretation of the Korean psychological thriller Old Boy, which is slated for an October 2013 release. Prior to this was the release of Bad 25, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album. Lee received a Peabody Award for the documentary If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, which revisits the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region as residents attempt to rebuild in their cities while also demanding assistance and accountability from their political leaders. Recent critical and box office successes have included such films as Inside Man, 25th Hour, The Original Kings of Comedy, Bamboozled and Summer of Sam. Lee’s films Girl 6, Get on the Bus, Do the Right Thing and Clockers display his ability to showcase a series of outspoken and provocative socio-political critiques that challenge cultural assumptions, not only about race, but also class and gender identity. Lee began teaching a course about filmmaking and black film at Harvard in 1991, and since 2002, Lee has been Artistic Director of the Graduate Film Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Film Production. Lee has combined his extensive creative experience into yet another venture: partnering with DDB Needham, he created Spike/DDB, a full-service advertising agency.
With a record-tying five Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and a long list of other accolades to her name, Audra McDonald is among today’s most highly regarded performers. Blessed with a luminous soprano and a gift for dramatic truth-telling, the Juilliard graduate is as much at home on Broadway and opera stages as she is on film and television. In addition to her theatrical work, she maintains a high profile career as a concert and recording artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras. An ardent proponent of marriage equality, McDonald sits on the advisory board of the advocacy organization Broadway Impact and has been featured in campaigns for Freedom to Marry, NOH8 and PFLAG NYC. Her numerous stage credits include: The Secret Garden (1992 Broadway debut while she was still in school at Julliard), Carousel (1994 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical), Master Class (1996 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play), Ragtime (1998 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical) and A Raisin in the Sun (2004 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play), among others. After four seasons on ABC’s hit television series “Private Practice,” McDonald returned to Broadway, winning her fifth Tony for her role in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. McDonald is the only actress to have accomplished this feat within a 20-year period, and is the youngest performer and first African-American to do so.
Sheila Nevins is president, HBO Documentary Films, for Home Box Office, responsible for overseeing the development and production of all documentaries for HBO, HBO2 and Cinemax. She was named to this position in February 2004. As an executive producer or producer, she has received 24 Primetime Emmy Awards, 28 News and Documentary Emmys and 37 George Foster Peabody Awards. During her tenure, HBO’s critically acclaimed documentaries have gone on to win 23 Academy Awards, including “Saving Face” (2012), “Strangers No More” (2011), “Born Into Brothels” (2005), “Chernobyl Heart” (2004), “One Survivor Remembers” (1996) and “You Don’t Have To Die” (1989). The series “Cinemax Reel Life” has featured a number of award-winning documentaries including “Big Mama,” winner of the 2001 Academy Award for Best Short Subject, and “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien,” an Oscar winner in 1997. Nevins has been honored with several prestigious career achievement awards including the 2009 Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and was made an NYU Tisch School of the Arts Honoree. She is also the recipient of a 2008 Gotham Awards Tribute; a 2005 Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the art of the documentary, the first time the National Television Academy awarded a Lifetime Achievement recognition to a documentarian; and a Personal Peabody in 1999 in recognition of her work and ongoing commitment to excellence. She has supervised the production of more than 1,000 documentary programs for HBO, and won the first George Foster Peabody Award ever presented to a cable program for “She’s Nobody’s Baby,” which was produced with Ms. Magazine. Nevins holds a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from Yale University School of Drama in Directing.
Tumblr is a media network powered by an army of independent creators and home to an audience of more than 300 million unique visitors. Founded by David Karp in 2007, Tumblr is headquartered in New York City.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein
Harvey and Bob Weinstein founded Miramax Films in 1979, naming the company after their parents, Miriam and Max. Under Harvey and Bob’s leadership, Miramax Films released some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful independent feature films, including sixteen Best Picture nominations over a span of sixteen years: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Chicago, Gangs of New York, In the Bedroom, Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, Shakespeare in Love, Life Is Beautiful, Good Will Hunting, The English Patient, Il Postino, Pulp Fiction, The Piano, The Crying Game and My Left Foot, as well as a Best Picture nomination for The Hours, which was a co-production. The outstanding quality of Miramax’s films under the Weinsteins’ leadership was represented in the company’s success in the annual Academy Awards race. In October 2005, Bob and Harvey Weinstein officially launched their new multi-media company, The Weinstein Company. Dimension Films, the genre label founded by Bob in 1993 while at Miramax Films, is included under The Weinstein Company banner. Dimension Films is committed to producing science fiction, thriller, action, family and horror films. Dimension releases include Wes Craven’s Scream franchise, the Scary Movie franchise, Golden Globe-nominated Bad Santa, Robert Rodriguez’s successful Spy Kids franchise, The Others, for which Dimension received a Golden Globe nomination, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk till Dawn and Frank Miller’s Sin City, among others. Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as The Reader, Blue Valentine, The King’s Speech, I Don’t Know How She Does It, The Iron Lady, W.E., The Artist, Bully, Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained. During Harvey and Bob’s tenure at Miramax and The Weinstein Company, they have received 321 Oscar nominations and won 78 Academy Awards.