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Kristen Stewart, Regina King, Maggie Gyllenhaal and more kicked off award season Saturday night by honoring those who work behind the camera during the 11th annual Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards, presented by Los Angeles Confidential magazine.
Sponsored by Hamilton watches and Los Angeles Confidential magazine, the event, held at the Avalon Hollywood, honors those who work behind the camera in a host of areas from sound editing and casting to producing and directing. The night started with cocktails in the Avalon’s lobby followed by a simultaneous dinner and awards presentation, hosted by Insecure and Vacation Friends actress Yvonne Orji. “There are so many huge stars in the building tonight,” says Orji. “We are training the spotlight on those film professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes. We want you to know that we see you, we appreciate you and tonight we applaud you.”
Spencer helmer Pablo Larraín received this year’s director award, with star Stewart in attendance to present the honor. “What a joy to fall into the wake of his dreams,” said Stewart of working with the Spencer helmer. Calling Larraín an “auteur,” Stewart added, “It was one of the greatest gifts of my life to go there with you.”
Among other stars in attendance was King. The Oscar-winning actress, who stars in the new Western The Harder They Fall, honored Antoinette Messam for the Neflix film’s costume design. “What I particularly loved about one of my costumes is that it was designed and it remained feminine,” said King, “but it still had some edge. It had great lines, but it still allowed me to do an eight-minute fight scene without a wardrobe malfunction. That was a huge feat.”
Actor Jamie Dornan presented the Hamilton Behind the Camera cinematography statuette to Haris Zambarloukos for the film they worked on together, Belfast. The semi-autobiographical film from director Kenneth Branagh is shot in black and white, which Dornan noted can sometimes be seen as “old-fashioned and cold.” To his credit, said Dornan, “Haris made Belfast bright, crisp and stunning with breathtaking compositions … Haris shot it to feel like a Life magazine spread referencing the work of photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Philip Jones Griffiths.”
Peter Sarsgaard, who stars in the new film The Lost Daughter, gave the breakthrough director award to his wife and the film’s helmer, Maggie Gyllenhaal. During her acceptance speech, Gyllenhaal thanked many on her behind-the-camera team including editor Affonso Gonçalves: “We read each other’s minds.” She also shared that when recently seated with Guillermo del Toro during a dinner, he told her, “If you have a relationship with an editor like that, never let him go.”
Raya and the Last Dragon director and writer Carlos Lopez Estrada was also honored with the animated film award. The film’s stars Awkwafina and Kelly Marie Tran presented Lopez Estrada with the award with Tran saying, “It’s been especially gratifying to be part of a film that is trailblazing in its representation of people and cultures of Southeast Asia.”
Javier Bardem, one of the stars of Dune (as well as the upcoming Being the Ricardos), drew laughs from the audience during his presentation of the visionary award to director Denis Villeneuve. After a clip was shown from Dune that featured Timothée Chalamet and Charlotte Rampling, Bardem gibed, “Wasn’t that supposed to be a clip of me in the movie? I’ll have to talk to my agent.”
Actor Simon Rex presented the 2021 Hamilton Behind the Camera producer award to the producing team of his new film Red Rocket including Sean Baker, Alex Coco, Samantha Quan, Alex Saks, and Shih-Ching Tsou. “This is the first time I’ver ever presented an award,” Rex told The Hollywood Reporter after the show. “It was a good night and we’ve been on the whole festival circuit for a while. We’ve been winning some cool awards and it’s been fucking awesome. This is a first time for me doing any of this kind of thing, so I’m just enjoying the roller coaster.”
Other presenters and honorees included The Power of the Dog star Kirsten Dunst, who presented the editor award to that film’s Peter Sciberras; Swan Song lead Mahershala Ali, who gave the screenwriter award to the movie’s writer Benjamin Cleary; and Mandell Winter and David Esparza, the sound editors of The Guilty, who received their award from lead Jake Gyllenhaal.
Lindsey Moran and Mia Lyon Cherp, the property masters of MASS, received awards for their work on the film from director Fran Kranz and cast members Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney and Jason Isaacs. Coming 2 America stars Jermaine Fowler and Bella Murphy presented the hair and makeup award to their film’s team, which was represented on stage by Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer. Fowler joked about why the film’s lead, Eddie Murphy, couldn’t be there: “Clearly Eddie was busy. He’s got a lot of watches.”
The final award of the evening went to the craft team behind CODA, with star Marlee Matlin presenting. “Making the film was not easy. It was an enormous challenge to figure out how to make a film that would connect … so directly with both deaf and hearing audiences in equal measure,” signed the actress, as a translator conveyed her speech to the audience. CODA‘s winners included editor Geraud Brisson, composer Marius De Vries, music producer Nick Baxter and casting directors Deborah Aquila and Lisa Zagoria.
The film’s director Sian Heder was also in attendance to praise the casting team: “You guys fought for this movie with me … I was told that it could never be financed the way I wanted to make it — with a deaf cast with an unknown girl who’s 17 in the lead.”
Watch company Hamilton, now Swiss based, was first established in the United States in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The brand has a close association with the movie industry having provided or created watches for such films as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Interstellar, the Men in Black series, and The Martian.
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