American Airlines Recognizes Female Filmmakers at the Independent Spirit Awards with a $50,000 Grant

3/8/2018 - by THR Staff
From a biographical film following the crazed life of an Olympic figure skater to a coming-of-age book adaptation of two young men’s summer romance, Independent films made a splash in Hollywood this year. The 33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards celebrates these films one night before the Oscars. The event highlights creative independence in visual storytelling and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.

The Bonnie Award, in its inaugural year, is inspired by Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo, the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline—when she was hired by American Airlines in 1973.  The company created the award to champion female filmmakers by donating a $50K unrestricted grant to a woman with unique vision. The 2017 award winner, Chloe Zhao was nominated for her sophomore film, The Rider, which follows a real-life cowboy in search of his identity in rural South Dakota. Chloe is well known for the use of real-life subjects in her screenplays.

American Airlines has extended the award by building a platform within their in-flight entertainment called The Bonnie Channel, created to shine a spotlight on female-directed films.

This content was created in paid partnership with American Airlines. For more information on Open Air: Creatives Welcome, please go to