"Joker," "The Mandalorian" Win Top Film, TV Campaign Honors At ICG Publicists Awards
TV Showmen of the Year Joe Russo (l) and Anthony Russo (r) flank award presenter Don Cheadle backstage at the ICG Publicists Awards ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 (photo by Trae Patton).
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Joker (Warner Bros.) and The Mandalorian (Disney+) won best feature film and TV publicity campaign honors, respectively, at the International Cinematographers Guild’s 57th annual ICG Publicists Awards on Friday (2/7) at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Joker topped a field of nominees consisting of The Irishman (Netflix), Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood (Columbia Pictures), Rocketman (Paramount Pictures), Us (Universal Pictures) and Avengers: Endgame (Disney, Marvel Studios). 

The latter film, however, wasn’t entirely excluded from the ICG Publicists Awards winners’ circle as its directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, were honored with the prestigious Motion Picture Showman of the Year Award for their historic contributions to the art of cinema, presented by actor Don Cheadle (Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel). The Russo Brothers are the artists and innovators of some of the world’s most successful and iconic blockbuster films. They are the only directors to direct four record-breaking and critically acclaimed films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe--Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Avengers: Endgame is the highest-grossing film of all-time, bringing in $2.79 billion, obliterating the Russo brothers own record set with Avengers: Infinity War. Endgame broke more than 100 box office records, including best opening weekend of any movie in history.

On the television side, The Mandalorian took top campaign honors over a field that included Catch-22 (Paramount Television Studios), Fosse/Verdon (Fox 21 Television Studios & FXP), Pose (Fox 21 Television Studios & FXP), Stranger Things Season 3 (Netflix) and When They See Us (Participant Media, Tribeca Productions, Harpo Films, Array Filmworks for Netflix).

When They See Us, though, still managed to have a hand in a major honor as its director/writer/executive producer Ava DuVernay received the Television Showman of the Year Award, celebrating her prolific career as a visionary TV producer. Presenting her with the award was Dawn-Lyen Gardner who stars in DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey’s Queen Sugar series on OWN. A clip reel spotlighted DuVernay’s award winning directorial work on Selma, 13th, When They See Us,  Queen Sugar, Cherish the Day, and A Wrinkle in Time, which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. Also highlighted were her many television and film accolades, including her Emmys, BAFTAs and Peabody Awards, as well as her Academy Award nominations.

Prior to becoming a filmmaker, DuVernay was an entertainment publicist for 12 years, breaking in with Bender Goldman Helper and then launching her own firm. In her acceptance remarks she talked about the integral role publicists play in the success of films and TV shows. DuVernay described publicists as master storytellers in their own right. “You tell the story to the press and they tell the story to the public,” she affirmed, noting that this contributes mightily to generating viewership for projects.

The Les Mason Award, the highest honor the Publicists Guild can bestow on one of its own members, was given to Stephen Huvane (Slate PR), by a surprise guest presenter and client Jennifer Aniston. The ICG Publicists debuted their inaugural Publicist of the Year Award, which was presented to Rachel Aberly, (42West) by Leslee Dart, 42West founder and co-CEO. The Bob Yeager Award for Community Service was given to Rick Markovitz, president of Weissman/Markovitz Communications, presented by Lewis Rothenberg, ICG national president.

Don Mischer received the Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating his prolific career as an internationally acclaimed producer and director of television and live events. The award was presented by Emmy-winning and Oscar®-nominated actor Seth MacFarlane (The Orville). A clip reel was shown spotlighting the spectrum of Mischer’s myriad of work earning 15 Emmy Awards and a record 10 Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, among numerous additional accolades. As president of Don Mischer Productions, he amassed credits including the 71st Emmy Awards, 83rd, 84th and 85th Academy Awards, 9/11 Memorial Commemoration at Ground Zero, We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, The Kennedy Center Honors, the ABC special Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America, Super Bowl Halftime shows (Prince, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen), and the two-hour ABC special Mickey’s 90th Spectacular.

Sheryl Main, publicity and marketing strategist with over 25 years’ experience in both the entertainment and political arenas, received the Henri Bollinger Award, named after the renowned award-winning entertainment industry publicist. This special award was presented in a heartfelt speech by Rebecca Rhine, ICG national executive director, and a surprise video message from Arnold Schwarzenegger, in recognition of Main who epitomizes the definition of special merit in the field of entertainment.

Main and Tim Menke chaired this year’s ICG Publicists Awards luncheon.
Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly, was honored with The Press Award. The International Media Award was presented to Nelson Aspen, Sunrise (Australia). Honors for Excellence in Unit Still Photography were awarded to Niko Tavernise (Motion Pictures) and Nicole Rivelli (Television) respectively.

More than 800 industry leaders attended the ICG Publicists Awards ceremony, including guild members, Hollywood public relations and marketing executives, producers, studio and network executives, celebrities and press.
Here are the winners at the 57th Annual ICG Publicists Awards:
MAXWELL WEINBERG MOTION PICTURE PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN: The union publicists that worked on publicity campaigns on behalf of:

JOKER - Warner Bros. Pictures

MAXWELL WEINBERG TELEVISION PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN The union publicists that worked on publicity campaigns on behalf of:
THE MANDALORIAN: Season 1 - Gregg Brilliant, Unit Publicist

Sheryl Main
Stephen Huvane - Slate PR
Rachel Aberly - 42West (winner)

Rick Markovitz - Weissman/Markovitz Communications

Clark Collis - Entertainment Weekly

Nelson Aspen - Sunrise (Australia)
Niko Tavernise
Nicole Rivelli

Also attending the ICG Publicist Awards were Matt Loeb, IATSE International president; Mike Miller, IATSE International VP; Lewis Rothenberg, IATSE Local 600, national president; Thom Davis, IATSE 2nd international VP and John Lindley, IATSE Local 600, 2nd national VP.


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