IndieWire, the definitive outlet for creative independence in film and TV, announced on Friday, November 17 the return of its annual IndieWire Honors event. Curated and selected by IndieWire’s editorial team, IndieWire Honors is a celebration of those who made a true impact on entertainment this year.
The third edition of the event will be celebrated at an intimate cocktail reception taking place on Wednesday, December 6 in Los Angeles. Exclusive editorial content, including honoree profiles, will also be featured on IndieWire.com beginning November 29 and will continue throughout the lead-up to the awards night, followed up by video interviews from the event. Other honorees will be announced in the coming days.
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“We’re very proud to present our lineup for IndieWire Honors, which represents some of our most compelling film and TV creators,” said IndieWire senior VP and Editor In Chief Dana Harris-Bridson. “These are people we’ve supported from the earliest days of their careers and it’s our privilege to provide them with an unforgettable evening.”
“We’re thrilled to see the return of IndieWire Honors and to be able to shine a spotlight on some of this year’s most exciting film and TV creators,” says James Israel, Publisher and senior VP of IndieWire. “All of the honorees are a testament to IndieWire’s commitment in celebrating singular voices and bold new work that excites and challenges audiences.”
The 2023 IndieWire Honors honorees are:
Todd Haynes – Visionary Award
Name another director whose short they shot in graduate school is considered to be one of the greatest cult films of all time. Three and a half decades after “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story” (arguably the most popular Barbie movie prior to this year), filmmaker Todd Haynes has continued to be a beacon of the independent film industry, consistently widening the scope of what stories get told on screen, and the types of people who are represented. His new Netflix film “May December,” a hit out of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, continues his winning streak with frequent leading lady Julianne Moore and pairs him for the first time with Natalie Portman in one of the most beguiling roles of her career. It also reintroduces the world to teen TV veteran Charles Melton, remolded as a broken, soulful character only Haynes could visualize.
Greta Gerwig – Auteur Award
After three Oscar nominations under her belt for the first two films she directed on her own, Gerwig took a risk making a film about the most famous doll in the world, and delivered one of the year’s most acclaimed films that also happens to be the highest-grossing movie of 2023. Yes, “Barbie” delivers nods to its iconic title character in spades, but it also shows what makes her a singular talent. The comedy has colorful frames locked into our minds, jokes that still make us laugh outside the theater, and original music we can’t escape. If the two Best Picture nominees she helmed didn’t already make it clear, no one can deny after “Barbie” that Gerwig has a large stake in shaping the future of cinema.
Lily Gladstone – Performance Award
Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert De Niro are three of the most recognizable names in entertainment, delivering some of their best work in Apple Studios and Paramount Pictures’ “Killers of the Flower Moon,” but it is Lily Gladstone who captured audiences’ attention and hearts. As Mollie Burkhart, the sole Native American lead in a story depicting the extermination of the wealthy Osage Nation, Gladstone has a whole world behind her eyes, conveying a sea of hope, pain, and determination using few words.
Cord Jefferson – Breakthrough Award
Over the last 11 years, winning the Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice Award has predicted a Best Picture nomination — but until “American Fiction,” none of those movies were the director’s debut feature. In Emmy winner Cord Jefferson’s adaptation of Percival Everett’s biting satire “Erasure,” the dynamic Jeffrey Wright leads this story critiquing the Black literature that the book industry chooses to uplift — and how that speaks to the greater issue with current Black media representation.
Chad Stahelski – Maverick Award
After hitting Hollywood (and hard) as a stunt double and coordinator on projects like “The Crow,” “The Matrix” trilogy, “V for Vendetta,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and many more blockbuster action outings, Stahelski turned his attention to directing. Co-directing alongside fellow stuntman-turned-filmmaker David Leitch on the first “John Wick” feature, he went on to direct its three sequels, including this year’s “John Wick: Chapter 4.” Chad’s unique skill and passion mark him as one of Hollywood’s most exciting filmmakers, a maverick of both the form and the function of action filmmaking.
Lee Sung Jin – Visionary Award
An alum of lauded series like “Silicon Valley,” “Tuca & Bertie,” and “Dave,” writer Lee Sung Jin mined personal experience to create, showrun, and even direct the finale episode of “Beef,” the Netflix black comedy currently leading Emmy nominations for limited series. With Ali Wong and Steve Yeun as his leads, the creator gave audiences something truly original and painfully relatable, while illuminating different versions of the Asian American experience and the pressures faced by the residents of Los Angeles.
Kelly Marcel and Melina Matsoukas – Auteur Award
With Apple TV+ limited series “The Changeling,” showrunner Kelly Marcel (“Venom”) and director Melina Matsoukas (“Queen and Slim”) had a meeting of the minds that resulted in a chilling, mind-bending, television adaptation of Victor LaValle’s award-winning horror fantasy novel of the same name. As television and limited series evolve, the pair proves the wonders that come from a greater emphasis on the creative partnership between creator and director-producer.
Jharrel Jerome – Performance Award
Already an Emmy winner for “When They See Us,” “Moonlight” breakout Jharrel Jerome’s Amazon Prime Video comedy series “I’m a Virgo” reminds viewers that the 26-year-old’s acting talent is as tall as his 13-foot-tall character. Created by Boots Riley, the inventive critique of capitalism throws plenty of curveballs and Jerome knocks each scene out of the park.
Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie – Wavelength Award
Writer-performers Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie are best known, and even beloved, for creating unmistakable, delightfully unsettling work. These iconoclasts brought their uncompromising visions to a single project with Showtime’s dark satire “The Curse” and found the same wavelength as writers, directors, and performers. Joined by star Emma Stone, their parody of home renovation TV hosts packs an unexpected punch of social comedy that takes no prisoners.
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