Oscar-nominated actress Margaret Avery was just one of the trailblazing women honored at this year’s BronzeLens Women Superstars Luncheon.
Avery, who is best known for her role as Shug Avery in the 1985 film The Color Purple, is a recipient of the Legendary Superstar award. She is one of five distinguished women of color recognized for their work in front of and behind the lens.
“It’s such an honor to be here with women of color who’ve accomplished so much because when we accomplish something we really accomplish something,” said 73-year-old Avery, speaking on stage as she collected her award. “When I first started out I couldn’t get an agent and I said to myself one day they’ll be a call for my type.”
The highly anticipated luncheon, which took place last Friday, is one of the highlights of the BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta (BLFF). Now in its 7th year, the awards took place at downtown Atlanta Marriott Marquis in front of a sellout crowd.
“The BronzeLens Women Superstars Luncheon showcases the brilliance of women of color in the film and television industry,” said Kathleen Bertrand, the founder of BronzeLens Film Festival. Some of the women honored are familiar names and others are just emerging on the scene with new innovative news, stories, and ideas. All are exceptional at their craft and so deserving of their position.”
This year’s honorees include award-winning filmmaker Julie Dash, (Legendary Behind the Lens Superstar); President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Behind the Les Superstar) Cheryl Boone Isaacs, producer Nina Yang Bongiovi, (Vanguard Superstar); and script supervisor Dawn Gilliam (Catalyst Superstar). The emcee for the event was TV anchor Lisa Rayam.
Since its inception, the luncheon has become a coveted event for industry insiders, corporations, and the local community. Launched to recognize outstanding women in film and television, the luncheon is an inspirational soiree that serves as a platform for peer-to-peer networking.
Founded in 2009, the film festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for film and production for people of color.
Over the course of 4 days (August 25-28, 2016), film lovers, actors, and filmmakers gathered to share a creative platform of education, entertainment, empowerment related to film, television, and the production of both.
Its mission is twofold: to promote Atlanta as the new film mecca for people of color, and to showcase films and provide networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers. The BronzeLens Film Festival has evolved as one of the most comprehensive film festivals for filmmakers in the United States.
Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter@Kunbiti