NYFA president Margaret C. Ayers (from left),
director George Sidney, actress/director
Lee Grant, and NYFA executive director
NY FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS
Lee Grants Barbara an Award
At NYFA Dinner in the Park
By TIM BOXER
CADEMY AWARD winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple was honored when the New York Foundation for the Arts held its Champion of the Arts Awards Benefit 2000. Actress/director Lee Grant made the presentation at a dinner last month in the restaurant and garden of the Bryant Park Grill.
Babara Kopple (from left), George Sidney
and Ruth Warwick
Kopple earned Oscars for producing Harlan County ’77 and American Dream ’91.
Dan Keplinger, writer of King Gimp, presented an award to HBO’s Reality Programming, which was accepted by Sheila Nevins, executive vice president of original programming.
Dan is an artist who has cerebral palsy. According to NYFA executive director Theodore S. Berger, “Dan’s fighting spirit so entranced filmmakers Susan Hannah Hadary and Bill Whiteford that they documented his struggles and triumphs over 13 years, from adolescence through adulthood.”
The result was King Gimp, which this year won an Oscar for best documentary short.
With co-director Hadary interpreting, Keplinger said, "Every once in awhile a light shines on invisible people, and this light can be a song, a film, a painting. And for that moment, the invisible becomes a reality. With the extra power of documentary filmmaking, HBO's Sheila Nevins made us a reality. She even made the gimps a reality."
Boys Don't Cry director Kimberly Peirce and actress Parker Posey (Party Girl) were on hand to serve as honorary benefit co-chairs.
The event was held in conjunction with HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival. So it was highly appropriate that the evening’s program included a screening of Pal Joey. Director George Sidney was present as an honored guest.
Ruth Warwick (from left), Parker Posey,
George Sidney, Barbara Kopple, and
NYFA is an esteemed creative development and funding organization that provides grants, services, technology and education to artists in all fields, including, film, dance, theater, architecture, music, screenwriting, painting and photography.
“NYFA is known for our work in nurturing individual artists,” Ayers said. “Each year we distribute more than $8 million to artists in all disciplines, community arts initiatives and school programs”
Dan Keplinger and Susan Hadary
Among the many artists whom NYFA has supported are Spike Lee (1985 film fellow and director of Malcolm X), Todd Haynes (1989 film fellow and director of Poison), Jennie Livingston (1988 film fellow and director of Paris Is Burning), Tamara Jenkins (1995 film fellow and director of Slums of Beverly Hills), and Lisa Loomer (1987 screenwriting fellow and co-writer of Girl, Interrupted).