2017 Sag-Aftra Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards

LOS ANGELES (August 1, 2017) – The SAG-AFTRA Foundation announced today it will bestow its Patron of the Artists Awards to celebrated director/writer/producer Judd Apatow, Academy Award®-winning director/producer Kathryn Bigelow, and visionary Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. The award honors industry leaders who are champions of the arts and whose history of fostering creativity and creating opportunities for actors has made a positive impact on the acting profession and the performing arts. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s celebration takes place Thursday, November 9 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

“We are excited to pay tribute to three extraordinary people whose creative impact on the performing arts has produced ground-breaking opportunities for a world-wide community of artists,” said SAG-AFTRA Foundation President JoBeth Williams. “As a director, writer and producer, Judd Apatow is known for discovering and nurturing some of the most beloved comedic actors and actresses on television and in film. Kathryn Bigelow is a trailblazing director and producer whose risk-taking gambles on unknown talent have expanded the careers of many artists both in front of and behind the camera. Ted Sarandos is an innovator whose executive leadership has created and supported tens of thousands of industry jobs.  Judd, Kathryn, and Ted are the epitome of what it means to be patrons of artists and we are proud to honor them.”

Previous recipients of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards are director/writer/producer Lee Daniels, producer Megan Ellison, and director/producer Rob Marshall. The Patron of the Artists Awards event includes musical performances with ticket sales benefitting the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. In the coming weeks, the honorees for the non-profit’s Actors Inspiration Award, event performers and presenters will be announced. Sponsors include United Airlines and Variety. To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit www.sagaftra.foundation/patronawards.

About the SAG-AFTRA Foundation
Since 1985, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation has granted more than $18.5 million in financial and medical assistance including $7.5 million in scholarships to SAG-AFTRA artists and their dependents. In addition, the Foundation has offered 7,200 free educational workshops, panels and screenings to union performers nationwide and its children’s literacy programs have brought the love of reading to more than 300 million children worldwide.

In 2017, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation celebrates 32 years of giving back to the professionals of SAG-AFTRA, their families and communities. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides vital assistance and free educational programming to the professionals of SAG-AFTRA while serving the public at large through its signature children’s literacy programs. The Foundation relies solely on support from gifts, grants and sponsorships to maintain its free programs. Visit sagaftra.foundation.

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About Judd Apatow
Judd Apatow has been a mentor and influencer in the entertainment industry for over 25 years, renowned for nurturing talent and creating supportive atmospheres and professional opportunities for performers while entertaining audiences worldwide. He is considered one of the most sought-after comedy minds in the business and has been closely associated with many of the biggest comedy films and hit TV shows of our generation. Apatow returns to his standup roots with his upcoming Netflix stand-up special, which he is filming at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival this weekend. It marks his first solo special and will premiere in December.

Apatow recently received an Emmy Award nomination for the ESPN FILMS: 30 for 30: “Doc & Darryl,” which he co-directed and produced with Michael Bonfiglio who have teamed up again on the upcoming HBO documentary about folk rock icons the Avett Brothers, May It Last, which will premiere later this year. Apatow co-created and is executive producer of Netflix’s Love which was recently renewed for its 3rd season. He is the co-executive producer of HBO’s Crashing as well as co-executive producer of HBO’s Girls which ended its multi-Emmy Award run earlier this year. On the film side, Apatow produced The Big Sick starring Kumail Nanjiani and Ray Romano, recently released to rave reviews on July 13 by Amazon Studios and Lionsgate, and earning a 97% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.  Apatow’s other credits as a director, producer or writer include hit comedies The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, Superbad, Trainwreck, Pineapple Express, The Cable Guy, Anchorman and Anchorman 2, and numerous others.

About Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow is a two-time Academy Award®-winner and an artist of singular talent, known for acclaimed films including The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. As a director and producer, she has crafted a body of work that challenges genre norms and offers viscerally stunning portraits of characters and conflicts. Bigelow’s upcoming film, Detroit, is a crime drama which explores systemic racism in urban Detroit, and is set against the backdrop of the city’s devastating riots that took place over five tumultuous summer days in 1967. Bigelow directs and produces the ensemble film, which will be released by Annapurna Pictures on August 4, 2017.

Bigelow supports many environmental and animal welfare charities. She continues to shed light on the dangers of the ivory trade in both Last Days — a short film portraying the wildlife trafficking industry, profits for terrorist groups, and the threat of elephant extinction in only 11 years; and The Protectors — a virtual reality short film exposing the dangerous reality faced by rangers protecting African elephants, which she co-created with Imraan Ismail for National Geographic. In 2015, Bigelow participated in a powerful panel discussion on Capitol Hill, which resulted in Obama signing into law H.R. 2494— The Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016— protecting elephants, rhinos and other endangered species from an international poaching and trafficking trade that is decimating animal populations worldwide and funding armed militias. Furthermore, China embraced the action and announced plans to end its domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017.

About Ted Sarandos
Ted Sarandos is Netflix’s Chief Content Officer whose leadership has transformed the digital company into an original content powerhouse that is changing the rules of how serialized television is produced, released, and distributed globally. Through his work as an executive, he’s supported tens of thousands of industry jobs, and provided countless opportunities for up-and-coming and veteran actors, producers, writers, and directors. In its first two years of releasing original series, documentary films, children’s shows, and comedy specials, Netflix has been recognized with 45 Emmy nominations, 15 Daytime Emmy nominations, two Oscar nominations, and 10 Golden Globe nominations by the film and television industries. Sarandos was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2013, and has led content acquisition for Netflix since 2000. From its roots as a U.S. DVD subscription rental company, Netflix is now the world’s leading Internet television network with over 65 million members in more than 50 countries, and producing more than 320 hours of original content in 2015. Sarandos is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and serves on the board of Exploring The Arts, a non-profit focused on arts in schools. He also serves on the Film Advisory Board for Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festival, is an American Cinematheque board member, an American Film Institute trustee, and is an Executive Committee Member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

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