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Honor Awards to three prolific individuals on Opening Night of SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival on March 16

Gale Anne Hurd

Gale Anne Hurd

SRFF2023 the 10th-anniversary edition of SR Socially Relevant™Film Festival NY, SRFF 2023, red carpet opens March 16, at the Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater at 5:30 PM. The Opening Ceremony, and Honor Awards at 6:00 PM.

The honorees are Gale Anne Hurd (Award-winning Film and TV Producer), Tonya Lewis Lee (producer, film director, writer, entrepreneur, and women's health advocate), and Robert Schenkkan (Pulitzer and Emmy Award-winning author). The Vania Exerjian award is named after Festival Founding Artistic Director Nora Armani's cousin who was the victim of a hate crime.

Past awardees of the festival included Amy Goodman of Democracy!Now, and Documentary Filmmaker Albert Maysles.

"We feel privileged to be able to acknowledge such excellence in film and to honor social engagement. In today's climate, it is rare to find individuals who use their art and talent to make a positive impact on society and to change lives. SRFF tries to do the same through the films we screen," said SRFF Founding Artistic Director, Nora Armani.

Gale Anne Hurd is one of the entertainment industry's most esteemed producers. She was Roger Corman's executive assistant then rose to head of marketing at his company, New World Pictures. Her unprecedented success with the 1984 film Terminator which she co-wrote, was followed by equally iconic films like Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Armageddon. Hurd's most recent documentary feature, The YouTube Effect, premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to that, she produced an award-winning documentary on the late Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to be elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Additionally, Hurd is a highly sought-after speaker on gender equality and has spoken at the Berlin Film Festival, and throughout the world, through the US State Department and Women in Film International. She has received numerous honors, including Women In Film's Crystal Award, the Producers Guild's David O. Selznick Award, and most recently, the Visual Effects Society's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tonya Lewis Lee is a producer, film director, writer, entrepreneur, and women's health advocate. Her work often explores the personal impact of social justice issues, health, and wellness. Most recently, Lee co-directed and co-produced the documentary AFTERSHOCK, now streaming on Hulu, which examines the Black and Brown maternal mortality crisis in America. The film premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Special Jury Award for Impact for Change, and continues to garner rave reviews and notable press. As a film and television writer, producer, and director, her work has spanned family-friendly features like The Watsons Go to Birmingham as well as the episodic series She's Gotta Have It, streaming on Netflix. In 2015, Tonya founded Movita Organics, a premium vitamin supplement brand, to continue the conversation with women about accessing healthy outcomes. Lee has been featured in ABC's Nightline, CBS Mornings, New York Magazine's The Cut, ESSENCE, VOGUE, and more.  She is the mother of two adult children and lives in New York City with her husband, Spike Lee.

Robert Schenkkan is a Pulitzer Prize, Tony, WGA, and Humanitas Award winner, and a three-time Emmy-nominated writer. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1992 for his play The Kentucky Cycle and his play All the Way earned the 2014 Tony Award for Best Play. His film Hacksaw Ridge was nominated for six Academy awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.

Following the Honor Awards, the uplifting youth-oriented documentary Shanu from the Netherlands screens with a Q&A with filmmaker Shamira Raphaëla. A reception follows. A second feature film by Boudy Sfeir from Lebanon, Tnaash, caps the evening.

The festival's in-person section runs through March 23rd, and has an Uptown component in West Harlem,  Rejoice Resist: BIPOC Films,  from March 20-23 inclusive. The films stream online from March 24th. Information, trailers, and schedules are accessible on the festival website. Press and Media are invited. Sponsorships and partnerships are open and welcome.

Tickets may be purchased here.

 was founded by Actress/ Filmmaker Nora Armani in 2013 to focus on social issues and human interest stories. SRFF believes in raising social awareness and promoting positive social change through the impact of Socially Relevant™films.

During its first nine years, SRFF has showcased over 600 films from 40 countries. This year, a roster of 70 selected films is on offer, including narrative films, documentaries, and shorts from 23 countries.

More information here, or contact

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