Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond Honored at Independent Lens Season Launch Party

Posted on October 7, 2009

Last night, over 250 people gathered at the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills to celebrate the season launch of Independent Lens, which premieres October 13 on PBS with host Maggie Gyllenhaal. This year’s Independent Lens Vanguard Award was presented to renowned cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond for his distinguished career as featured in the upcoming broadcast of NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY: Laszlo & Vilmos, directed by James Chressanthis. Oscar nominee Mark Rydell, a long-time collaborator and friend of Zsigmond, presented the award. Find out more about last night’s party, which attracted some of Hollywood’s biggest names, from Lois Vossen, Independent Lens series producer.

 What a way to kick off the upcoming season of Independent Lens! Last night’s season launch party brought out a huge crowd that seemed to grow in attendance by the minute. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Independent Lens Vangard Award to Vilmos Zsigmond, featured in the upcoming film NO SUBTITLE NECESSARY: Laszlo & Vilmos by director James Chressanthis. Oscar nominated actor and director Mark Rydell presented the award to his dear friend. Together they’ve collaborated to make The Rose, Cinderella Liberty, The River and Intersection

Throughout the evening, footage from the past seven seasons of Independent Lens projected against a white marble wall above the hotel’s rooftop pool. These extraordinary films showcased some of the wide-ranging films and cutting-edge work that the series has done over the years. Everyone responded enthusiastically to the clip reel and the videos featuring our new host Maggie Gyllenhaal. Throughout the evening, I could hear the excitement over the upcoming slate of films. This reaffirms my belief that the quality of independent films has never been stronger, and the number of talented filmmakers never more diverse and exciting. We're sure that audiences––watching on PBS and online––will agree. It became wonderfully evident again that the Independent Lens family is growing and thriving. Dozens of filmmakers from previous seasons came out to celebrate, and I was especially pleased that so many filmmakers featured in this upcoming season were able to join as well.

Filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez agreed and believed the party had the “the right mix of indie, energy and old Hollywood glamour.” A huge thank you to my colleagues at ITVS who planned this event: Dennis Palmieri, director of communications; Voleine Amilcar, publicity manager; Desiree Gutierrez, Los Angeles Community Cinema Regional Outreach Coordinator and party planner extraordinaire. Also thanks to Kian Soleimanpour, James Chresantheis, Vilmos Zsigmond, Art Monterastelli and Zach Kranzler of NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY. The ITVS staff, along with our wonderful guests, deserve all the credit for this stellar event. 

-Lois Check out more photos from the party:


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