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Los Angeles, CA — (January 17, 2023) — The Hollywood Critics Association has announced today that they are joining forces with Editor David Sandeep Robert (Hollywood’s Hard Hitters), Filmmaker Jason Strickland (2nd Unit: Invisible Action Stars), and Producer Leonard Shapiro (Hollywood’s Hard Hitters: Women in Action) to help advocate for stunt performers to be recognized by the Academy and other award entities.
“Stunt performers have often been overlooked for their immense contributions to television and film,” suggests Jason Strickland. “These skilled and courageous artists put their lives on the line to create breathtaking action sequences that captivate audiences around the world. Despite their vital role in the industry, stunt performers are not recognized with their own awards categories at most of the major award shows, including the Academy Awards.”
“After learning about the mission of Hollywood Critics and how they recognize and uplift voices that have traditionally been underrepresented in the industry, I reached out to HCA founder Scott Menzel,” notes David Sandeep Robert. “While I was already thrilled to see that the organization had a “Best Stunts” category as part of their Film Awards, I passionately advocated for the inclusion of additional stunt categories in the Hollywood Critics Awards for both Film and Television. Scott emphasized that the dedication and hard work of these unsung heroes behind the scenes deserved to be acknowledged and recognized.”
“I was highly inspired by David’s advocacy for the immediate need to create additional award categories that would highlight and elevate the stunt community,” notes HCA Founder Scott Menzel. “Inclusion and diversity have been the core fabric of Hollywood Critics Association since day one and after meeting with David, it didn’t take long before we decided to add three more categories into the HCA Film Awards.”
The new categories will include Best Stunt Performer, Best Stunt Coordinator, and Best Second Unit Director, which will be added in addition to the existing “Best Stunts” category during the 2024 HCA Film Awards. Menzel also confirmed that the organization will be adding a Best Stunts category for the upcoming 2023 HCA TV Awards.
Lenny Shapiro, the executive producer, and Jason Strickland, the director of 2nd Unit: Invisible Action Stars and Hollywood’s Hard Hitters: Women in Action are incredibly supportive of the efforts to add stunt categories into Hollywood award shows. “Our team is extremely proud of David for taking this idea to the Hollywood Critics Association, and we hope that these new categories will help advocate for other award bodies to recognize the stunt industry,” adds Shapiro. “The inclusion of these new categories is incredible news and I am highly appreciative of all that are involved.”
Hollywood Critics Association is a vibrant, leading force in celebrating diverse excellence in the entertainment industry. The HCA Film Awards and HCA TV Awards highlight and honor individuals and groups who have historically been marginalized, both through honorary awards and competitive recognition.
The 2023 HCA TV Awards is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 13th and Sunday, August 14th at the Beverly Hilton. Submissions are now open until May 31st. The 2024 HCA Film Awards is set to take place on Monday, January 8, 2024 with a venue to be revealed in months ahead.
About the Hollywood Critics Association:
Founded in 2016, the Hollywood Critics Association’s mission is to bring together a diverse and passionate group of critics and entertainment journalists who represent the voices of a new era in Hollywood. As of today, the Hollywood Critics Association has over 180 members from all across the country. The organization is currently made up of 51% people of color, 48% female, and 21% LGBTQ+.
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