Friday, June 21, 2024

CIFF Announces 2023 Leonard Maltin Industry Awards Gala Honorees

The eighth annual festival will run as a five-day event November 8-12, 2023. Tickets are on sale now and ticket prices range from $15 - $295. The All-inclusive Emerald Badge is recommended as the best way to enjoy all the festival offers.

The Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) has announced the 2023 Leonard Maltin Industry Tribute Awards Gala Honorees. Presided over by highly respected film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, the gala brings together glitz and glamor to honor both industry legends as well as rising stars. This year’s honorees include Diane Ladd, Andreas Deja, Carol Guzy, Paul Raci, and Heba Thorisdottir.

Leonard, who serves as the Host and Honorary Jury President, will host the evening and partake in Q&As with honorees after they take the stage to accept their awards. This year’s Honorary Co-Chair is Carolynn Berardi Towbin, CEO of Towbin Motorcars.

Diane Ladd (Courtesy CIFF)

The amazingly gifted and versatile Diane Ladd will accept the Legacy Award, honoring her seventy-year career as an actress, writer, director, and author. Diane has won over 57 international awards including The British Academy Award, Golden Globe Award®, Independent Spirit Film Award and the Cannes’ Palme d’or Award. She has been nominated for three Emmy Awards® and three Academy Awards® for the films “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “Wild at Heart” and “Rambling Rose.” In “Rambling Rose,” she and her daughter, Laura Dern, in tandem made show business history as the first mother/daughter duo to earn nominations for the same film. Diane will premiere her new film, “ISLE OF LOVE,” on Sunday, November 12 followed by a Q&A with Leonard Maltin.

Carol Guzy portrait by Andrea Pritchard (Nikon Release Signed, Courtesy CIFF)

Four-time Pulitzer Prize Winning Photojournalist Carol Guzy will receive the Humanitarian Award. Carol is the first journalist to receive a fourth Pulitzer – for coverage of the Haitian earthquake in 2010. Previously she was honored twice with the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for her coverage of the military intervention in Haiti and the devastating mudslide in Armero, Colombia. She received a third Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for her work in Kosovo. She has been named Photographer of the Year for the National Press Photographers Association three times and nine times for the White House News Photographers Association and has earned many other prestigious awards. Carol was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and lived there until 1978 when she completed her studies at Northampton County Area Community College, graduating with an Associate’s degree in Registered Nursing. A change of heart led her to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida to study photography. She graduated in 1980 with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Photography. She interned at The Miami Herald and upon graduation was hired as a staff photographer. She spent eight years at the newspaper before moving to Washington, DC in 1988 where she became a staff photographer at The Washington Post through 2014. She is currently freelance. She specializes on long-form documentary human interest projects and news stories, both domestic and international and is currently a contract photographer with ZUMA Press.

Heba Thorisdottir (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Courtesy CIFF)

Heba Thorisdottir, the Iceland-born, Los Angeles-based make-up artist, will receive the Artistry in Filmmaking Award. Heba has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood over the course of her career. From the red carpet to the big screen to high-fashion editorials to commercial advertising, Heba’s approach is visionary and versatile, and her execution skills make her an asset to any creative collaboration. Heba began her career in music videos, working with REM, Bruce Springsteen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Sting. She quickly nabbed a position as additional make-up artist on the TV series “Twin Peaks,” where she was Director David Lynch’s inspiration for the character of “Heba Thorsdottir” in the first season of the show. Heba has been a frequent collaborator of Quentin Tarantino and designed the make-up for “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” “Django Unchained,” “Inglourious Basterds” and “Kill Bill” Vol. 1 & 2 as well as being a personal make-up artist to actresses Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Margot Robbie, and Kristen Wiig. Heba’s presence is also widely sought in the editorial and advertising realm. She has done make-up for the covers of L’Uomo Vogue, Mademoiselle, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Vibe and Shape, as well as major marketing campaigns for Levi’s, Redken, J.Crew, Emporio Armani, Nike, The GAP and Ray-Ban. CIFF is proud to screen “MAY DECEMBER” on Sunday, November 12, her latest feature, starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. Heba will attend the screening and partake in a Q&A following the screening.

Andreas Deja (Courtesy CIFF)

The Leonard Maltin Award will go to Andreas Deja, a Polish-born German-American character animator, most noted for his work at Walt Disney Animation Studios as the supervising animator of some of the most memorable Disney villains: Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast,” Jafar in “Aladdin,” Scar in “The Lion King” and Queen Narissa in “Enchanted.” He also animated Roger Rabbit in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” King Triton in “The Little Mermaid,” the title character in “Hercules,” Lilo Pelekai in “Lilo & Stitch,” Mama Odie in “The Princess and the Frog” and Tigger in “Winnie the Pooh.” A lifelong fan of Disney, Andreas was hired by the studio in 1980. The first film he worked on was “The Black Cauldron,” during which time he shared a cubicle with Tim Burton. He is currently the resident specialist for the animation of Mickey Mouse. His film “MUSHKA” is part of a special presentation and will screen twice on Sunday, November 12.

Paul Raci (Getty Images, Courtesy CIFF)

Academy Award® Nominated Paul Raci will receive the Industry Impact Award for his advocacy for the deaf community and representation in entertainment. Paul is an American actor, a Veteran, a CODA (Child of Deaf Adult), a Court Certified American Sign Language Interpreter and a musician. He’s best known for his role as Joe in the “Sound of Metal” (2020) starring opposite Riz Ahmed and “Parks and Recreation” opposite Amy Poehler. He was born and raised in Chicago by Deaf parents and is fluent in American Sign Language. While in Chicago, he honed his acting chops at the local theaters and was a founding member of The Immediate Theater Company, where he was nominated for a Jefferson Award for their production of “Children of a Lesser God.” He also trained at Second City and has worked with several improvisation companies. In Los Angeles, he has performed in over 12 productions with the locally acclaimed, Deaf West Theater including “Of Mice and Men,” “Medea,” Equus,” “A Christmas Carol,” and most recently the acclaimed, award winning production of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” in ASL.

The annual festival will return for its 8th year as a five-day event running November 8-12, 2023. The Leonard Maltin Industry Tribute Awards Gala will be hosted on Saturday, November 11 in the Commodore Ballroom at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

Individual tickets for the Industry Tribute Gala, as well as tickets to each screening, party, and panel are on sale now. Ticket prices range from $15 – $295. The All-inclusive Emerald Badge is recommended as the best way to enjoy all the festival offers.

For more information and updates on this year’s honorees and overall programing slate, please visit the festival website at

Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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