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2003 Awards


As is tradition, the National Association of Theatre Owners paid tribute to the talent responsible for the product they exhibit on the final night awards ceremony and banquet, held on Thursday, March 6. Earning top honors on the acting end were two stars recognized for their wildly different work. Male Star of the Year went to funnyman Adam Sandler, who had a mixed year at last year's box office with the smash Mr. Deeds (which screened at ShoWest 2002), the underachieving critical darling Punch-Drunk Love, and the outright flop animated feature Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights. Diane Lane, newly Academy Award-nominated for her performance in Adrian Lyne's erotic drama Unfaithful, took home the Female Star of the Year trophy. The two Supporting Actor honors went to two more Oscar nominees: Catch Me If You Can's Christopher Walken was named Supporting Actor of the Year, and a very pregnant Catherine Zeta-Jones, nominated for her triple-threat work in the film version of the musical Chicago, was this year's Supporting Actress of the Year. While this year's Female Star of Tomorrow, White Oleander star Alison Lohman, is indeed a young up-and-comer, her male counterpart has been well-established for years--rapper/actor James Todd Smith, a.k.a. LL Cool J, a decade-plus screen veteran who only now is being named Male Star of Tomorrow. Unlike the past two years, no Distinguished Decade of Achievement in Film award was handed out this year.

Sam Mendes, director of the critical and financial hit comic adaptation Road to Perdition, was not in attendance to accept his trophy as Director of the Year. The two other behind-the-scenes talent honored were, however: Screenwriter of the Year Antwone Fisher, who earned much acclaim for writing his eponymous biopic, directed by Denzel Washington; and Producer of the Year, David Heyman, the man responsible for the Harry Potter screen franchise. NATO bestowed lifetime achievement honors on another key behind-the-scenes player, producer Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment. This year, a new award was presented, for Animation Director of the Year; that honor went to Chris Wedge, director of last spring's blockbuster Ice Age.

This year, Coca-Cola teamed up with LivePlanet's filmmaking contest Project Greenlight for the annual Refreshing Filmmaker Award. This year's winner was New York University graduate student Jordan Ross, for his short film Mafia Movie Madness. Ross won the award out of some 200 film students nationwide who submitted concepts tailored specifically for a pre-feature entertainment short. Ross will receive $10,000, and his film will become a staple of the pre-feature program on more than 19,000 screens nationwide for the next year.

Earlier in the week, at a separate lunchtime ceremony the afternoon of Monday, March 3, City of God director Fernando Meirelles was given this year's award for International Achievement in Filmmaking.

The full honoree list:

  • Male Star of the Year: Adam Sandler
  • Female Star of the Year: Diane Lane
  • Director of the Year: Sam Mendes
  • Supporting Actor of the Year: Christopher Walken
  • Supporting Actress of the Year: Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Male Star of Tomorrow: James Todd Smith a.k.a. LL Cool J
  • Female Star of Tomorrow: Alison Lohman
  • Animation Director of the Year: Chris Wedge
  • Producer of the Year: David Heyman
  • Screenwriter of the Year: Antwone Fisher
  • International Achievement in Filmmaking: Fernando Meirelles
  • Lifetime Achievement: Brian Grazer
  • Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Award: Jordan Ross


Noteworthy individuals and teams in the exhibition industry were also given a variety of honors during events throughout the week.

  • ShoWester of the Year (honoring achievement in domestic exhibition)
    Phil Harris, President, Signature Theatres
  • Special Recognition
    Gary Horvath, President, NAC Terri Westhafer, President, ITEA
  • International Exhibitor of the Year
    Yoji Ikushima, managing director, Warner Mycal Corporation
  • Bert Nathan Memorial Award
    John Evans Jr., Gold Medal Products
  • Will Rogers Institute Manager Awards
    • Century Theatres - Richard Swedbergh (Berryessa 10); Jerry Schoen (Century Park 16); Tony Bauer (Pleasant Hill 16)
    • Loews Cineplex Entertainment - Jennifer Sabol (Loews White Marsh Theare); Mike Mimnaugh (Loews Cineplex Raceway Theatre); Jeremy Benvenuto (Loews Cineplex Stony Brook Theatre); Jeff Kaplan (Loews Cineplex Factoria Theatre)
    • Regal Entertainment Group - Darin Ogden (Nampa 14); Kevin Brody (Burlington 20); Scott Austin (Corona 15); James Henson (Spokane Valley 12); Michael Braswell (Westgate 8); Jesse Grisbaum (Knoxville Center 10); Mohamad Shakhshir (Southgate 20); Rikk Manzer (Orchards Triplex)
  • Ken Mason Intersociety Award
    J. Wayne Anderson, President, R/C Theatres
  • Newspaper Association of America (NAA) Movie Exhibitor Partnership Award
    AMC Entertainment
Hollywood Reporter Showmanship Awards (honoring film promotion)

  • Best Showmanship
    Jennifer Plowman, Cinemark Hollywood USA (College Station, TX)
  • Community Outreach Award
    Reynee Scofield, Regal Avenues 13 (Rolling Hills Estates, CA)
  • Use of Media/Stunts Award
    Brent Lynch, Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26 (Long Beach, CA)
  • Cross Promotion
    Jennifer Plowman, Cinemark Hollywood USA (College Station, TX)
  • In-Theatre Display Award
    Kendra Sparrow, Wehrenberg Theatres (Springfield, MO)
  • Presentation Binder Award
    Jerri Wells, Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Grapevine, TX)
  • Use of Newspaper Award
    Dale Hurst, Carmike Cinemas 9 (Dalton, GA)
  • Gold Heart Award for Outstanding Philanthropy
    Reynee Scofield, Regal Avenues 13 (Rolling Hills Estates, CA)

ShoWest 2003 Movie Impressions
Inside ShoWest 2003

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ShoWest 2003 Awards/© Michael Dequina
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