Portland Art Museum’s PAM CUT // Center for an Untold Tomorrow announces the honorees for the fourth annual Cinema Unbound Awards. Honoring artistic innovators not content to be contained, the annual Cinema Unbound Awards celebrate multi-faceted folks working at the intersection of art and cinema who are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
Working at the intersection of art and cinematic storytelling in all its forms, this year’s recipients Fred Armisen, Guillermo del Toro, Gregory Gourdet, Jon Raymond, Jacqueline Stewart, and Tessa Thompson will be honored at an in-person event at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon on June 22, 2023.
This year, the awards will feature a culinary take-over by Gregory Gourdet’s 2023 James Beard Foundation Award finalist for “Best New Restaurant,” Kann. The Haitian live-fire restaurant was recently named the #1 “Best New Restaurant in America” by Esquire and one of the top 50 new restaurants in America by The New York Times.
As one of the few major art museums in the U.S. that celebrates cinematic storytelling and new media center in all its many forms—ranging from including film, television, new media, animation, audio storytelling, gaming, immersive arts, and boundary-pushing multi-sensory XR & VR—Portland Art Museum’s PAM CUT is uniquely positioned to present this award honoring bold cinematic creators who use their vision to challenge for whom, by whom, and how stories can be told.
“In its fourth year, the Cinema Unbound Awards continue to shine a light on the most innovative and exciting folks pushing the future of storytelling forward,” says Amy Dotson, Director of PAM CUT and Curator of Film and New Media at the Portland Art Museum. “These creative polymaths share their artistry, their joy, and unique points of view with audiences around the world and continue to advocate for change within the media arts landscape. By pushing the boundaries of what’s possible—as well as advocating and mentoring new artists who are audaciously flipping the script on the status quo—these artists deserve appreciation not just for their incredibly prolific and diverse bodies of work, but also for their visionary approach to living life authentically and inclusively.”
“I grew up seeing movies at the Northwest Film Center (now PAM CUT),” said honoree Jon Raymond (Showing Up). “I saw Out of the Past there as a teenager (I was so high!); Paul Morrissey introducing, I think, Heat (God, what a beautiful, imperious figure he seemed to be); Matthew Barney’s Cremaster movies (which I’d been reading about for years). PAM CUT has been such a huge part of my filmgoing Iife. To be honored with a Cinema Unbound Award now is beyond thrilling. It’s more like totally humbling.”
Lead support for this year’s awards is provided by LAIKA, with additional support provided by Netflix, Mary and Don Blair, KeyBank, Gucci America, The Ritz Family, and ShadowMachine.
“As a company deeply invested in the cultural fabric of Portland, LAIKA is honored to lend its support to this year’s Cinema Unbound Awards and to join the museum in celebrating its essential role in our city’s creative landscape,” says LAIKA Chief Marketing Officer David Burke.
Past honorees at PAM CUT’s Cinema Unbound Awards include artists Steve McQueen, Shirin Neshat, Garrett Bradley, Carrie Brownstein, Reinaldo Marcus Green, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Roger Ross Williams, Gus Van Sant, Todd Haynes, and John Cameron Mitchell, and industry leaders such as UTA Fine Arts’ Arthur Lewis, MOMA’s Rajendra Roy, Venice Biennale XR Michel Reilhac and ShadowMachine co-founder Alex Bulkley. Presenters have included Academy Award Best Picture winners Bong Joon-ho and Chloé Zhao, as well as multi-faceted artists Isabella Rossellini, Charles Burnett, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alessandro Michele, and Justin Vivian Bond.
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Guillermo del Toro
Presenter: To be announced
The winner of three Academy Awards, Guillermo del Toro is among the most creative and visionary artists of his generation, whose distinctive style is showcased through his work as a filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, and author. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, del Toro first gained worldwide recognition for the 1993 Mexican-American co-production Cronos, a supernatural horror film, which he directed from his own screenplay after beginning his career working as a special effects makeup artist. Del Toro went on to earn international acclaim with the Academy Award-winning films Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), The Shape of Water (2017), and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022).
In animation, del Toro executive produced the DreamWorks films Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3, Puss in Boots 1 and 2, and Rise of the Guardians, and produced The Book of Life. His DreamWorks/Netflix animated series Trollhunters has been both a critical and audience success. In addition to his movie projects, del Toro co-authored the New York Times bestselling vampire horror trilogy The Strain, which has also been turned into a hit series on FX Network. His next animated feature will be the stop motion project based on Nobel Prize–winning author Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel The Buried Giant.
Presenter: Ava DuVernay
Jacqueline Stewart is Director and President of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. She is a scholar, educator, programmer, author, film archivist, and host of Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Stewart previously served as Chief Artistic and Programming Officer at the Academy Museum and is a Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, where she has also served as Director of the Arts + Public Life initiative and the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. She is chair of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB), where she has led the drafting of reports on diversity, equity, and inclusion on the National Film Registry and in the film archival profession. Stewart was named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow and she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018. She has served on the Boards of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) and the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA). In 2015, she co-curated the five-disc set Pioneers of African American Cinema for Kino Lorber. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Chicago and her BA in English from Stanford University.
Presenter: Padma Lakshmi
Gregory Gourdet is a celebrated chef, best-selling author, and television personality.
He is best known for his award-winning cuisine, a bevy of TV appearances, and a trendsetting role in the culinary boom of Portland. He is the chef and founder of Sousòl and Kann, a 2023 James Beard Foundation Award Finalist for Best New Restaurant, and author of the 2022 James Beard Foundation Award Winner Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health. Gourdet was named “Chef of the Year” by Eater Portland and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and is a two-time Bravo Top Chef finalist.
An avid traveler and lifelong student of food and culture, Gourdet has made a name for himself by infusing methods and ingredients from all over the world, balanced together with his Haitian heritage, and creating signature flavors adored for their seasonality, boldness, complexity, and spice. He sees food as nourishment and is committed to moving the restaurant industry forward sustainably and equitably.
Presenters: Lance Bangs & Corin Tucker
Fred Armisen is a comedian, writer, producer, and musician. He is the co-writer and co-star of IFC’s Emmy-nominated series Portlandia, which he created alongside previous Cinema Unbound Awards winner Carrie Brownstein. He is currently in the hit Netflix series Wednesday as Uncle Fester, and in the hit Universal Pictures animated feature The Super Mario Bros. Movie as the voice of Cranky Kong. He stars as “Tico” in HBO’s Los Espookys, which he co-wrote and executive produced. Armisen stars in, writes, and produces IFC’s hit show Documentary Now, for which he has received two Emmy nominations. He has also appeared in HBO’s Our Flag Means Death and Judd Apatow’s The Bubble, and Amazon’s series Forever (which he was also an executive producer on), and has appeared as a voice actor in Big Mouth and The Mitchells vs. The Machines.
Armisen’s career began as a musician in the Chicago-based post-punk band Trenchmouth as well as the Blue Man Group. His transition to comedy came with the 1998 underground short film, Fred Armisen’s Guide to Music and South by Southwest. An 11-season veteran of Saturday Night Live, Armisen has engaged audiences with memorable impressions and characters. In 2014, Armisen was named band leader of the 8G Band on Late Night With Seth Meyers. The band, curated by Armisen, includes members of indie rock bands Les Savy Fav and Girls Against Boys.
Presenter: Todd Haynes
Jon Raymond is the author of the novels The Half-Life, Rain Dragon, Freebird, and Denial, and the story collection Livability, winner of the Oregon Book Award. He also published a collection of art writing called The Community: Writings About Art In and Around Portland, 1997 – 2016. He’s collaborated on six screenplays, numerous of which were based on his fiction, with the director Kelly Reichardt, including Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, Night Moves, First Cow, and Showing Up, and on the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce with Todd Haynes. He was editor of Plazm Magazine, an Associate and Contributing Editor at Tin House Magazine, and served on the Board of Directors of Literary Arts. His writing has appeared in Zoetrope, Tin House, Artforum, Bookforum, and many other places. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his partner, the writer Emily Chenoweth, and their kids, Eliza and Josephine.
Presenter: Boots Riley
Tessa Thompson is a critically acclaimed actress and is making her mark as a producer as well. In 2019, she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine as the Leader of the Next Generation. She has starred and acted as executive producer on numerous films including the four Thor movies, Passing, Sylvie’s Love, Creed III, and Selma. Her TV credits include HBO’s Westworld, the satirical drama Dear White People (which earned her a Gotham Award for “Breakthrough Actor”), Veronica Mars, the BBC’s Copper, and the voice of ‘Lady’ in Disney’s live-action, re-imagining of Lady and the Tramp. In 2020, Thompson starred in and executive produced the mystery-sci-fi podcast series The Left Right Game. She is also the newest face of Armani Beauty.
In 2020 Thompson launched her own production company, Viva Maude, born from her desire to shape culture with work that’s uncategorizable and manifestly entertaining. In 2021, Kishori Rajan (Random Acts of Flyness) joined Thompson as her producing partner to continue to build Viva Maude’s production and development slate. Announced projects include The Secret Lives of Church Ladies at HBO Max, and HBO, adaptations of the books Luster and Who Fears Death.
The Cinema Unbound Awards 2023 event will be participatory and immersive, including special guests and talent from around the globe. The Cinema Unbound Awards will take place June 22, 2023, in the Portland Art Museum’s Kridel Grand Ballroom.
Proceeds from the Cinema Unbound Awards benefit PAM CUT’s year-round youth programs, artist services, and exhibitions—directly supporting the programs that embrace artistic exploration and contribute to a more vibrant, accessible, and diverse media-arts ecosystem.
Mary and Don Blair
The Ritz Family
Alix Meier Goodman and Linda Andrews
Bonnier Serkin and William Emery