Filmmaker Justin Lin and Actor Michael Stuhlbarg will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards; Nadja Swarovski will receive the inaugural Distinguished Service Award

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay has been named the 2017 keynote speaker at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s 70th annual Commencement ceremony. Filmmaker Justin Lin (Star Trek Beyond, Fast and Furious franchise) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award in Film/Television/Digital Media and actor Michael Stuhlbarg (Fargo, Boardwalk Empire) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater. Dean Teri Schwartz will preside over the event taking place Friday, June 16 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

Nadja Swarovski has been named the 2017 UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Distinguished Service Award honoree. This new honor recognizes an individual whose exemplary service has had an inspiring, direct impact on UCLA TFT students, faculty and staff, as well as local and/or global communities. The UCLA TFT Distinguished Service Award honoree’s life and works embrace the School’s ideals of humanism, diversity and making a difference in the world.

“It is a great honor to have such remarkable artists and industry leaders on the stage with us at our Commencement this year,” says Schwartz. “All are being recognized at this year’s commencement ceremony for the outstanding contributions they have made in their respective fields. They are bold artists and leaders with remarkable vision and creative force to inspire and galvanize our graduates to use their work to not only to delight and entertain, but also enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world.”

DuVernay is a writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film. Nominated for the Academy Award and winner of the BAFTA for Best Documentary, her documentary 13th was one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2016. In 2014, she directed the historical drama Selma, which garnered four Golden Globe nominations and two Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Her current directorial work includes the award-winning dramatic television series Queen Sugar on OWN; and the upcoming Disney live-action film, A Wrinkle in Time. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director prize for her previous feature, Middle of Nowhere, DuVernay’s early directorial work includes I Will Follow, Venus Vs. and This Is the Life. In 2017, DuVernay was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Greatest World Leaders. She also distributes and amplifies the work of people of color and women directors through her film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.

Lin is a Taiwanese-born American filmmaker whose movies have grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. He is responsible for re-booting the Fast & Furious franchise, along with groundbreaking work in virtual reality and innovative projects in both TV and film. Most recently, Lin directed the critically acclaimed blockbuster Star Trek Beyond, the final film in the modern Star Trek trilogy. Previously, Lin directed Universal’s box-office blockbusters The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast and Furious 6, Touchstone Picture’s Annapolis, and Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee, which was released by IFC Films and The Weinstein Company after its successful premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. His directorial debut, the critically acclaimed Better Luck Tomorrow, also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2012, Lin founded Perfect Storm Entertainment with the intent of producing films and television with a global perspective. He also formed the digital company YOMYOMF to give a new outlet for aspiring Asian American filmmakers. Lin is currently developing and producing several television and television and film projects for CBS, Cinemax, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros.

Stuhlbarg can currently be seen in the third season of the FX series Fargo. He is a lauded stage and screen actor who received a Best Actor Golden Globe Award nomination for his role in the Coen Brothers film A Serious Man. His other films include Miss Sloane; Marvel’s Dr. Strange; Arrival; Jobs; Trumbo; Miles Ahead; Pawn Sacrifice; Lincoln; Blue Jasmine; Hitchcock; Hugo; and Body of Lies, among others. His TV credits include HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Amazon’s Transparent. Upcoming projects include Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water and Hulu’s The Looming Tower. In 2005, Stuhlbarg was a Tony Award nominee and a Drama Desk Award winner for his performance in Martin McDonagh’s The Plowman. His other Broadway credits include the National Actors Theatre productions of Saint Joan, Three Men on a Horse, Timon of Athens and The Government Inspector; Ronald Harwood’s Taking Sides; Sam Mendes’ revival of Cabaret; and Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love. Stuhlbarg has worked numerous times with the New York Shakespeare Festival in productions of Twelfth Night, Richard II and Hamlet, among others. Stuhlbarg studied at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and received his B.F.A. from The Juilliard School.

Over the past 20 years, Nadja Swarovski, the first woman to serve on the Executive Board of Swarovski, the world’s leading crystal manufacturer, has driven a program of creative collaborations that have revitalized the company founded by her great-great-grandfather Daniel Swarovski in 1895. As well as leading the company’s global branding and communications, she has commissioned new installations, artworks and products celebrating crystal that have continually positioned Swarovski at the vanguard of creative and lifestyle trends. From Alexander McQueen to Daniel Libeskind, the relationships she has built with figures in the worlds of fashion and jewelry, design and architecture, film and art, have established her as one of the world’s leading creative patrons. Swarovski also oversees Swarovski’s sustainability initiatives and philanthropic programs, and chairs the Swarovski Foundation. Born in Germany, Swarovski is an Austrian and American citizen, and was educated in Europe and the United States. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1992, she completed a graduate course in fine and decorative arts at Sotheby’s in New York. She is currently based in London.

Posted: June 13, 2017

Photo credit: Ava DuVernay/Jennifer Livingston, The New York Times