Mel Brooks and Angela Bassett Feted at the Governors Awards

Mel Brooks and Angela Bassett Feted at the Governors Awards

“This honor isn’t just for or about me,” Bassett said. “What I hope this moment means is that we are taking the necessary steps toward a future in which it is the norm, not the exception, to see and embrace one another’s full humanity, stories and perspectives. This must be our goal, and to always remember that there is room for us all.”

In Littleton’s prolific career of more than four decades, the editor has cut films as varied as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Body Heat” and “The Accidental Tourist.” Glenn Close presented Littleton with her award. The two first worked together in 1983 in Close’s second film, “The Big Chill.”

“I accept this for all editors who toil in the darkness of an editing room, weighing each cut, making infinite choices to create a unique, believable world born of the imagination,” Littleton said. “Most of all I want to thank John, my dear Johnny.”

Then came Satter, who in her four decades as the founding director of the Sundance Institute has been responsible for nurturing the careers of some of Hollywood’s most respected filmmakers: from Quentin Tarantino, Kimberly Peirce and Gina Prince-Bythewood to Taika Waititi, Lulu Wang and Marielle Heller. The directors of the past three best picture winners: The Daniels (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Sian Heder (“CODA”) and Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”), all began their careers at the Sundance Labs.

Satter’s son, Michael, was the founder of an entertainment marketing firm that promoted the work of underrepresented voices, and he had worked closely with Coogler on the release of “Fruitvale Station.”

But it was Zhao, who was onstage with Coogler to present Satter’s award, who had the most emotional moment of the night. “Michelle, you’re a mother to me. And you’re a mother to Ryan. And you’re a mother to so many people sitting in this room,” she said.

“We are so grateful to you,” she continued. “We wouldn’t be here without you. We know you’re hurting. We’re so sorry and we know that there’s nothing we can say that can take away the pain. We want to say and we hope we can say this to you: We are all your children.”

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