(Watch) Marsai Martin Slays At Caucus Awards

The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors held their 38th Annual Awards Gala March 4, 2021, hosted by actor James Pickens Jr.(Grey’s Anatomy). The Awards Ceremony which is traditionally held at the Skirball Center in Beverly Hills, adapted to a virtual awards gala during these times of COVID-19.  The pandemic did not deter their mission, as the evening was a resounding success, far surpassing their fundraising goal.  These funds will go towards additional scholarships and grants to the next generation of burgeoning filmmakers. 



The 38th Caucus Awards honored the following:

  • Academy Award®, Golden Globe, and Emmy winner and Hello Sunshine Founder, Reese Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine’s President of Film and Television Lauren Neustadter for Producers of the Year, presented by Academy Award®, Golden Globe, SAG, Actress Octavia Spencer; 
  • Academy Award®-winning writer, producer, and director Aaron Sorkin for Writer of the Year Award, presented by Caucus Co-Chair Robert Papazian;
  • Danish director Susanne Bier (The Undoing) received the Director of the Year Award, presented by Academy Award®, Golden Globe, SAG and Emmy winner Nicole Kidman;
  • Actress and executive producer Marsai Martin (Black-ish / Little) was presented with the Rising Star of the Year Award by Donna Langley, Chairman Universal Filmed Entertainment Group; 
  • Vin Di Bona, Chairman, Vin Di Bona Productions received the prestigious Caucus Legend Award, presented by America’s Funniest Home Videos host Alfonso Ribeiro;
  • Producer Gail Katz, Professor of Cinematic Arts at USC, the Mary Pickford Endowed Chair, and the Faculty Chair of the School of Cinematic Arts received the Educator of the Year Award, presented by Shaun Cassidy; 
  • St. Louis Community leaders and philanthropists Jeanne and Tom Townsend were awarded with the Caucus’ Humanitarian Award presented by Caucus Co-Chair James Hirsch, followed by a special performance by Pianos for People student prodigy Royce Martin.

The Caucus Foundation, spearheaded by its President Sharon Arnett, was created to give production grants to worthy students to promote diversity and this year’s program highlighted six students who received grants in December 2020. The grant recipients are Myra Aquino of University of California, Los Angeles; Kathryn Boyd-Batstone of University of Southern California; Christine Cho of Chapman University; Tessa Germaine, of Chapman University, Damon Laguna of University of Southern California; and Mel Orpen of University of Southern California.