The Hollywood Creative Alliance announced today that the HCA Film Awards, HCA TV Awards, and HCA Creative Arts Awards will become the Astra Film Awards, Astra TV Awards, and the Astra Creative Arts Awards aka The Astra Awards. The decision to rename the awards ceremonies was put to a vote by the advisory committee on Friday, November 17, 2023.
“As the Hollywood Creative Alliance expands to include creatives and other industry professionals, we wanted an award name that would be reflective of the newly relaunched organization,” notes HCA CEO Scott Menzel. “The name “Astra” is a perfect award show title evoking celestial brilliance and creative mastery. It encapsulates the collaborative spirit, symbolizing individual stars and elegantly embodies the industry’s aspiration, innovation, and distinction. This new name symbolizes unity amongst the diverse and inclusive membership of the Hollywood Creative Alliance.”
The HCA advisory committee, which includes Phil Lord (Director/Writer/Producer), Beau Flynn (Producer), Adele Lim (Writer/Director), Deon and Roxanne Taylor (Hidden Empire Film Group), Donald Mowat (Hair and Makeup Artist), Aida Rodriguez (Comedian/Author), John Ottman (Composer/Editor), Tara Westwood (Actress/Director), Annalee Paulo (Vice President of 42 West), Jennifer Payne (Chiat\Day\LA), Lana Walker (Walker Media & Associates), Bernard Hiller (Acting Teacher and Life Coach), Maggie Lovitt (Collider), and John Rocha (The Hot Mic) meets quarterly and will continue to discuss upcoming projects and new ways that the organization can work collectively with those within the industry.
HCA is thrilled to reveal its first three Astra Film Awards honorees. Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction), Abby Ryder Fortson (Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret), and Glenn Howerton (BlackBerry) for their film ceremony taking place at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 6, 2024.
Jeffrey Wright, who stars as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison in Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction, will receive this year’s HCA Acting Achievement Award. With a prolific career that has spanned well over thirty years, Wright is no stranger to the stage or screen. He has won several awards, including a Tony and Emmy for his unforgettable performance in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Other notable performances include Felix Leiter in the recent James Bond films, General Gibson in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, Bernard Lowe in Westworld, and James Gordon in Matt Reeves’ The Batman.
Abby Ryder Fortson, renowned for her role in the Gotham Awards-nominated Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, is set to be honored with this year’s HCA Star on the Rise Award. Fortson’s contributions extend beyond her critically acclaimed performance as Margaret, with notable appearances in films including Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and A Dog’s Journey. Her portrayal of Margaret, a NYT Critic’s Pick, is the best-reviewed wide release of 2023, boasting a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Glenn Howerton will receive this year’s HCA Game Changer Award for his remarkable portrayal of Jim Balsillie in Matt Johnson’s BlackBerry. Howerton is best known for playing Dennis Reynolds on the hit FX series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia since 2005. Howerton’s career began in 2002, and has starred in over 40 films and television shows. Howerton has brought to life several comedic characters on television, including Jack Griffin on A.P. Bio, Cliff Gilbert on The Mindy Project, and Ernie Krinklesac on The Cleveland Show. Howerton’s most recent work in BlackBerry has earned him universal acclaim, with many critics labeling his performance as one of the best of the year.
“This past year has been a tremendous struggle for most in the industry including those in SAG-AFTRA and WGA. Yet through trying times the film industry continued to persevere, and we at the HCA couldn’t be more excited to honor and celebrate the work of these three extraordinary talents,” notes HCA Vice-Chair Yong Chavez. “HCA has always taken great pride in recognizing a wide variety of artists, and with the strikes hopefully behind us, we believe these actors and their phenomenal achievements encompass what we as an organization stand for diversity and unity.”
The HCA has also revealed that the organization will be reuniting with Petco Love to host a pet adoption event for rescue animals during the Astra Film Awards and the Astra TV Awards on Saturday, January 6, 2024, and Monday, January 8, 2024, respectively.
“Petco Love thanks the Hollywood Creative Alliance for using their platform to spotlight the many pets waiting to be discovered. Featuring adoptable pets on the HCA red carpet alongside major celebrities is simply award-worthy! Petco Love is honored to be the charitable partner and help bring attention to pets nationwide looking for a loving home,” said Susanne Kogut, Petco Love President.
The nominations for the Astra Film Awards will be revealed on Thursday, December 7, 2023, beginning at 8:30 am on the official HCA YouTube Channel. The Astra Film Awards and the Astra TV Awards will be available to stream worldwide via live-stream platforms on January 6th and January 8th.
About Petco Love:
Petco Love is a life-changing nonprofit organization that makes communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing $370 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.7 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us. Is love calling you? Join us. Visit petcolove.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, X, Threads, and LinkedIn to be part of the lifesaving work we lead every day.
About the Hollywood Creative Alliance:
The Hollywood Creative Alliance, commonly called HCA, is a 501 c6 membership-based, not-for-profit organization. Its diverse and inclusive membership includes critics, entertainment journalists, content creators, industry insiders, and creatives with a shared passion for celebrating excellence in film and television. The vision and mission of the HCA is to amplify diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and culture in film and television. HCA believes in creating a culture where representation is a critical component of the evolution of the entertainment industry. Throughout the year, our members will have the opportunity to be highlighted through various committees, events, award shows, and new projects.
For more information, please visit HollywoodCreative.org or follow us on social media: