Elizabeth Banks made cinematic history for becoming the first female filmmaker to take home the Pioneer of the Year award. The Will Rogers Motion Pictures Pioneers Foundation accolade has a 78-year history of recognizing the film industry’s most profound directors.
Filmmaking is an industry known to be run by a majority of white men. Now, the foundation has decided that 2019 was the year a female director is recognized. And that came in the form of Banks who is able to do it all. The multi-hyphenate has produced, directed, written and acted in numerous feature films throughout her career. With that being said, Banks was exactly the right choice for the award.
Aside from her contributions in movies, Banks is a known philanthropist. Women’s rights and health is the subject of her advocacies. And she is known for representing prominent groups in that field including the Reach Higher Initiative by Michelle Obama.
Banks received the award earlier this week at the organization’s yearly Pioneer Awards dinner Los Angeles. The event marked the first time it was held in the California city after being hosted by Las Vegas for several years.
The charity event is held to raise financial aid for the Pioneers Assistance Fund. On the foundation’s website, it is described as a charity that:
“serves members of the motion picture entertainment industry (exhibition, distribution and trade services) who are encountering an illness, injury or life-changing event. All assistance is intended to provide support during a recovery or adjustment period and lay the foundation for a lifetime of ongoing success.”