From The Hollywood Reporter  |  10/24/2020  |  by Carolyn Giardina

The director Spike Lee accepted the Trailblazer Award
during the virtual ceremony
of the 7th Annual LMGI Awards.

“God willing we’ll all be back working together,” said Spike Lee as he accepted the Trailblazer Award on Saturday during a virtual presentation of the 7th annual Location Managers Guild International Awards.

Lee saluted location managers, saying without them, “I would not be able do what I do” as he rarely shoots on sets. “I’m out in the streets; I love shooting in the streets of New York City, especially the people’s republic of Brooklyn, New York. And I’m looking forward to going back. I know we all are. … Wear a mask, be safe.”

On Saturday, the Guild pulled off a tight virtual ceremony that lasted just one hour and (held at 2 p.m. PT) attracted an international group of award recipients as well as an audience. The chat room was abuzz with guests greeting each other from cities around the U.S, as well as international destinations including Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Mallorca, Poland and the UK. “Guten Abend aus Berlin” wrote one and “Ciao a tutti da Roma” posted another guest.

During the presentation, Gary Sinise received the Humanitarian Award for establishing the Gary Sinise Foundation that serves America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, Gold Star families and those in need. “America’s families defend us all,” he said. “We owe a great debt to our freedom protectors, and we can never do enough to support them. They and their families sacrifice so much.”

Sinise read a quote from President Calvin Coolidge — “The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten” — and pledged to work so that we “remember where our precious freedom comes from and that the sacrifices made to protect that freedom are never forgotten or taken for granted.”

Christopher McQuarrie received this year’s Eva Monley Award, which he accepted from on location in Norway where he’s working on Mission: Impossible 7. Veteran location manager Veronique Vowell was bestowed the Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Winners included the location managers of productions including Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Last Black Man in San Francisco and Perry Mason. The award for outstanding film commission was presented to the commission in Toscana.

Isaiah Mustafa hosted the ceremony, and presenters include Noah Wyle, Tim Williams, Joe Mantegna, Damaris Lewis, Sylvia Hoeks, Jim Cashman, Graham McTavish, Edgar Wright and Blair Underwood.

Guild president Mike Fantasia welcomed viewers while dressed in a tuxedo shirt, tie, jacket and shorts while outdoors on a Montana location.

The live stream of the event began with a half-hour pre-show hosted by location manager David Doumeng (sitting in an empty bar with a martini and Biden/Harris mask) that included stills and video from past ceremonies.