LOS ANGELES, Nov. 4 (JTA) There was no red carpet or Hollywood glitz, but the first annual Jewish Image Awards, honoring outstanding work reflecting the Jewish heritage in film and television, proved a lot shorter and funnier than the more celebrated Oscar ceremonies.
Veteran director Arthur Hiller (“Love Story,” “Plaza Suite,” “The Man in the Glass Booth”) received the Tisch Lifetime Achievement Award.
He was presented by the multi-talented Carl Reiner, who spent most of the introduction humorously pointing out why Hiller didn’t deserve the award.
The Cross-Cultural Award went to “Backstory: Gentleman’s Agreement,” Kevin Burns’ documentary on the making of the pathbreaking 1947 film on American anti-Semitism.
Emcee Jeffrey Tambor revealed that he had auditioned for an alleged remake of “Gentleman’s Agreement,” but was rejected as “Too Jewish They’re going for Denzel,” Tambor deadpanned, referring to African American actor Denzel Washington.
The award ceremony, in the form of an early evening cocktail reception at the Beverly Hilton, was originally scheduled for Sept. 12, but was postponed to last week after the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Some of the other winners at the event, sponsored by the Los Angeles Entertainment Industry Council of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, were:
Outstanding Achievement Awards: “Rugrats 10th Anniversary”;
Network Television Award: ABC miniseries “Anne Frank”;
Cable Television Film Award: “Varian’s War” (Showtime);
Documentary Film Award: “Into the Arms of Strangers” (Warner Bros.);
Television Series Award: “The West Wing” (Warner/NBC);
Female Character in Television: Hannah Taylor Gordon in title role in “Anne Frank”;
Male Character in Television: Richard Schiff, who plays the President’s news adviser in “West Wing”;
Female Character in Film: Rachel Weisz in “Enemy at the Gates” (Paramount); and
Male Character in Film: Steven Weber in “Club Land” (Showtime).