Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The Awards Honor Outstanding Films and Artists of Conscience and Consciousness

Los Angeles, Feb. 21, 2011 – A Spanish film about a peoples power uprising in Bolivia has swept the James Agee Cinema Circle’s fourth annual “Progie” Awards for Best Progressive Films and Filmmakers of 2010. Upon receiving word Even The Rain screenwriter Paul Laverty declared: “I like the sound of best Anti-Fascist film very much!! I'll take that to the grave with pride… I must tell all our compañeros in Cochabamba too... sure they will feel honored.”
The James Agee Cinema Circle is a new international, independent umbrella group of lefty film critics, reviewers, scholars and historians dedicated to raising public awareness about films dealing with political, social and cultural issues such as: Human rights, workers’ struggles, women’s rights, environmentalism, ethnic rights, free speech, gay rights, civil liberties, immigrant rights, people’s activism and peace. The JACC annually presents The Progies to the year’s Best Progressive studio features, indies, documentaries and artists. The Progies are the “un-Oscar”, the “people’s alternative Academy Awards,” honoring movies and talents of conscience and consciousness.

2010’s Progie Award winners reflect the protest and strike wave stretching from Tunisia to Wisconsin, including: Even The Rain’s 4 Progies include The Trumbo for Best Progressive Picture; Naomi Watts won the Karen Morley Best Progressive Actress Progie for Fair Game; the Matt Damon Iraq War drama The Green Zone won the Renoir for Best Anti-War Progie; The Wall Street expose Inside Job won the Dziga for Best Progressive Documentary Progie; the British feminist strike drama Made In Dagenham earned the Our Daily Bread Progie for best progressive working class portrayal; Jean-Luc Godard won the Sergei Progie for Best Progressive Lifetime Achievement, while his latest work Film Socialisme received the Langlois Progie for Best Progressive Film Deserving U.S. Theatrical Release. The Fighter’s Mark Wahlberg and Casino Jack’s Kevin Spacey tied in the Garfield Best Progressive Actor category.

Below is a complete list of all of the 2010 Progies winners, followed by the nominees in every category. Each Progie is awarded in a category named after a great cinema artist or film that made a contribution to movies that inspire, enlighten and entertain audiences. 
Ed Rampell, author of Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States, and other members of the James Agee Cinema Circle are available for comment and interviews.

THE TRUMBO: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE PICTURE is named after Oscar-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, a member of the Hollywood Ten, who was imprisoned for his beliefs and refusing to inform. Trumbo helped break the Blacklist when he received screen credit for “Spartacus” and “Exodus” in 1960.

Winner: Even The Rain 
Social Network 
Casino Jack 
Made In Dagenham

THE GARFIELD: The Progie Award for BEST ACTOR in a progressive picture is named after John Garfield, who rose from the proletarian theatre to star in progressive pictures such as “Gentleman's Agreement” and “Force of Evil,” only to run afoul of the Hollywood Blacklist.

Winners: Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter and Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack
James Franco, Howl 
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

KAREN MORLEY AWARD: The Progie Award for BEST ACTRESS in a film portraying women in a progressive picture is named for Karen Morley, co-star of 1932’s “Scarface” and 1934’s “Our Daily Bread.” Morley was driven out of Hollywood in the 1930s for her leftist views, but maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for New York’s Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

Winner: Naomi Watts, Fair Game 
Sally Hawkins, Made In Dagenham

THE RENOIR: The Progie Award for BEST ANTI-WAR FILM is named after the great French filmmaker Jean Renoir, who directed the 1937 anti-militarism masterpiece “Grand Illusion.”

Winner: The Green Zone 
Route Irish

THE GILLO: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE FOREIGN FILM is named after the Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo, who lensed the 1960s classics “The Battle of Algiers” and “Burn!”

Winner: Even The Rain
Tears Of Gaza

THE DZIGA: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE DOCUMENTARY is named after the Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, who directed 1920s nonfiction films such as the “Kino Pravda” (“Film Truth”) series and “The Man With the Movie Camera.”

Winner:  Inside Job
Client 9
South Of The Border

OUR DAILY BREAD AWARD: The Progie Award for the MOST POSITIVE AND INSPIRING WORKING CLASS SCREEN IMAGE is named after King Vidor’s 1934 classic about an American collective farm, which starred Karen Morley and was produced by Charlie Chaplin.

Winner: Made In Dagenham
Even The Rain
The Fighter

THE ROBESON: The Progie Award for the BEST PORTRAYAL OF PEOPLE OF COLOR that shatters cinema stereotypes, in light of their historically demeaning depictions onscreen. It is named after courageous performing legend, Paul Robeson, who starred in 1936’s “Song of Freedom” and 1940’s “The Proud Valley,” and narrated 1942’s “Native Land.”

Winner: Even The Rain
Night Catches Us
Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench
Frankie & Alice

THE SERGEI: The Progie Award for LIFETIME PROGRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT ON- OR OFFSCREEN is named after Sergei Eisenstein, the Soviet director of masterpieces such as “Potemkin” and “10 Days That Shook the World.”

Winner: Jean-Luc GodardSean Penn
Mike Leigh
Ed Asner
THE BUNUEL: The Progie Award for the MOST SLYLY SUBVERSIVE SATIRICAL CINEMATIC FILM in terms of form, style and content is named after Luis Bunuel, the Spanish surrealist who directed 1929’s “The Andalusian Dog,” 1967’s “Belle de Jour” and 1972’s “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.”

Winner: The Social Network
Enter the Void
Hitler in Hollywood

THE PASOLINI: The Progie Award for BEST PRO-GAY RIGHTS film is named after Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, who directed 1964's “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” and “The Decameron” and “The Canterbury Tales” in the 1970s.

Winner: The Kids Are Alright
I Love You Philip Morris

THE LAWSON: The Progie Award for BEST ANTI-FASCIST FILM is named after John Howard Lawson, screenwriter of 1938’s anti-Franco “Blockade” and the 1940s anti-nazi films “Four Sons,” “Action in the North Atlantic,” “Sahara” and “Counter-Attack,” and one of the Hollywood Ten.

Winner: Even The Rain
The King’s Speech
Casino Jack
The Last Circus

THE LANGLOIS: For BEST PROGRESSIVE PICTURE DESERVING THEATRICAL RELEASE IN THE US and distribution in other countries and platforms is named after film archivist Henri Langlois, co-founder of Paris’ Cinémathèque. 

Winner: Film Socialisme
Cleveland Versus Wall Street
Nostalgia For The Light
The Housemaid