Although a couple of clouds in the guise of canceled TV dramas threatened to rain on Mayor Bloomberg’s feel-good soiree—otherwise known as the fifth annual Made In NY Awards held this past Monday—the overall mood at the Gracie Mansion lawn party remained positive.
After all, the real reason hundreds turned up to stand around in a tent scarfing up drinks and hors d’oeuvres was to honor the contributions of people and organizations to the city’s entertainment industry.
Of course this is a political event as well, but the Mayor deserves credit for his efforts to support the industry with this and other innovations, with a tip o’ the hat to the efforts of the energetic Katherine Oliver, Commissioner of The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting (MOFTB to you).
After an appropriate amount of schmoozing and eating at the early evening event, the crowd of industry types, city officials, press and assorted hangers-on was primed for the mayor’s own bit of stand-up.
The Mayor appeared on stage and delivered what I thought was, surprisingly enough, a rather funny and entertaining speech. No doubt it helps to have a good speechwriter but credit must be given to Mr. Bloomberg who delivered it with wit and generated laughs and guffaws aplenty.
In his address he included a heartfelt ode to Law and Order and As the World Turns, two long-running “Made in NY” productions that have acted as anchors to the production of broadcast drama in the city for decades.
After the Mayor’s speech, Commissioner Oliver presented the awards, a large round bronze medallion with an embossed Made in NY logo mounted on a base.
The first award went to a luminary of the stage and screen, the legendary Angela Lansbury, attired in a cheerful yellow dress and who radiated class and charm from the stage as the audience eagerly showed their appreciation for the thespian with cheers and applause.
The other honorees included Seth Meyers, writer and actor (and host of Weekend Update) on behalf of Saturday Night Live; Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels, director of the film Precious (his award was accepted by Precious screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher); HSI Productions, a production company specializing in music videos and commercials; WFT Productions, a local digital agency which won the 2009 NYC BigApps grand prize for its Wayfinder NYC app; and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, a not-for-profit focused on training low-income and disadvantaged individuals for careers in film and TV production.
After the awards were given, Mayor Bloomberg retook the stage to tout Internet Week, the week-long festival currently underway. Mr. Bloomberg went on to say that New York, long considered the capital of media and broadcasting, is now becoming a leader in technology and Internet companies as well.
He encouraged members of the audience to download the MinY (Made in NY) discount iPhone app. Productions filming in the city can learn which of more than 1000 vendors in the city provide discounts. These are available from AppShopper and the iTunes store.