Ready to say “AndACTION!” but looking for a “vetted” storyline? Check out some films and TV shows that have garnered accolades from social justice organizations.
For example, Transparent not only cleaned up at The Emmys, with 11 nominations and five wins, but also took top comedy honors at the GLAAD awards, which recognize media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LBGT community. Transparent appealed to its intended audience, but it also is valuable to organizations that focus on related issues of equality. To be clear, awards such as these don’t mean a show is controversy free – but no social issue stories can make that claim.
The NAACP Image awards, a multicultural awards show, has honored shows like Blackish, Key & Peele and Jane the Virgin as they have addressed controversial social issues including police brutality, immigration, gender inequality, bullying and LBGT rights. Both the NAACP Image awards and the ALMA Awards, which promote fair and accurate portrayals of Latinos, have recognized Orange is the New Black, a show that provides social commentary on the state of our criminal justice system while featuring many other issues like mental health and racial justice.
Even many of the 2016 Oscar-nominated movies include issues that nonprofits can use to spark conversations. The Hunting Ground and Spotlight, for example, focus on campus sexual assault and sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, respectively.
Other organizations that honor impressive, issue-oriented stories include:
- Peabody Awards (Public Service)
- Environmental Media Association EMA Awards (Environment)
- Hollywood, Health & Society Sentinel Awards (Health)
- SAMHSA Voice Awards (Mental Health & Substance Abuse)
- Entertainment Industry Council Prism Awards (Substance Abuse)
Here are some of the world’s premiere film festivals to keep your eyes on, listed here in the order they occur during the year:
- Sundance Film Festival Awards
- Berlin International Film Festival
- South by Southwest
- Tribeca Film Festival
- Cannes Film Festival
- Venice Film Festival
- Telluride Film Festival
- Toronto International Film Festival
- New York Film Festival
And finally, some entertainment industry awards shows you know about – and some you might not:
- Spirit Awards
- MTV Movie Awards
- Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards
- BET Awards
- Golden Globes
- Kids Choice Awards
- People’s Choice Awards
Remember: Just because a film or TV show has won an award, that doesn’t make it a perfect representation of your issue. Few stories and organizational messages are an exact match. We think stories provide an opportunity to get creative. Read our guide on imperfect storylines here for tips and tricks on how to turn a flawed story into a powerful moment.