Last night, actress and ELLE June cover star Kerry Washington attended the Sundance Institute’s third annual Los Angeles Benefit at The Lot in Hollywood. Actors, filmmakers, and movie industry executives joined together to support independent film and honor beloved critic, Roger Ebert, and up-and-coming director, Ryan Coogler. Washington, who has a history of working with the Sundance Institute, was on hand to present Coogler with the Vanguard Award, a prize presented annually by Tiffany & Co to a emerging, risk-taking filmmaker.
As the crowd, which included Robert Redford, Oliver Stone, Octavia Spencer, and the late Ebert’s wife Chaz, gathered around the outdoor tables for dinner, Washington came onstage to laud Coogler and his film Fruitvale Station, which will be released this summer.“I’m so thrilled to be here tonight with my fellow Sundance alumni,” Washington told the crowd. “I’m so absolutely clear that I would not be the actor I am today or have the career I have today were it not for this institute.”