Mayor Bruce Harrell announced Tom Skerritt as the recipient of the 16th Annual Mayor’s Award for Achievement in Film. The Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film recognizes an individual or entity for their exceptional work that has significantly contributed to the growth, advancement, and reputation of Seattle as a filmmaking city.
Mayor Harrell presented the award at the Opening Night Gala for the 48th Seattle International Film Festival, kicking off this year’s festival featuring the best in international and independent films from around the globe. Over the course of the festival, 250 films from 80 countries and regions will be screened at SIFF theaters and venues throughout the city, and more than 100 films and programs streaming on the SIFF Channel from April 14-24, 2022.
“I am proud to present the 2022 Mayor’s Award for Achievement in Film to Tom Skerritt for his professional accomplishments and investment in Seattle filmmakers throughout his 50-year career in film.” said Mayor Harrell. “Tom is exceptionally deserving of this honor – while traveling the world for his on-screen work, Tom has kept his roots in Seattle supporting our local film industry and generations of content creators and storytellers. Together, we share a passion for supporting local artists and a commitment to supercharging the film industry here in Seattle to create good jobs, great art, and an even wider appreciation for this special place we call home.”
“I am so grateful to be honored by Mayor Harrell and the City of Seattle at the Seattle Int’l Film Festival. Beth Barrett has done an excellent job at SIFF to keep the festival vibrant and current in this turbulent time,” said Tom Skerritt. “I feel that this is the new beginning of the resurgence of the creative economy in Washington State and I’m so excited for this new chapter.”
“Tom has had an exceptional career in Seattle and around the world. This award is a celebration of his work supporting local storytellers and film production, which has helped shape Seattle’s culture as a creative city,” said Markham McIntyre, Interim Director of the Seattle Office of Economic Development. “With the state recently passing new incentives and investments in our film industry, this is an exciting time for creative businesses and people. We are well positioned to help creative businesses grow and get more local talent into creative occupations to continue innovating and telling Seattle’s story.”
“I am thrilled that Tom Skerritt is this year’s recipient of the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film. He has been a steadfast supporter of film and filmmakers in the Northwest for decades and continues to encourage growth and creativity at all levels.” said Beth Barrett, Artistic Director of the Seattle International Film Festival.
Tom Skerritt has a career in film and television that spans more than 50 years. He is a two-time Golden Globe nominee, Emmy Award winner and was recently awarded the 2022 Mary Pickford Award from the Independent Press Academy. For more than fifty years, Tom Skerritt has captivated audiences worldwide through iconic roles in films like M.A.S.H., The Turning Point, Up in Smoke, The Dead Zone, Top Gun, Steel Magnolias, A River Runs Through It, Singles, The Rookie, Contact, Smoke Signals, and Ridley Scott’s Alien. Skerritt was recognized with the Primetime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” for his work in the 1993 -97 CBS series Picket Fences. In 2021, Tom was nominated for a Satellite™ Award in the category “Actor in a Motion Picture Drama” for his work as Ben Givens in East of the Mountains, directed by Seattle’s SJ Chiro.
While traveling the world for his on-screen work, Tom kept his roots in Seattle supporting Seattle’s film and veteran communities. Tom co-founded The Film School in Seattle with screenwriter Stuart Stern, provide students with the foundational education and expertise to work in creative environments within business and the arts. In 2012, Tom—an air force veteran—co-developed the RED BADGE PROJECT with former Army Captain Evan Bailey to support war veterans’ journey to reconstruct their individual sense of purpose, understanding of self-worth, and place in community, as they discover and give voice to their unique stories. Prior to COVID, Tom and his wife Julie Tokashiki developed EVERGREEN, a pacific northwest lifestyle media content channel, that shares content of local filmmakers to nearly 10 million viewers.
The City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) supports creative business sectors and workers through technical assistance, access to capital, workforce development, and industry engagement. For more than 75 years, Seattle has made its mark on the film scene as the production center for landmark films, compelling television series and successful commercial campaigns. OED offers a low cost, one-stop shop, streamlined service for permitting City of Seattle property for film productions and leverages partnerships with King County, the State, and industry stakeholders to advance Seattle’s film industry and its economic impact on the local economy.
The City of Seattle works closely with partners at King County and the state to support film production in Seattle, which hires thousands of local cast and crew and supports hundreds of our small businesses. Last year, King County opened Harbor Island Studios in Seattle, which has already hosted one major television production. And just weeks ago, Washington increased its film incentive fund from $3.5 million to $15 million per year, which will help locations like Seattle attract and retain larger film and television productions.
Learn more about the award and previous winners here.