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‘The Interview,’ ‘Jane The Virgin’ Among Publicist Guild Award Winners

Sony’s controversial Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy receives the Showmanship Award at the Beverly Hilton on Friday

The 52nd ICG Publicists Awards were held on Friday afternoon at the Beverly Hilton, with prizes going to the marketing team behind Sony’s controversial “The Interview,” talent rep Melissa Kates and the PR team behind CBS TV’s “Jane The Virgin.”

The Sony team picked up the Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Motion Picture award, for “active members working in film and television whose achievements in publicity and promotion during the previous calendar year are deemed outstanding,” according to the guild.

Andre Caraco, VP of Motion Picture Publicity at Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), accepted on behalf of the team, who worked under dire circumstances to promote the North Korea comedy after the devastating hack of Sony — an avalanche of leaked personnel records, embarrassing CEO emails and the threat of terror attacks on movie theaters that agreed to show “The Interview.”

“We sing the praises of those who have excelled in an art form that dates back to the earliest days of circuses and vaudeville,” said awards chairman Henri Bollinger. “When these awards were first handed out 52 years ago, self-promotion by publicists was reason for getting fired. It’s clear that we’ve progressed considerably since then.

Bob Newhart received the Lifetime Achievement Award, with the President’s Award going to Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Presenters included
Billy Bob Thornton, Chelsea Handler, Ava DuVernay, Melora Hardin, Bruce Davison, Tony Denison, Scott Eastwood and Maddalena Ischiale of “Unbroken.”

Read the full list of honorees.

Les Mason Award
Melissa Kates, ViewPoint LA

Bob Yeager Award
Justine Gamez, Warner Brothers International

The Maxwell Weinberg Publicists Showmanship Motion Picture Award
Columbia Pictures, The Interview. Team includes: Bianca Asnaran, Alex Davalos, Karie DiNardo, Kristi Forman, Jessie Goddard, Teni Karapetian. Stacey Leinson, Katie Lovick, Jennifer McGrath, Mario Miscione, Ashley Pierce, Rebeccas Rehak and Anne Stulz.

The Maxwell Weinberg Publicists Showmanship Television Award
CBS Television Studios, Jane The Virgin. Team includes: Arpi Ketendjian accepted the award.

The Press Award
Dave Karger, Fandango.com

International Media Award
Rocio Ayuso, Spain

Excellence in Unit Still Photography for Motion Pictures
Wilson Webb

Excellence in Unit Still Photography for Television
Ursula Coyote