LOS ANGELES – American Airlines is recognizing the importance of women in film by announcing a new $50,000 award for independent film directors at this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards. The Bonnie Award will be given to an up-and-coming female director and seeks to honor their innovative vision and breakthrough work in the entertainment industry.
The award’s namesake, Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo, was the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. Tiburzi began her career in 1973 when she was hired by American Airlines as a flight engineer. Tiburzi flew for American for 26 years before retiring.
“We’re inspired by Bonnie’s story and perseverance, and we are honored that this award for female directors will carry her name,” said Fernand Fernandez, vice president of Global Marketing for American Airlines. “We are committed to building a diverse workforce and providing opportunities for people from all walks of life.”
“I was surrounded by the aviation culture my entire life and I knew becoming a pilot was what I wanted,” Tiburzi said. “I had to work harder, longer and be better just to be equal, but American Airlines didn’t shy away from hiring a woman. To be recognized and bring back this part of my life is exhilarating.”
As the preferred airline to the entertainment industry, American Airlines is proud to be the official airline and premier sponsor of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. The Spirit Awards is the premiere awards show for the independent film community and continues to show its dedication to recognizing and supporting diverse artists through its collaboration with American Airlines.
“At Film Independent we have a deep and longstanding commitment to supporting female directors and increasing diversity in filmmaking,” said President Josh Welsh, “and we’re honored to deepen our partnership with American Airlines on this new venture.
$50,000 award named after Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo, first female pilot for a major U.S. airline, will be announced at the Film Independent Spirit AwardsSubmissions and nominations for the first Bonnie Award will open in June and nominees will be announced in November. The first Bonnie Award will be presented during the 2018 Spirit Awards season in Los Angeles. Visit TheBonnieAward.com to learn more.
American is proud to support initiatives and events throughout the Los Angeles area. We are active in supporting local organizations including Los Angeles LGBT Center, the LA Mission and the Southern California Special Olympics. Within the entertainment industry we continue to partner with the American Film Institute, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and The Hollywood Bowl. In 2016 American formed an advisory council of influencers from leading entertainment corporations to shape future decisions.
About American Airlines Group
American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the one world alliance, whose members serve more than 1,000 destinations with about 14,250 daily flights over 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter@AmericanAir and atFacebook.com/AmericanAirlines.
ABOUT THE FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS
Now in its 32nd year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.