The Legacy Award
Bill Isler is a longtime professional educator and advocate for children. In addition to his role as CEO at The Fred Rogers Company, he served 16 years as a board member for Pittsburgh Public Schools, including 5 years as Board President. He was the first Executive Director of The Fred M. Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College. Bill is active in the community, serving on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.
The Pioneer Award
George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; however, by all indications, he was very successful. The helmer of the groundbreaking “Living Dead” films was born in New York City, to a Cuban father and a Lithuanian-American mother. He grew up in NY, until attending the renowned Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Impact Award
Steve Tolin owns and operates TolinFX. Tolin is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a member of IATSE Local 489. His most notable film credits include work on Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, Jack Reacher, Warrior, and Adventureland. On stage, Tolin’s work has been seen internationally. Tolin has also produced his first feature film, a sci-fi creature action/adventure comedy entitled, It Came from Yesterday.
The indie Award
Julie Sokolow is an award-winning film director. She directed the feature documentaries Woman on Fire and Aspie Seeks Love. Woman on Fire premiered in 2016 at DOC NYC and received praise in IndieWire and the Village Voice. Aspie Seeks Love premiered in 2015 at Cinequest and won Best Documentary Feature Film. Aspie Seeks Love has played festivals worldwide and gained acclaim in Vice, Salon, and the Huffington Post. Both of her films were supported by the Sundance-winning company, Animal.
Gifted SFX and make-up wizard, who learned his trade under the watchful eye of SFX splatter guru Tom Savini. Nicotero and buddies, Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman started KNB Efx Group in 1988 and the group has provided eye-popping & jaw dropping special effects for major Hollywood releases including The Green Mile (1999), Vanilla Sky (2001), Sin City (2005) and Land of the Dead (2005)
Special effects artist, actor, director, stunt man, teacher, mentor – all these things could easily describe the career of Tom Savini but none of them do justice in describing his influence on the horror genre. Horror classics like Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow and Day of the Dead are but the first rung on a career ladder than has spanned decades and continues to thrill genre audiences around the globe. Recent years have brought him acting acclaim with roles in films like From Dusk Till Dawn, Machete, Django Unchained and Grindhouse. His school of special make up FX is one of the most respected industry schools in the nation. Enclosed on these pages you will find information on all these facets of Tom’s career as well a many surprises along the way.
TONY BUBA has been producing documentaries since 1972 in both long and short formats. Since getting his M.F.A from Ohio University in 1976, Tony has worked on several feature films, including George Romero’s Martin and Dawn of the Dead.
In addition to his behind-the-scenes roles, Tony has appeared onscreen as well. In Dawn of the Dead, he is a featured motorcycle raider who gets his arm torn off at a blood pressure machine. He also has a cameo in the Sundance hit, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Tony incorporated Braddock Films in 1992, and beyond producing personal work, has been involved in creating award-winning documentaries in the Pittsburgh area.
ABOUT THE ELLY AWARDS
PRESENTED BY STEELTOWN
CELEBRATING PITTSBURGH’S NEW STEEL
The Elly Awards are named after Steeltown’s late co-founder Ellen Weiss Kander, who notoriously said “Entertainment could be Pittsburgh’s new steel.” For the last 16 years, Steeltown has been working diligently to fulfill that mission – training young people and supporting film and TV production in the area.
THE LEGACY OF