“First of all, we chose to name the award ‘Veritas’ for the Latin word for truth– or more correctly for the elusive Roman goddess is known for her beauty and purity,” said LA Press Club President Robert Kovacik, NBCLA Anchor, in describing a new LAPC award handed to the cast and crew of SPOTLIGHT. Kovacik moderated the Inaugural Veritas Award event, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, at the Steve Allen Theater, Hollywood. It was a unique peek behind the scenes with characters in the movie and the real Boston Globe writers and editors like Ben Bradlee, Jr., and Michael Rezendes.
SPOTLIGHT was written by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, who also directed it. “As journalists, our job is to find the truth following the path to her wherever it may lead and deliver to our readers and audience whatever her form may be– even when she is ugly or painful,” they both said.
“I never thought it (the movie Spotlight) would become a reality,” said Michael Rezendes, senior investigative reporter, Spotlight Team, The Boston Globe. “The producers approached us in 2008 and here we are in 2016, it took a long time to happen.” Rezendes was asked about the image of reporters and if he thought this movie might boost that and call for more investigative writers and reporters?
One of the reasons critics like “Spotlight” so well is that director Tom McCarthy’s Oscar-nominated movie doesn’t let The Boston Globe off the hook. The film, about the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series exposing the priest sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, makes it clear that the Globe could have told the story sooner. But a piece published Friday in the Columbia Journalism Review raises questions about Boston TV stations, which waited to tell the story.
“The Boston Globe faces the same challenges that other editors do in budget cutbacks. Because of the Internet, our staff is a lot smaller than it used to be, said Rezendes. “We closed all of our foreign and national news bureaus, including Washington D.C. Our spotlight is bigger today than it was in 2001,” he said. “My message to editors nationwide is, your readers and viewers want more investigative stories according to what our reader surveys show,” explained Rezendes. “So if you cut your investigative staff, maybe you will get a pat on the back for the savings, but in the long run, your viewers and readers are going to desert you, because they expect investigative and watchdog reporting.”
The Veritas Award will be handed out annually – decided by LA Press Club members – to a to a film based on or inspired by real events and people. According to Kovacik, it is the Club’s goal to bring attention to films that tell us about ourselves, our society and our world and light the way to a better future. Celebrating with the real Boston Globe heroes Sacha Pfeiffer, Ben Bradlee, Jr. and Mike Rezendes, who all echoed the message the film will bring more respect to the Journalism industry and show the need for more investigative journalism. “We happy with the movie, they worked real hard to make it authentic,” said Rezendes.
The story unfolds like a detective thriller, thanks to a well-written script and screenplay by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, who said, “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.” “This year the vote was a landslide,” said Kovacik. “A clear cut winner. It is a perfect and fitting example of the kind of film we will honor with future Veritas Awards. The bar has been set very high and we encourage filmmakers to reach for it.” “The film the LAPC honors are not just about a massive scandal, but the process undertaken by quiet unglamorous heroes, just doing their job to bring it to print,” said Kovacik.
“Sacha Pfeiffer, Ben Bradlee, and Mike Rezendes are among the Boston Globe Journalists who did follow the path and delivered to their readers the truth—ugly, painful, yes, but a truth that gave so many vindication, comfort and a way to heal. The Winner of the LA Press Club’s Inaugural Veritas Award for the ‘Best Film of the Year’ is SPOTLIGHT,” he said.