Michaela Coel receives humanitarian prize at 2022 Women In Film honours

Michaela Coel has received the Jane Fonda Humanitarian Award for “fearless” advocacy through her work, both on and off camera.

The British actress, 35, was honoured at the Women In Film (WIF) event in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Her Black Panther: Wakanda Forever co-star Lake Bell accepted the prize on Coel’s behalf, from Fonda herself.

2022 WIF Honors – Show
Jane Fonda addresses the audience (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

This year’s WIF honours celebrate the women who are “laying the foundation to transform Hollywood for the better, with their ingenuity, vision and persistence”.

The Jane Fonda Humanitarian Award, named for its inaugural recipient, was debuted by the WIF last year.

It honours women who have “used their prominent entertainment industry profiles to effect radical change and shed light on issues using their powerful voices,” WIF said.

Coel is known for her BBC series I May Destroy You and is due to star in the upcoming Black Panther sequel from Marvel, Wakanda Forever.

Other award recipients include Abbott Elementary creator Quinta Brunson and The Woman King director Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Brunson was honoured for shining a light on the work of public school teachers, which she explored in her Emmy-winning comedy series.

2022 WIF Honors – Show
Director Gina Prince-Blythewood (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Prince-Bythewood was honoured for championing women-centred stories and creating inclusive sets, including most recently on her feature film The Woman King.

Viola Davis, while presenting the award to Prince-Bythewood, said: “Of my 33-year career, Gina, (The Woman King) is the work that I’m most proud of, because it’s ours.

“And you had the scope, the vision, the talent, the bravery to bring it to fruition.”

Founded in 1973 as Women In Film, Los Angeles, WIF advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries, to achieve parity and transform culture.

The organisation supports women and people of marginalised genders in front of and behind the camera and across all levels of experience and works to change culture.

Kirsten Schaffer, chief executive of WIF, said: “We need a community. We don’t have to always agree, we don’t always have to have the same vision, but we have to be dedicated to working across generations and dedicated to collective action.

“And really getting in there and changing the practices in our own industry.

“The inspiration is right in front of us, in the women we are honouring tonight, who work together to tell moving, entertaining, excellent stories—that also transform culture.”