2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Presented To – Kenny Ortega
Kenny Ortega’s work as a director, choreographer, and producer is known and loved by millions around the world. Some of Ortega’s works throughout his long and illustrious career in film and television include the feature documentary “Michael Jackson’s This Is It”, “Newsies”, “Hocus Pocus”, and Disney Channel’s “High School Musical” franchise, which were the most successful Disney Channel Original Movies to date when they premiered. Ortega received an Emmy win for choreography. He is also the executive producer for both of the movie’s multi-platinum soundtracks. In 2008 Kenny directed and executive produced “High School Musical 3: Senior Year (HSM 3)” for Walt Disney Motion Pictures. “HSM 3” was the biggest theatrical box office opening for a musical in history. Most recently, Kenny directed “A Change of Heart” (winner of the OUTshine Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature, produced alongside longtime friend and partner, Emilio Estefan, and starring Jim Belushi and Virginia Madsen), “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again” for FOX (which premiered during Halloween 2016), and Disney’s “Descendants” and “Descendants 2” which premiered to record breaking numbers in July 2017. The “Descendants 2” Soundtrack also debuted at #1 on iTunes. Ortega has been the recipient of three Emmy Awards, and 2 Director’s Guild of America Awards, The Fred & Adele Astaire Lifetime Achievement Award, Bob Fosse Award, American Choreography Lifetime Achievement Award, MTV Video Music Award, American Music Award, Billboard Award, ALMA Award, Nosotros Golden Eagle Award, Imagen Creative Achievement Award, NAACP Award, as well as a number of others.