WHAT WE DO

THE GEORGE A. ROMERO PIONEER AWARD

GEORGE A. ROMERO WAS A PIONEER.

The George A. Romero Pioneer Award was created to honor those who, like George, were and are innovators and pioneers in independent film and the horror genre both past and present. The Award is also intended to honor the architects of independent film and horror and those who push the boundaries of filmmaking and storytelling. 

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2020 AWARD WINNER
Duane Jones

During the University of Pittsburgh’s celebration of George’s birthday on February 4, the George A. Romero Foundation was honored to present its 2020 Pioneer Award, which honors the legacy of Duane Jones, the celebrated lead actor of Night of the Living Dead. Duane's sister Marva Jones-Brooks accepted the award on his behalf.

A Pitt alumnus, Duane Jones went on to study Theatre in Manhattan; while working on Night of the Living Dead, he completed his M.A. in Communications at New York University. His CV also includes time spent teaching literature at Long Island University, assisting with the design of Harlem Preparatory School (where he also headed the English department), and creating English-language training programs for the Peace Corps. Duane was the first Black man to be cast as the star of a horror film, and may well be the first Black actor hired for any American production regardless of, rather than because of, his skin color.

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2019 AWARD WINNER
WILLIAM “CHILLY BILLY” CARDILLE

The GARF is pleased to announce that the inaugural recipient of the Pioneer Award is William “Chilly Billy” Cardille. William Cardille had a profound impact on radio, television, film, and the horror genre, paving the way for individuals such as George A. Romero. George noted that without “Chilly Billy” the seminal film Night of the Living Dead would have never happened. Over the coming months, the GARF will present the life and career of William Cardille on its website culminating in an award ceremony in October 2019 during the annual Romero Lives celebration in Pittsburgh, PA.

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The GARF is dedicated to honoring the life work and cultural influence of George A. Romero, and supporting a new generation of filmmakers and artists inspired by his legacy.

Copyright © 2020 George A. Romero Foundation