Webby Awards 2016 winners include The Weeknd, the NFB
The Onion, Lena Dunham, #BlackLivesMatter earn special awards
Chart-topping Toronto singer The Weekend and Canada's National Film Board are 2016 Webby Award winners, sharing the limelight alongside late-night host Jimmy Fallon, true crime series Making a Murderer and companies such as Vice Media, Netflix and Spotify.
Organizers revealed the latest batch of winners on Tuesday, with music streaming service Spotify and digital media outlet Vice leading the pack with 13 wins apiece.
The Weeknd's video for his hit In the Night earned the R&B singer the Webby in the Online Film & Video/Music Video category.
Meanwhile, the NFB — a Webby favourite over the years — saw a handful of its interactive digital productions recognized.
The playful, "digital walk in the woods" production Way to Go earned both the Webby and People's Voice title in the Web/NetArt catgory.
It also won the Webby Award for Online Film & Video/VR: Gaming, Interactive or Real-Time (while another NFB production, The Unknown Photographer, won that section's People's Voice honour).
Way to Go's wins are the latest for Vincent Morisset, director and founder of Montreal's AATOAA studio, who previously created Arcade Fire's acclaimed Just a Reflektor project and teamed with the NFB to create the whimsical production Bla Bla.
The NFB also picked up Webbys for the latest in its notable Highrise series — Universe Within (Online Film & Video/Best Use of Interactive Video) — and for Cardboard Crash VR for Google Cardboard, which won in the category of Online Film & Video/VR: Gaming, Interactive or Real-time (Branded).
The Toronto branch of global advertising firm Leo Burnett picked up a Webby for its empowering Always campaign #LikeAGirl (in the category of Advertising & Media/Online Commercials).
Special honours for The Onion, Lena Dunham
This year marks the 20th annual Webby Awards, which honour "excellence on the internet." Organizers singled out some individuals for special awards:
- Lifetime Achievement: satirical site The Onion, winner of a record 39 Webby Awards in the humour category since the first Webbys Awards in 1997.
- Special Achievement: Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, co-creators of HBO's Girls and Lenny Letter, the weekly online feminist newsletter.
- Entrepreneur of the Year: actress-turned-lifestyle mogul Jessica Alba, founder of consumer goods firm the Honest Company (first-ever recipient).
- Social Movement of the Year: #BlackLivesMatter founders Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza.
- Film & Video Breakout of the Year Award: Making a Murderer creators and documentary-makers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos.
Along with Vice, Spotify and Netflix, notable winners this year include The New York Times, National Geographic, AMC.com and The BBC.
Prominent entertainment winners include:
- Jerry Seinfeld, his online comedy series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
- Vanity Fair's documentary Call Me Caitlyn.
- John Oliver and Last Week Tonight for writing.
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for its viral videos.
- Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special.
- HBO's streaming service HBO Now.
- The Hollywood Reporter's Roundtables discussion series.
- The most recent edition of late-night host Jimmy Kimmel's "I told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" YouTube Challenge.
- The "Ares 3 Farewell" before-the-launch promotional video for the film The Martian.
- Bio pic Straight Outta Compton's viral digital campaign Straight Outta.
The Webbys are judged by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a diverse group that includes internet pioneer Vint Cerf, Twitter founder Biz Stone, telecommunications and information scholar Susan P. Crawford, musician Grimes and The Roots founder and bandleader Questlove.
The public cast more than two million votes for Webby People's Voice Awards.
Recipients of the 20th annual Webby Awards will be honoured on May 17, with organizers to enforce their trademark "five-word acceptance speeches."