BY HAZEL SHAHGHOLI
Award-winning actress, comedian and Queens native Awkwafina will be honored during a “Made in NY” awards ceremony on Dec. 17.
Awkwafina, who was born Nora Lum, serves as executive producer and star of the popular Comedy Central show “Awkwafina is Nora From Queens.”
She came to prominence for her hip-hop songs in YouTube that led to roles in high-profile films, most notably the indie darling “The Farewell,” for which she received a Golden Globe award for Best Actress, becoming the first Asian woman to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category. She also appeared in the smash hit “Crazy Rich Asians.”
Awkwafina is receiving the award from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME). Established in 2006, the “Made in NY” awards recognize the achievements of people and organizations that have made significant contributions to New York City’s entertainment and digital media industries over the course of their careers.
Awkwafina will be honored at New York Women in Film and Television’s 41st MUSE Awards virtual ceremony on Dec. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. ET, an annual event that celebrates women of vision and achievement in television and film.
“This Made in NY award means so much to a girl from Queens who grew up seeing very few people who looked like me on screen, much less receiving awards,” said Awkwafina. “I want to thank the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and I hope this honor will inspire any New Yorker who feels left out, ignored or denied to reach for their dreams.”
Awkwafina has also appeared in films including “Ocean’s 8,” “Jumanji: The Next Level,” and as the voice of Quail in the animated adventure “Storks.” Awkwafina’s upcoming work includes roles in “Breaking News in Yuba County,” “The Legend of Ten Rings” and “The Little Mermaid” live-action remake. She will appear in an untitled comedic feature produced by Will Ferrell and Jessica Elbaum alongside Sandra Oh. Her feature film debut was in the 2016 comedy “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.” She separately wrote a book, “Awkwafina’s NYC, a travel guide to New York,” which was published by Penguin Random House in 2015.
A proud New Yorker, Awkwafina is passionate about giving back to her local community. She pledged to donate a portion of her proceeds to the Welcome to Chinatown grassroots initiative that was created to support struggling Chinatown businesses, many of which have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior recipients of the “Made in NY” award include: Caroline Hirsch, Meryl Streep, Whoopi Goldberg, Rachael Ray, Tina Fey, Spike Lee, John Leguizamo, Alysia Reiner, Michael K. Williams and Judith Light.