HOLLYWOOD, CA, October 24, 2006 — The 10th Annual Hollywood Film Festival’s “Hollywood Awards®” ceremony, honoring independent filmmakers and established Hollywood professionals, was held last night before a standing-room-only audience of over 1,200 Hollywood Film Festival® attendees at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
The festival, co-chaired by Paula Wagner and presented by STARZ, announced this year’s winner of the “Hollywood Movie of the Year Award” — Oliver Stone’s “WORLD TRADE CENTER” — which was chosen by the public voting online at the Yahoo! Movies and Entertainment Tonight websites. The voting site received up to 20 million visitors and 99,280 votes were cast. The nominees for the “Hollywood Movie of the Year Award” were: “Cars,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Mission: Impossible 3,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Superman Returns,” “United 93,” “World Trade Center” and “X-Men: The Last Stand.”
The Hollywood Film Festival® presented the “Hollywood World Award” to “VOLVER” by Pedro Almodovar. A comedy/drama from Spain, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and starring Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Blanca Portillo, and Yohana Cobo, “Volver” is the story of three generations of women who survive fire, insanity, superstition and even death by means of goodness, lies and boundless vitality.
The winners of the festival’s film competition were announced Sunday night at the “Hollywood Discovery Awards® Awards Presentation Ceremony at ArcLight Cinemas. This year’s winners are: “HEAVENS FALL” by Terry Green as Best Feature Film, “THE EMPIRE IN AFRICA” by Philippe Diaz as Best Documentary, “AMERICAN DREAMS” by Eelko Ferwerda as Best Short Subject, “HAPTICS” by Mayur Deshpande as Best Animated Short Subject, and “SMATKA: WRONG LOVE” by Gero von Braunmuehl as Best Music Video. “HEAVENS FALL,” from the United States, is based on the true story of the 1933 Scottsboro retrial of nine black hoboes accused of assaulting two white women on a train in Alabama. It is a story of the quest for justice and one of the most volatile trials to take place in the segregated South. “THE EMPIRE IN AFRICA,” from the United States, is a documentary about the rebels who started the civil war in Sierra Leone to reclaim the richness of the country from foreign corporations in order to end the exploitation of its people and the international community’s response of waging a war on the country with bombs, executions, torture, rigged elections, and manipulation of the international media. “AMERICAN DREAMS,” from Holland, is a short film about a young Russian family that traveled to the West in 1962 to realize their American dream, not knowing that they were about to change history forever. “HAPTICS,” from India, is an animated short and a metaphorical tale, in which machines are efficient, humans are slothful, and realities are virtual. “SMATKA, WRONG LOVE,” a music video from Germany, presents a latex carnival that questions the moral standards of the audience with dominatrices, latex geishas on stilts, rubber maids, fetish ponies, a devil midget, and an S/M penguin.
Festival Founder and Executive Director Carlos de Abreu said, “There is no more appropriate place than the Hollywood Film Festival to honor the illustrious talents of all these magnificent artists who have created some of the most memorable characters and truly unforgettable films.”
The Hollywood Film Festival® was founded in 1997 by Carlos de Abreu and Janice Pennington, “New York Times” best-selling authors and producers. Regarding the conclusion of the 10th annual festival, Mr. de Abreu said, “We are delighted by the response we have received from Hollywood and the independent filmmaking community during the course of this past week. Our screenings were packed, we had over 25,000 attendees, and last night’s gala awards ceremony was truly an extraordinary ‘Hollywood’ moment.”
With programming of both domestic and international films, the festival presented over 80 films, including gala and world premieres of 20th Century Fox’s “FLICKA” by Michael Mayer, starring Alison Lohman and Tim McGraw, STARZ’s “BUY THE TICKET, TAKE THE RIDE: HUNTER S. THOMPSON ON FILM” by Tom Thurman, featuring Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, John Cusack, and Bill Murray, among others, and DreamWorks Animation’s “FLUSHED AWAY,” by David Bowers and Sam Fell, starring the vocal talents of Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, and Ian McKellen. The festival’s closing night screenings included Sony Picture Classics’ “CATCH A FIRE” by Phillip Noyce, starring Tim Robbins and Derek Luke.
The Hollywood Film Festival® also honored excellence in the art of filmmaking with a special presentation of films by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, featuring his award-winning films “SALVADOR,” “BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY,” “PLATOON,” and ‘WORLD TRADE CENTER,” and including discussion sessions with Oliver Stone.
Other festival events included the Hollywood Film Screenings at ArcLight Cinemas, where the finalists of the Hollywood Discovery Awards® were screened, in addition to last night’s Hollywood Awards® Gala Ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Special honors went to Sony Pictures Classics’ co-Presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard for leadership; the Film Foundation for film preservation; Robin Williams for career achievement; Oliver Stone for directing; Mike Medavoy for producing; Forest Whitaker, Penelope Cruz, Ben Affleck, and Sandra Bullock for acting, the cast of “Bobby” (Harry Belafonte, Joy Bryant, Nick Cannon, Emilio Estevez, Laurence Fishburne, Brian Geraghty, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Joshua Jackson, David Krumholtz, Ashton Kutcher, Shia LaBeouf, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Svetlana Metkina, Demi Moore, Freddy Rodriguez, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, Jacob Vargas, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Elijah Wood) for ensemble acting; Eric Roth for screenwriting; Vilmos Zsigmond for cinematography; Joel Cox for editing; Gustavo Santaolalla for film composing; John Myhre for production design; Penny Rose for costume design; Kris Evans for make-up; John Knoll for visual effects; Disney/Pixar’s “Cars,” directed by John Lasseter, for animation; and Francine Maisler for casting. In addition, Derek Luke and Lindsay Lohan were honored with the festival’s Breakthrough Actor and Actress awards, and Ryan Murphy with the “Hollywood Breakthrough Director of the Year Award.”
Celebrities and Hollywood notables who attended the seven-day festival included William Myers – President & COO of Starz Entertainment, Stephan Shelanski – Senior Vice President of Programming of Starz Entertainment, Mike Goodridge – U.S. Editor of “Screen International” and Screendaily.com, Ron Patterson – CEO and President of John Robert Powers, and John Culton – Chairman of FilmStew.com, as well as Shawn Ashmore, Bill Condon, Benicio Del Toro, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Paul Haggis, Bonnie Hunt, Christine Lahti, Diane Lane, Laura Linney, Doug McGrath, Phillip Noyce, Michael Pena, Mark Rydell, Kiefer Sutherland, Debra Winger, and Evan Rachel Wood, to name a few. The gala awards presentation Monday evening was hosted by Mark Steines and Jann Carl of “Entertainment Tonight,” and attendees were treated to the music of Leonard Neil.
The sponsors of the Hollywood Film Festival include presenter sponsor Starz Entertainment, and American Cinema Editors, American Society of Cinematographers, ArcLight Cinemas, The Art Directors Guild, Casting Society of America, Celebrity Services, Circa 55, Costume Designers Guild, Creative Artists Agency, “Daily Variety,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “FilmMaker” Magazine, FilmStew.com, Film Threat, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Hollywood Make-Up Artists, The Hollywood Network, “The Hollywood Reporter,” ILM, International Documentary Association, John Robert Powers, Kodak, “Los Angeles Times,” Motion Picture Editors Guild, Paramount Pictures, PR Newswire, PSAV, “Screen International,” Sony Pictures, Technicolor, Universal Pictures, The Weinstein Company, and YAHOO! Movies, Inc., among others.
Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG) is a premium movie service provider operating in the United States. SEG offers 16 movie channels including the flagship Starz® and Encore® brands with approximately 14 million and 26 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment Group airs more than 1,000 movies per month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HDTV, Starz On Demand and Vongo(SM). Starz Entertainment Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, www.starz.com.
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