As part of its commitment to support deserving charities the HFPA is to donate $200,000 to three organizations helping the aid efforts in Nepal.
$70,000 will go to the Save the Children Fund and $65,000 each to Oxfam America and CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.
HFPA president Theo Kingma said: “The devastation in Nepal is horrifying and the HFPA wanted to help out financially with the humanitarian work being done there. The contribution is in line with our commitment to donate substantial sums to deserving causes.”
Over the past 20 years the HFPA has donated $20 million towards entertainment-related charities and other worthy causes and recently donated $2 million to the Los Angeles City College’s Cinema and Television department.
George Clooney, who is always a welcome guest at Hollywood Foreign Press gatherings, stopped by the Montage Hotel to greet members and talk about his latest movie Tomorrowland.
But the conversations quickly turned to his marriage, his life with Amal Alamuddin, his Lebanese relatives and the Georgian mansion he has bought on a private island in the River Thames near London. He talked frankly and openly about the adjustments he has made to change from being a bachelor to a husband and how he and Amal juggle their schedules so they are never apart for more than a week.
George Clooney, 54, is that rarity in youth-obsessed Hollywood—-a film star who embraces middle-age with equanimity and does not trouble to hide his graying hair.
In the fantasy adventure Tomorrowland he plays a grumpy, middle-aged inventor who teams up with a teenager to embark on a dangerous mission to unearth the secrets of an alternate universe.
“I opened the script and it says I’m a 55 year old grizzled has-been,” he laughs. “I was like, ‘Oh, thanks!’ When I was in my 30’s I got to punch the bad guy but now I am just this guy who gets punched all the time. Everybody punches me and I fall down and whimper, but it’s funny and I enjoy it.”
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is to donate $2 million to the Los Angeles City College’s Cinema and Television Department.
Funds from the donation will be used to upgrade all studio, post production and theater facilities and will also finance numerous annual scholarships.
In recognition of the gift, the department will be renamed the HFPA Center for Cinema and Television at Los Angeles City College.
The donation serves as a symbol of the HFPA’s dedication to the school and its students pursuing careers in the film and television industry.
The college, on Vermont Avenue, has 17,00 students, 1250 of them in the film, television and theater program.
It has three studios and two theaters where the students learn all elements of film and television production. Two of the studios have not been upgraded to HD. While bonds pay for construction and buildings they do not cover the cost of equipment.
The donation has the full support of Mayor Eric Garcetti, and the LA School Board has unanimously approved the agreement between HFPA and LACC.
“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is excited to donate this contribution to the Los Angeles City College Film & TV Department. We are dedicated to providing resources to students who have a passion for the film and television industry, so they can become the next great generation of writers, producers, cinematographers, and directors. This is much more than a donation, this is a commitment to these young scholars for many years to come,” said Theo Kingma, president of the HFPA.
In addition the HFPA will organize year-around roundtables, seminars and screenings for students and introduce them to today’s entertainment industry.
Robert Schwartz, Executive Director of the Los Angeles College Foundation, said “The LACC Foundation is truly honored to be the recipient of this extraordinary gift from the Hollywood Foreign Press. This donation will be transformational in its impact, not only in the upgrade of facilities at the college’s cinema and television program, but also in the effect that this will have on the lives of the more than 1,500 students who will study at the HFPA Center for Cinema and Television each semester.
The LACC Foundation was created in 1968 to develop private support for the College. Through a combination of revenue-generating enterprises and traditional fundraising activities, the Foundation works to fill the needs of students striving to improve their lives through higher education. The Foundation directs 100% of all donated funds to support the College and to financially assist the students. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the Foundation provided more than $600,000 to more than 1,000 students in the form of scholarships, textbook vouchers, emergency loans and grants. Additionally, the Foundation provided more than $230,000 to the campus for support of its department initiatives, and an additional $1.6 million in grants from private foundations for various programs across the campus.
Founded in 1929, Los Angeles City College is set on 49 acres near downtown Los Angeles. During its first year, the College offered only first-semester courses to about 1,300 students. Today, LACC educates more than 17,000 students and awards more than 900 degrees and certificates annually.
Originally established as part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nine-campus Los Angeles Community College District did not become a separate, autonomous entity until 1969. A seven-member elected Board of Trustees is responsible for governance. The college facilities include more than a dozen multistory classroom buildings including a library, computer labs, fitness center, theatre, and TV/film studios. Through a $147 million bond award, the college has enhanced the campus with a new advanced technology learning facility, increased parking, and expanded athletic/fitness and child development centers. The bond program continues with the construction of a dedicated Student Services building and the refurbishment of the music building, art building, Holmes Hall and the administration building.
Serving the Greater Los Angeles area, LACC’s student population is among the most diverse in the nation. Of the College’s more than 17,000 students, 45% are first-generation college students and more than 30% primarily speak a language other than English at home. People with disabilities compose 10% of the student body. LACC students are Hispanic/Latino (46%); Caucasian (19%); Asian/Pacific Islander (17%); African American/Black (12%); and Other (6%). It is a population composed predominantly of students from working poor backgrounds, 70% of whom are eligible for tuition waivers and 53% of whom rely on additional financial assistance. The median income of LACC students is $16,233, and one quarter of students earn less than $5,544 per year.
The college’s alumni have had a profound impact on the community and include notable educators, civic leaders and politicians, business leaders and Oscar, Emmy and Grammy recipients including Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, and Alan Arkin. Others who attended the college include Congresswoman Diane Watson, Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, Nobel Prize Laureate Lawrence Klein, Architect Frank Gehry, dancer Alvin Ailey, and many, many others.
LACC offers 64 associate’s degree programs, more than 70 degree-applicable, career-technical and skills certificates and an additional 35 non-credit certificates of competency and completion. LACC has extraordinary vocational programs, with health science degrees in Radiologic and Dental Technology that are ranked number one in the country.
The college awards nearly 1,000 degrees and certificates annually
Star Wars fans weren’t the only ones making the pilgrimage to the Anaheim Convention Center for the 10th Star Wars Celebration expo. A dozen HFPA members came to join 2,700 attendees to watch producer/writer/director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy start the four-day convention on the Celebration Stage.
Aside from mingling with Stormtroopers, Wookies and Space Cantina customers, members got to experience “new” and “old” “Star Wars” cast members: The panel introduced franchise newcomers John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and Daisy Ridley (Rey), while giving a Stormtroopers escort to Anthony Daniel (C-3PO), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Peter Mayhem (Chewbacca). The only one missing was Harrison Ford (Han Solo) who is still recuperating from his recent plane crash in Venice, California.
Abrams and Kennedy also introduced the latest droid in the Star Wars family, BB8, which charmed the cheering audience. But most importantly, the filmmakers raised awareness of the continued charitable efforts of Star Wars: Force for Change, and announcing a new initiative: UNICEF’s Kid Power bands.
Some die-hard fans had spent the night sleeping inside the Convention Center to be the first ones to enter the panel – and were treated with a surprise dinner of Pizza by Abrams and Kennedy – but catching a glimpse of Han Solo smiling at Chewbacca at the end of the “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” teaser was worth the wait: “Chewie, we’re home”
A helicopter hovers over a Dia de los Muertos parade as part of an action scene
For the first time the HFPA have been invited onto the set of a James Bond movie. Forty members spent two days in Mexico City watching the filming of action scenes for SPECTRE, the 24th Bond film and Daniel Craig’s fourth.
From a balcony overlooking the city’s historic Plaza de la Constitucion, members watched as a helicopter buzzed over a parade of bizarrely costumed extras dressed as skeletons and zombies for a scene in which Bond chases an assassin through wild Dia de los Muertos celebrations.
Later members were shown a trailer of footage that has been shot so far in London and Austria.
It is a huge production and Craig and the movie’s cast, crew and 1500 extras have taken over parts of Mexico City, including the Plaza de la Constitucion, for three weeks of explosions, chases, fist fights and virtually non-stop action.
Gigantic skulls and skeletons have been built in the square in front of the National Palace for a scene in which Craig chases an assassin through more than a thousand extras dressed in macabre costumes revelling in the festivities of Dia de los Muertos and then leaps into a helicopter. Spectators lined the sidewalks to watch as he dashed frantically through a carnival parade of inflatable skulls and skeletons.
Spectre, directed by Sam Mendes, is due to be released on November 6. It features the re-introduction of the global terrorist group
The centrepiece for the carnival festivities
SPECTRE—-the Special Executive for Counter-Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. Christophe Waltz and Monica Bellucci costar with Craig along with Mexican actress Stephanie Sigmund and MI6 allies Tanner (Rory Kinnear), quartermaster/gadget man Q (Ben Whishaw), fellow agent Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and the new M (Ralph Fiennes).The official synopsis on IMDB reveals ‘A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation.’
‘While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.’
Although plot details are being kept under wraps it has emerged that
something from his past has come back to haunt Bond.