Academy Award nominees past and present were once again in full force, coming out in support of young Hollywood talents as the Multicultural Motion Picture Association's (MMPA's), annual Oscar week luncheon played host to future filmmakers during Oscar Week at the fabulous Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.
As in previous years, with the amalgam of activities and kudosfests going on during the week leading up to the Oscars, the MMPA's annual luncheon was again among the hot tickets in town, known for its casual atmosphere and intermingling of current Academy Award nominees in various categories, entertainment community leaders and mentors as well as studio execs, and burgeoning filmmakers.
The event hosted by KNBC-4 air personality Chris Schauble played host to an array of notable names and faces, surprising the crowd of young filmmakers and attendees alike, from Frank Langella (Best Actor nominee), and Anne Hatahway (Best Actress nominee), to producers Christian Colson (Best Picture nominee "Slumdog Millionaire") and Bruce Cohen (Best Picture nominee "Milk"). They were joined by documentary feature nominees Scott Hamilton Kennedy (Best Documentary Feature nominee "The Garden") and Tia Lessen and Carl Deal (Best Documentary Feature nominee "Trouble The Water") who presented the young filmmakers with checks and Certificates of Merit for their thesis films and documentary accomplishments. Additional guests and nominees included Dorte Hogh, Tivi Magnusson, Steve Okozaki and John Stevenson, as well as previous Academy Award winner Lou Gossett, Jr., actor/ producer Bill Duke and actor and Sag signatory Sonny Skyhawk, who received afternoon honors for the roles they have played as mentors and entertainment industry leaders in the charge for actor equity and broad and wide-ranging roles.
On hand to congratulate the students included studio executives from various network and motion picture lots as well as various directors and technical behind-the-scenes working professionals, who inspire these students with their steady commitment to the craft they wish to follow. MMPA President Jarvee Hutcherson, told the gathering how pleased the organization and its members were that the nominees who came out in support of these talented artists this year "were particularly inspiring for these filmmakers, as they represent the categories these students primarily aspire to be part of, from directing and producing to editing and special effects."
The prestigious organization of actors, cinematographers, editors, writers, and directors has in the past played host to an array of celebrities and nominees from Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet and Djimon Hounsou to Richard Gere, Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep. The luncheon is always anticipated and remembered for its spontaneous surprises of high-profile guests and the goodwill shared among colleagues, coming out in support of the talented crop of up-and-coming filmmakers. The sponsors of the luncheon were: KNBC-4, FUJIFILM, Steen Productions, Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians and The Rose Breast Cancer Society.