From Daily Variety, September 23:
O’Reilly: HFPA chief dedicated to empowerment
Women’s Impact Report 2011: Aida Takla O’Reilly
Aida Takla O’Reilly, the newly elected president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., leads an organization that has long been a ground-breaker for female leadership, with seven previous women presidents, including a stint by O’Reilly from 1994-96.
Not only has the HFPA been run by women, its approximately 90-strong membership continues to give voice to female members while reflecting its global nature. “We represent a diversity of cultures,” says O’Reilly, who is Egyptian-born and fluent in Arabic and French.
A lifelong film fan and student of film history, O’Reilly is not immune to the effects of negative stereotypes conveyed by Hollywood. As a Cal State professor, she proudly recalls developing curriculum that examined minority images in cinema.
As prexy, O’Reilly says she plans an “administrative makeover” by getting more members “empowered and involved in governance,” while helping focus more attention on what she describes as a “three-dimensional organization of journalism, philanthropy and the Golden Globes.”
The org’s influence is tremendous, given the importance of the Globes to the studios and networks. The kudocast rivals the Oscars in its star wattage, and attracted 17 million viewers the last two years. In this regard, O’Reilly cites the HFPA’s decades-long mission to “growing American culture (around) the world” via promoting films and television.
Long-seen as a colorful assortment of multinational journos by its supporters, while also assailed by critics with charges of clubbiness, questionable tastes and voting methodology, O’Reilly’s tenure will require all her skills and decades of HFPA expertise. There’s an ongoing legal battle with Dick Clark Prods. over broadcast-rights issues related to the HFPA’s Globes kudocast, as well as an unresolved legal dispute with a former publicist who has charged the org with compromised business practices. Then there’s Ricky Gervais.
O’Reilly brushes off the controversies like lint off a Chanel suit, choosing instead to accentuate the positive. “It’s counterproductive to focus on negativity; it hampers you and slows you down,” she says. She sees her own role in leading the organization as focused on tone and intentions: “I want to reach out and let the world know we are hard-working people, not frivolous.”
Title: President of the HFPA
Role model: Her parents for instilling in O’Reilly the importance of education.
Career mantra: “To empower my students not what to think but teach them how to think.”
Leisure pursuits: “I swim every day.”
Philanthropic passion: “Funding inner-city educational programs for those with the most economic need.”
Foreign Press Association for filmmakers, actors and VIP guests at the Windsor Arms Hotel.
This year the star-studded guest list included Jennifer Garner, Jessica Chastain, Katie Couric. Olivia Wilde, Geoffrey Rush, Kim Cattrall, Jason Reitman, Adam Brody, Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, Annaleigh Tipton, Harvey Weinstein, Piper Perabo and the cast of the television shows Suits and Covert Affairs.
HFPA president Dr. Aida Takla-O’Reilly (left) presented the chairman of the Toronto Film Festival, Piers Handling, with a plaque to commemorate the occasion as Cyd Wilson of InStyle magazine looks on.
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – September 12, 2011 -The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and producer dick clark productions (dcp) bring “The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards” live on Sunday, January 15, 2012. Next year’s show will again air live on NBC coast-to-coast from 5-8 p.m. (PT) and 8-11 p.m. (ET) from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.
In addition, dick clark productions will produce the live pre-show and the main show along with the HFPA.
Prior to the awards show, NBC will broadcast the live pre-show featuring full coverage of the red-carpet arrivals from 4-5 p.m. (PT) and 7-8 p.m.
Nominations for “The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards” will be announced at 8 a.m. (ET) on Thursday, December 15.
Produced by dick clark productions in association with the HFPA, The Golden Globe Awards are viewed in more than 160 countries worldwide and are one of the few awards ceremonies to include both motion picture and television achievements. The 2011 “Golden Globe Awards” earned the event’s biggest overall audience (17.003 million) since 2007.
Dr. Aida Takla O’Reilly is President Of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Orly Adelson, president of dick clark productions and Barry Adelman will executive-produce the special. Bob Bardo is the executive in charge of production.
Following is a summation of dates and deadline preceding the broadcast:
Friday, October 28, 2011 Final date for press conferences for
Friday, November 4, 2011 Deadline for submission of Golden Globe
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Cecil B. DeMille Award Announcement
Thursday, December 1, 2011 Deadline for nomination ballots to be
mailed to all HFPA members by Ernst & Young
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 Final screening date for Motion Pictures
Thursday, December 8, 2011 Final date for Motion Picture press
Monday, December 12, 2011 Deadline for receipt of nomination
ballots by Ernst & Young
Thursday, December 15, 2011 Announcement of nominations for “The
69th Annual Golden Globe Awards”
Friday, December 16, 2011 Deadline for receipt of media credential
Monday, December 26, 2011 Final ballots mailed to all HFPA members
Friday, December 30, 2011 Deadline for receipt of publicist
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 Deadline for receipt of final ballots by
Ernst & Young
Sunday, January 15, 2012 The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Timetable is also available online at www.goldenglobes.org/timetable.
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Hollywood Foreign Press members at the Toronto Film Festival chatted with Sam Childers, the real life Machine Gun Preacher who is portrayed by Gerard Butler in the film of the same name.
The former drug addict biker-turned-preacher from Pennsylvania who runs an orphanage in Sudan confessed that when he met Butler he was not sure that the actor was the right man to play him on screen. “He had a strong Scottish accent. Really strong,” he said. “But I have to say he really nailed me. He sounded just like me.”
Butler explained to members: “I watched him preach in church and I taped hours of conversations so I could listen to how he expresses himself. He’s such a fascinating guy and he has a lot of amazing stories.”Read More »
THIS YEAR MARKS THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF SEPTEMBER 11 2001 when more than three thousand civilians were murdered by terrorists in the worst-ever attack on US soil. It’s one of those times when we all remember what we were doing, when two planes were deliberately flown into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center, one flew into the Pentagon and a fourth, bound for the White House, was forced to crash
In remembrance of the tragedy, I asked a few celebrities to give me their impressions. Ten years later, are we
safer? Could this happen again? Here are their replies:
We have to be more secure because we’re that much more aware. We were
completely unaware. it was not even in someone’s vernacular of thinking, before.
So, now, people’s radar is sensitive to the possibility of it. I hope that something
else doesn’t have to happen. ‘Cause it’s been ten years and people start to
relax. I hope that behind the scenes, there is a quiet way, of protecting us. We
don’t know if this wouldn’t happen again. I hope we don’t have to have something
else happen, to get people as active.
It was just shocking and terrifying. I think it can happen again. I think so! It
feels like the security is up to the ‘nth degree and rightly so. When it comes to
airport travel, when it comes to anything like that, it feels safer but I’m an optimist
though. So, I hope, that it will keep getting more safe.
I don’t know if we are safer now. I’d certainly hope so. I would hope that the
powers that be, can be more aware of things, if something like that, is headed
our way. Ten years onward, I’m sure it’s the same for everyone, it feels like (it
was) yesterday. It was such a devastating moment. Something that was beyond
human comprehension. It was such a vicious and vile thing and the loss of life so
great, that it still feels like yesterday. I, certainly have my fingers crossed, that it
never happens again.
Those are pretty heavy questions. I was devastated. It’s one of the greatest
tragedies that happened in this country, for sure. I don’t know what that means
being safe. I think yes, of course, it could happen again, if someone is evil and
tries to hurt someone. Where there’s a will they’ll always find a way.
We can try to be as safe as we want but events, since then, have proven this
could happen at any second. We have to trust our advisers or military, that the
world has changed forever, certainly in America. Growing up in Northern Ireland,
in the ’60s and ‘70s I got very, very used to it and you adapt. It’s amazing how
the human spirit adapts to atrocity, that happens, 200 meters up from your street.
But the scale of what these terrorists want to inflict on us, I say us, as a new
American citizen, is very, very scary. We, all of us, have to be vigilant and look
after each other. I felt violated, in a really deep, sense, the way everybody did.
9/11 was one of the most horrific days as a nation. It was one of the most incredible
nights of my life. Watching the second tower go down, was devastating and
the closest, warlike thing, that I had ever felt, in my life. I remember seeing the
way that everybody came together, as a nation. It was one of the most beautiful
things I’ve ever experienced. I wish that we could remember that patriotism more
often and carry that, through our daily lives, because the power of many, coming
together, it’s unbreakable.
I don’t feel less safe. What happened on 9/11 was the great tragic anomaly that
comes out of twisted theology and practice. Every now and again things come
along, in this world, that completely alters the social and national fabric of every
nation in the world and that’s what happened 10 years ago. Little acts of terror-
ism, go on every day, all over the place. You can only hope that as the history of
the world has shown, those movements wax and wane. It would be very nice if
we could all look back on the year 2011 and say, “Oh, that was one of the waning
periods of that brand of insanity.”
People were really shaken up. Nothing like that had ever happened in the United
States. I went to high school in Germany. So, I’m aware of what it’s like to live
in a culture, where there’s been a war. All over Europe, there’s that history. But
for the United States, we had felt invulnerable. So it was really the first time that
we were like, “Oh my gosh, it’s right here!” I think people are aware that it could
happen again. Terrorism is something all of us globally, fear and are opposed to.
But it’s always worth remembering.
I never cease to be amazed by some of the things that happen. Of course there
is always going to be something horrible happening but not that specific thing.
It’s the way it always has been, through history. There’s wars. There’s tragedies.
People do unspeakable things, usually, for a buck. Yeah, we’ll see more horrors.
[sighs] But if you know that it’s coming, you can, at least, get prepared. I don’t
think we’re necessarily any safer but there’s more safeguards, surely. We’re
filmed everywhere we go. It’s (become) this observation society, we live under
the pretext, to make it safe. But it’s scary as well. It’s Orwellian. Big Brother,
always having a peek-a-boo at you. From that aspect, it would make one more
secure, I suppose.Cameron Diaz
Well, I can’t really live my life in fear so, I put my faith in all of the people who are
doing what they can to, hopefully, not have that happen again. In the meantime,
I just live as much of life as I possibly can. The landscape of the world is very,
very different, since the day that happened. It’s all pretty obvious, as to what, that
is. I certainly hope that the world is moving towards better things than worse but
even if I had all the information, I still wouldn’t be able to say whether or not, I
knew that, for sure.
I was coming home from school, when it happened and everyone was freaking
out. My mom turned on the TV and she actually saw the second plane hit, so me
and my mom, were praying. It was crazy to us. We didn’t know what was hap-
penning. We didn’t know the reality of it. It was crazy. I don’t know (if it’ll happen
again), no-one knew it was going to happen then and no-one, really knows, now.
If you weren’t someone who specifically lost a loved one, life goes on. (But) it
had a massive effect on everyone, whether you lost someone or not. (Feeling
safer), I don’t know if that’s even a real concept. Not to get into anything sort of
touchy but I feel like sometimes we’re made to feel, safe or unsafe, to validate
things that politicians want to do for their own reasons. I feel like as a city, New
York, has sort of rebuilt and become really strong. (Could it happen again?) I
have no way of answering that question.
Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses)
Gosh. I won’t even entertain the idea of it happening again . It was bad but it did
raise the awareness, of the evil in the world. We will have an opportunity, if we
haven’t for the last 10 years, to reflected on, we certainly will and hopefully some
of the healing.from it, will become just as evident, as the pain from it.
Viola Davis (The Help. Is doing a movie on 9/11)
September 11th meant to me the end of this general sense of safety and infalli-
bility that we had. I don’t feel safe ever. Maybe that’s how I grew up. I’ve never
felt the sense of security in anything. The one thing that came out of September
11th, is, people have got to take responsibility for their life. It was the first time
that everybody woke up. Everybody, even people who had never talked about
politics, decided to be informed. What I took out of 9/ 11, is that, I’m not going to
leave it up to someone else to decide what my lifestyle was going to be.
I have no idea. I don’t know if we’re safer or not. I’d like to think that we are but
the nature of terrorism is so sporadic and random that, we couldn’t say that for
sure. I don’t know.
To its credit, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave Elizabeth Taylor her first acting award before the Academy did, for one of her best performances in Suddenly Last Summer.
The film has long been dismissed by critics, but it’s been a favorite of mine even though I had seen the original stage production (a two-hander under the title “Garden District” the other half was “Something Unspoken”) in which Anne Meacham played Catherine and became the toast of Broadway. The play created a minor furor — it was 1959 — because it dealt with cannibalism and critics felt Tennessee Williams had gone too far.
I remember a conversation between Gore Vidal and Merv Griffin on his talk show when Griffin wondered how Tennessee dreamt up these ideas, and Vidal claimed that was how the great Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca met his death (cannibalized by his victims)
Ten years later Vidal collaborated with Williams on the script.
I am inclined to credit Vidal with many of the famous lines, none of which appear in the original play, such as “Love is being able to use someone, hate is not being able to,” and “To lose both parents you’re an orphan; to lose a son, you’re … nothing.”
Because Taylor needed to evade US taxes, the film was shot at Shepperton Studios in London and the use of English actors (Gary Raymond, for example) in minor roles is jarring.
But the director Joseph L. Mankiewicz was able to attract a superb cast. Besides Taylor, the leads are played by Katharine Hepburn in one of her greatest performances and Montgomery Clift (self conscious because his auto accident had left one side of his face paralyzed). Mercedes McCambridge and Albert Dekker were among the American actors.
Mankiewicz had an amazing chemistry with Taylor. Two years later, while filming Cleopatra, he claimed she was in love with him (even though at the time she was married to Eddie Fisher, who makes a fleeting appearance in the film.) After Liz ditched Eddie for Richard Burton, Mankiewicz was famously quoted as saying, “The trouble with Elizabeth, she feels she has to marry every man she sleeps with.”
Infatuated or not, Elizabeth is spellbinding in the film, more than holding her own against Hepburn. Her long monologue in which she recounts the events leading to Sebastian’s death is her best work ever. Sebastian is Mrs. Venable’s poet son. In order to perpetuate his legacy (one short volume of poems) and to prevent her niece Catherine, who has been declared insane, from revealing the truth about his demise, she wants Catherine lobotomized in exchange for funding the neurological program at the hospital.
The film has been labeled Grand Guignol, outrageous camp and lurid hagiography. It’s all these but it is also one of the best movies of the ’60’s. Not surprising, since the producer is the legendary Sam Spiegel, a Hollywood con man who shepherded some of the greatest movies of the century like Orson Welles’ The Stranger, Joseph Losey’s The Prowler, John Huston’s They Were Strangers and The African Queen, Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront and The Last Tycoon, David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia and the Bridge on the River Kwai , and Arthur Penn’s The Chase. You could say if it was a Sam Spiegel production, it was the best show in town.
By the way, to evade his creditors he listed himself as S.P. Eagle on some of his early films.Read More »
Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank, who was to hear the case, is ill and the trial has been transferred to another judge.
The HFPA claims DCP and its parent company Red Zone surreptitiously renegotiated its television contract with NBC without its consent or authorization. Consequently it says the agreement is invalid.
For its part, DCP contends that its contract stipulates that it could negotiate the television rights to the Golden Globes.Read More »
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) awarded CSUN’s 2011-12 senior film project students with a $50,000 grant for the 16th consecutive year.
“It’s a huge help,” said Jaclyn Moore, film production major. “I don’t know what we would do without it. It would be a struggle.”
In addition to the grant, each student involved in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts’ (CTVA) senior film project must raise at least $1,500 themselves.
“Fundraising is difficult enough as it is to get people to give you money just so you can go off and make a movie,” Moore said.
There are about 30 to 35 members working on a project. Through various fundraisers and having jobs on the side, earning the required $1,500 can be a struggle for students.
With film budgets ranging from $30,000 to $50,000, the grant awarded Aug. 4 at the Beverly Hills Hotel provides a more than helpful amount of money to their budget.
“Help is an understatement,” said Beneyam Wolde-Yohannes, film production major. “Most of us film students are broke, so the money is really important to make our films the best they could be.”
The film major is different from other majors on campus, for which money is not usually needed to complete a project, Wolde-Yohannes said.
Less senior film projects would’ve been possible had the money not been given to them this year, Moore said. That could also result in students not getting the opportunity to try out the position they want to go into professionally, she added.
The HFPA has been awarding grants to universities and other film programs for 17 years, and for all but the first year CSUN has won grants from the organization.
“They’re happy with the kind of work that we’re doing,” said Nate Thomas, a CTVA professor and the head of the film option at the university.
Thomas applies and writes a grant proposal to the HFPA in order for CSUN to win the award. At the end of every school year, he writes an end of the year grant report to the organization, showing proof that the program has met its goals.
“I’ve watched this program grow and flourish and I’ve watched our students be considered in the company of the other major film schools,” he said.
During the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike, Thomas was fearful that grant money would not be awarded that year. Much to his surprise, the organization granted money to film schools from their reserve accounts.
HFPA recognized that the money is more important now because of the budget crisis, Thomas said.
“Many of our students are working class, and that’s a constituency that’s in need of help,” he said. “Because making films are expensive. We make real motion pictures here.”
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The Hollywood Foreign Press accuses Dick Clark Productions of secretly squeezing it out of its own awards show as one of TV’s messiest, nastiest battles heads to trial.
As the 2010 golden Globe Awards kicked into high gear, members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had reason to smile. Despite persistent rain showers outside the Beverly Hilton, the red carpet at the HFPA’s annual film and television awards show again was packed with international media and entertainment elite: The Blind Side star Sandra Bullock mingled with Avatar director James Cameron and the cast of Mad Men. The Globes telecast would draw 250 million viewers worldwide and become that week’s highest-rated entertainment program on U.S. television, continuing a streak of stunning success for the event thrown by a ragtag group of foreign journalists
.For the full Hollywood Reporter story click on this link: