LA: Inside the 2015 HFPA Grants Banquet

August 14, 2015 | by Laura Schreffler



Screen Actors Guild Foundation

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) had a very big night on August 13th as the organization presented over $2 million in funds to non-profit entertainment related organizations, foundations and scholarship programs at its annual Grants Banquet.

The star-studded event, which was held at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills, commenced with a breathtaking surprise performance by Nick Jonas, who sang a stripped down version of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” Following the ballad, HFPA President Lorenzo Soria welcomed friends and guests by reminding them of the impactful contributions the organization has made through the years.

“We are proud to say we have made a difference in many lives,” said Soria. “The Golden Globes may be the most high-profile of the HFPA’s activities, but our support for cultural non-profits has engaged the passionate commitment of every one of our members.”

The night continued as Golden Globe winner Jamie Lee Curtis kicked-off the presentation portion of the evening by accepting donations on behalf of the Children’s Hospital, St. Jude’s Hospital, Lollipop Theater, and Nadia Bronson Scholarship.

She was followed by Halle Berry (GlobalGirl Media and FilmAid International), Lady Gaga (Music Center and Young Musicians Foundation), Jane Fonda (Sundance Institute and Women Make Movies), Sarah Silverman and John Krasinski (Outfest, The Music Center, San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and University of California, Berkeley Film Archive), Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro (American Film Institute, American Cinematheque, UCLA, and NYU), Jake Gyllenhaal (Film Foundation), Dakota Johnson and Topher Grace (Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, University of Illinois Ebertfest, and Pablove Foundation), Ice Cube and O’Shea Jackson (Ghetto Film School, Inner City Arts, Inner City Filmmakers, and Young Storytellers), Allison Janney and Ty Burrell (Toronto Film Festival, Los Angeles Conservancy, Museum of the Moving Image,and Library Foundation of Los Angeles), Bryan Cranston (Los Angeles City College), Elizabeth Banks and Jon Hamm (Motion Picture & Television Fund, New Filmmakers Los Angeles, Screen Actors Guild Foundation, andIndependent Filmmaker Project), Saoirse Ronan and Andrew Garfield (University Grants), Jason Isaacs and America Ferrera (Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles, Streetlights, California State Summer, and Film Noir Foundation), Zachary Levi and Sophia Bush (Coalition of Asian Pacifics In Entertainment, Echo Park Film Center, and USC Engineering School), Joe Manganiello and Brie Larson (Film Independent, Project: Evolve and Film Independent Live Read Series), Jack Huston and John Boyega (Exceptional Minds, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Gingold Theatre Group/Shaw Festival).

Founded in the 1940s during World War II, the HFPA was originally comprised of a handful of LA based overseas journalists who sought to bridge the international community with Hollywood, and to provide distraction from the hardships of war through film. Seventy years later, members of the HFPA represent 55 countries with a combined readership of 250 million in some of the world’s most respected publications. Each year, the organization holds the third most watched awards show on television, the Golden Globe® Awards, which has enabled the organization to donate more than $23.9 million to entertainment related charities and scholarship programs.