The idea is to get the stars to show up, and in awards season that’s not hard.
The Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards, a dubious for-profit enterprise rarely taken seriously as anything but an opportunity for publicity, has added Annette Bening and Robert Duvall to a list of honorees that already includes actors Sean Penn, Helena Bonham Carter, Sam Rockwell, Andrew Garfield and Mia Wasikowska; producer/director Danny Boyle and producer Chris Colson; writer Aaron Sorkin; director Lee Unkrich; composer Hans Zimmer; cinematographer Wally Pfister; editors Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall; visual effects supervisors Ben Snow and Janek Sirrs; and production designer Robert Stromberg.
Bening, a presumed Best Actress frontrunner for her work in “The Kids Are All Right,” will be given the “Hollywood Actress Award” at a ceremony on October 25; Duvall, a contender for “Get Low,” will receive the “Hollywood Actor Award” the same night.
Honoring potential awards contenders at Oscar-season festivals is, of course, a time-honored tradition, and one that’s also embraced by the AFI Fest and the Palm Springs and Santa Barbara film festivals. Programming at those fests, though, tends to be more substantial than the Hollywood Film Festival, which consists of three days of screenings at the Arclight Cinemas, during which the lineup will include 17 features, three documentaries and 30 shorts.
Among the HFF entries: the sports drama “The 5th Quarter,” with Aidan Quinn and Andie MacDowell; Mario Van Peebles’ “Black, White and Blues,” with Michael Clarke Duncan; and the comedy “Hollywood and Wine,” with Chris Kattan, David Spade and Kevin and John Farley.
The festival and awards are sponsored by Starz.
Last year, Anne Thompson called the HFF “a cannily constructed façade which honors stars, filmmakers and craftspeople and lines the pockets of [founder Carlos] de Abreu,” who launched the festival in 1996.
(Above: De Abreu with “Bright Star” actor Paul Schneider in 2009; photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
More information is available at http://www.hollywoodfestival.com/.