AFI hosts relaxed lunch

Winners announced in advance

During awards season, Hollywood is populated with 24-hour party people.

For a long time, it was a studio tradition to throw lavish fetes on Oscar night. But in the past few years, it’s been spread out, with revelers having several invitations every night in the week leading up to the Academy Awards.

Now Gold fever has spread, with the pre-Golden Globes week offering just as many events, ranging from kudos handouts (the Broadcast Film Critics prize-giving on Friday) to more informal (a Peter Chernin-hosted party for “Antwone Fisher,” a Women in Film luncheon in honor of Martin Scorsese).

On Thursday, the AFI hosted a combo of both — informality and prize-giving — with its AFI Awards 2002. The winners (10 films, 10 TV shows) had been announced in advance, so everyone was feeling relaxed at the zippy event: No competition, no acceptance speeches, no pressure and no TV cameras.

AFI topper Jean Picker Firstenberg hosted 230 guests, including such key kudos contenders as Scott Rudin, Rob Marshall, Alexander Payne, Matt Groening, Mark Ordesky, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Martin Scorsese, Denzel Washington, Michael Caine, Edie Falco, Nicole Kidman, Nia Vardalos and Renee Zellweger.

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