Film philanthropy efforts top million-dollar mark

HFPA focuses on film schools, film restoration

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. gave $1 million in grants this year, the largest single-year endowment ever donated by the org, to 27 schools and nonprofits. Ever since NBC started broadcasting the HFPA’s Golden Globes, which had been airing on cable stations, the association has donated about $4.6 million in financial grants.

The $1.5 million the org reportedly received for the first network telecast in 1996 rose to $3.6 million in 2003, roughly seven to 10 times what the HFPA would be receiving if the Golden Globes were still on cable.

According to the HFPA’s bylaws, the association must give 5% of the net profits from the kudofest telecast to aid an organization/school. However, IRS records previously reported by Daily Variety show that between the fiscal years 1995 and 2003, the org has on average donated 18% of its annual revenue to charity.

Determining who should receive the money has proven to be a tricky process for HFPA members.

Back in 1995-1996, orgs such as Hawaii Intl. Film Festival, the Hellenic Society, Actors & Others for Animals, a “parade Santa float” and Project Angel Food received funds from the HFPA.

“Years ago (we gave money to) some small charities that are certainly very worthwhile, but we felt that in order to make our donations more effective we needed to focus on a (particular) area so that our money will make more of an impact,” says HFPA prexy Lorenzo Soria. “Basically we (decided to) focus on film schools and film restoration … otherwise our money, which is significant but is not billions, would become dispersed into too many areas.”

Of this year’s 27 recipients, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation received the largest donation of $200,000, which brings the total amount that the Foundation has received from the HFPA to $1.4 million. This year’s HFPA contribution will go directly to restoring Jean Renior’s 1951 film “The River.”

The HFPA has an agreement with the Foundation whereby 100% of its $200,000 annual grant goes into actual work on restoring films; none of it is used to pay overhead.

Another regular recipient is the Sundance Institute. The $75,000 received in August will go to emerging artists in Sundance Institute programs, while the $120,000 CalArts, School of Film/Video acquired will go to both student scholarship and the improvement and addition of work stations at the school’s digital lab.

GRANT RECIPIENTS

The following organizations received 2004 grants from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

American Film Institute — $30,000 (scholarship)

CalArts, School of Film/Video — $50,000 (scholarship); $70,000 (HFPA Digital Lab improvements and additional work stations)

CSU Northridge, Department of Cinema & TV Arts — $50,000 (scholarship); $39,315 (editing system for HFPA Digital Lab)

Columbia University School of the Arts — $50,000 (scholarship); $20,000 (upgrade Digital Media Center post-production lab)

North Carolina School of the Arts Foundation — $30,000 (scholarship)

UCLA, School of Theater, Film and TV — $50,000 (scholarship); $30,000 (2005 Festival of New Work)

Cal State Summer School Arts Foundation — $20,000 (scholarship)

Hollywood Entertainment Museum — $15,000 (education and employment-training program)

Inner-City Filmmakers — $15,000 (professional training and paid-work opportunities for underprivileged youth)

L.A. County High School for the Arts Foundation — $10,000 (film program)

Cleveland High School, Teen International Media Exchange — $10,000 (international media project)

Young Musicians Foundation — $5,000 (YMF Debut Orchestra season)

IFP West — $30,000 (Project Involve); $10,000 (planning for proposed Global Film Summit)

National Assn. of Latino Independent Producers — $10,000 (Latino Producers Academy one-week intensive program)

Sundance Institute — $75,000 (participation of international filmmakers in Feature Film Program)

American Cinematheque — $40,000 (retrospective tributes and conversations with great actors and actresses of world cinema) *

The Film Foundation — $200,000 (laboratory costs on preservation/restoration projects identified and approved by the HFPA)

Los Angeles Conservancy — $25,000 (Last Remaining Seats series)

CSU, Los Angeles, College of Natural & Social Sciences — $10,000 (educational programs)

FilmAid International — $30,000 (Peace and Reconciliation series)

Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles — $5,000 (Fic-Cine film series)

UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive — $15,000 (Pacific Film Archive “Documenting Voices”)

L.A. County Alliance for Student Achievement for the Douglas Playground Award — $10,000 (Douglas Playground Award funding L.A. Unified Schools playgrounds)

Geffen Playhouse — $5,000 (interactive theater programs for K-12 schools in Los Angeles)

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival — $5,000 (education programs)

PRESIDENT’S DISCRETIONARY FUND

The trustees unanimously approved $35,685 for the president’s discretionary fund, from which the following grants were given.

FINCA — $5,000 (global endowment to the poor)

The Ghetto Film School — $10,000 (internship program)

*American Cinematheque – An additional $10,000 from the president’s discretionary fund was earmarked for possible screenings of the foreign films nominated for the 2005 Golden Globe Awards, with receptions and conversations with the directors.

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